Cycling round Kenting in the south of Taiwan is the best way to see the coast, and it’s pretty easy too.
When I was planning my Taiwan trip I looked at some of the cycle tours as I’d read it was a great place for two wheels. At over £1500 for a week I decided it wasn’t for me. Instead, I thought I’d rent one when I got there and save myself a few Taiwanese dollars.
I went on two different self navigated bike rides in Kenting for £11.40 in total.
Day one: Hengchun, hot springs and temples
I’d booked into the Rainbow Wave Surf Hostel which was apparently about 30 mins and £35 from any surf. The bike shop round the corner seemed the next best thing. Armed with a basic map and my GPS on my phone off I went.
Here’s the route…
In what turned out to be a 28-mile round trip I saw the Fan Chun Temple, twice, another temple with a big statue on the top, I bathed at the Sihjhongsi Hot Springs, scoffed a steamed bun and chocolate dipped dried mango from the 7/11, saw the coastline, stalked the marine museum (didn’t want to pay £12 to get in) and chilled out on the beach reading my book.
Day two: Nanwa, Baisha and Houbihu
I set off this time without a map, just a vague knowledge of where I wanted to be. If I stuck to the coast I couldn’t really go wrong. This is the route I took, all 16 miles of it as I double backed on myself to get home.
Shortly after setting off from the Kenting Youth Hostel I was staying in I was in Nanwa – the beach looked amazing – but I wanted Baisha, apparently the best beach in Kenting, so I carried on.
I was also interested in Houbihu Fishing Port as I’d heard it had the best sashimi in Kenting and breakfast time had long passed. There aren’t many roads in Kenting so it’s quite difficult to go wrong, even for me, and after an hour of cycling I’d managed to find it. Cue one of the best brunches of my life, but I’ll tell you about that another day.
Onwards and this time upwards. Where the rest of Kenting had been pretty flat I now had a hill to climb with all those fishies, prawns and oysters swimming about in my belly. Thankfully the protein got me to the top with an incredible view of the bays of southern Taiwan.
Another 30 minutes along flat clear roads and I’d found Baisha. Cue 3 hours of lying around, drinking bubble tea and reading my book while listening to reggae on a white sand beach. Ar yes, this is what I was looking for in Kenting.
The cycle back home was easy enough. Without a map I decided to just go back the way I came so I saw the route from a new direction and even more beautiful views as I hurtled down that hill I’d tried so hard to climb.
I stopped in Nanwa to watch the sun set before cruising back before nightfall to drop the bike back and replace the calories I’d just burnt at the incredible Kenting Night Street Market.
Cycling in Kenting
The roads in Kenting are easy to traverse. I’d say 40% have bicycle specific lanes, 50% have combined scooter and cycle paths and the last 10% you’re all in together. There’s barely any traffic and the roads are huge.
Cycling round Kenting made me feel pumped to see the rest of Taiwan. I felt alive, liberated and £1488.60 better off!