A sea of women wearing cream colored woven floppy hats, white short shorts, vibrant shirts stood in a perfectly straight line waiting for 12:30 to board the bus.
Kenting attracts locals and expats alike. Known for having the bluest of the blue water, white sand beaches, national parks, and an infinite amount of watersports, people have been flocking to this city since my mother was in middle school. The Kenting express shuttle drives you from Zuoying HSR station to Kenting. You drive along the coast for two hours, where you see those familiar California palm trees. Some areas feel like parts of Ventura on the way to Santa Barbara, and some areas feel like Palos Verdes on the way to Portuguese Bend.
Be Like The President, They Say
The hotel Gloria Manor opened up in 2012, but the history starts from 1958. This is the old guesthouse of Taiwan former president Chiang Kai-Shek in the 60’s. He’d retreat here in the summers, enjoying the quietness of being up in the Kenting forest preserve. The guesthouse is up in government preserved land, meaning lights out at 8PM, and no more dinner at 9PM (early for us westerners). Gloria manor has furniture used by Chiang- chairs he sat in, tables he used, and even his bed.
Baisha bay is a secret beach that feels more like the pampelonne beaches along the French Riveria.
This gem of a beach is around 5 km away from Kenting, so be sure to rent a scooter from the hotel, or taxi. It’s white sandy beaches are known world wide. This is the exact beach the movie, Life Of Pi was filmed. For you movie buffs, most of the scene’s on the beach with Richard Parker and Pi, were filmed here, making Taiwan officially on the movie map!
Roads That Lead Nowhere
Because Kenting’s nightlife is very minimal to none (unless you like downing Jägerbomb shots off the side of the road), it’s a perfect vacation to sleep at 10:00PM. After you’ve waken up at 8:00AM go out and experience nature. Go to Sheding national park and take a nature walk in the morning after your milkfish congee. You will be joined by monkeys and the humming of birds flying overhead.
Hooray For Catch of The Day
Piccolo Polpo is the swankiest table in all of Kenting. Move over, Smokey Joe’s tacos, or the random assortment of Thai that tastes like plastic. Piccolo Polpo has the freshiest seafood in town. I ordered the catch of the day, which is a type of local Kenting fish that was perfectly sautéd and embellished with lemon. This restaurant also turns out to be a boutique style hotel. I’d give this #2 best place to stay in Kenting. The rooms are luxurious with oversized white duvets with marble lining the bathroom.