Monday, July 6, 2009

Kenting Beaching and Snorkeling

Ok, So I went to Kenting.... famous for the best beaches in Taiwan, so why haven't I written about the beach yet?!

Well, unfortunately, the Kenting beach was actually the only disappointing thing about the whole trip! After our long day in the Kenting National Forest, we went to what I believe is the most popular beach in Kenting, and I was absolutely amazed by it.
Amazed, that is, by the obscene amount of trash on the beach and floating in the water. It was by far the dirtiest beach I have ever been on. The water was the perfect temperature, but I just couldn't bear to stand in it longer than a couple of minutes because I was so turned off - and really just grossed out - by all of the trash floating around me, occasionally grazing my legs... blech!


Now, I am a beach person. I LOVE the beach! My vision for our trip to Kenting included lots of beach time, tanning, swimming, reading, relaxing... But as soon as we got onto this beach I could not wait to get the hell off of it.

Walking down the beach, one had to be careful not to step on tooth brushes, potato chip bags, sanitary products... you name it, it was there.


As I sat on the beach, anxiously waiting for my friends to tire of it, I kept thinking to myself, "this can't be what everyone comes down here for, this can't be the best that there is in Taiwan... there's just no way!"


Thankfully, we didn't arrive at the beach until 5:00pm, so after only about an hour we decided to head to dinner.


The next day, we had a little more luck. We were driving down the road around 4:00 (after the aquarium) and stumbled upon this little beach


It certainly wasn't a white-sand beach, but it was clean, private, and quiet, so we decided to spend our last beaching hours here instead of driving further, hunting for another spot. As a result, I really don't know what else is available as far as Kenting beaches go. I'm clinging to the hope that there are clean beautiful beaches down there, but.... I'm really not so sure. I guess there's a reason Taiwan isn't known for it's beaches...


Right across the street from this beach was a little snorkeling shop and so my friends decided to rent some snorkel gear so that we could explore the waters.


As was the case on our
snorkeling trip to Green Island, the experience was just a little bizarre!


Here is a list of all of the accoutrements that are included when renting snorkeling gear for a low key swim in this small, shallow alcove:

Snorkeling Gear Check List:

  • Snorkel
  • Goggles
  • Full wet-suit
  • Booties
  • Life vest
  • Cotton gardening gloves

I realize that this list might bring up some logical questions from my readers, so I'll answer them here in an FAQ section:


Q: What could you possibly need cotton gardening gloves for?

A: Well in case you want to touch anything of course! The gloves will allow you to touch the coral or sea urchins without worrying about getting hurt!


Q: But why touch something if you can't even feel it?!

A: I still haven't figured out the answer to this question


Q: What about the full-wet suit?

A: The water was the perfect warm temperature, so it certainly wasn't for warmth. Apparently that was to protect you from getting hurt on the small patches of coral.


Q: What is the life-vest for?

A: To protect you from the perilous ocean, of course! Please note rule number 3 below (note: this picture was actually taken at a different beach), "While swimming in the sea, you must wear a life jacket or flotation device"


Q: Um... you forgot to put flippers on your list...

A: Actually, I didn't forget. There were no flippers! Just like on Green Island - and unlike anywhere else in the world - snorkelers here in Taiwan are not given flippers!


They'll give you a life vest so that you can easily float (out to sea) but they won't give you flippers, which would help you get back to the shore!


O what a strange relationship the Taiwanese have with the ocean....

8 comments:

  1. in kenting, the beaches on the main drag arent so good. but there is another beach on the other end of the tip called bai sha wan (you have to turn right before you go into kenting town). its the best down there by far, but shhhhhhhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone

    ReplyDelete
  2. you think that Kenting's beaches are dirty because you haven't been to Tainan.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We spent a week in Kenting at the end of June. Our first day there we went to Caesar's beach (across from the Howard). It was my first time there, and I didn't care for it. I also found some (not a lot) garbage along the beach and in the water. My favorite beach is actually South Bay. If you stay more to the right side of the beach (when facing the water) it's not too crowded, and I found very little trash on the beach, and NONE in the water. The gentle slope and soft sands of the beach make it a great place for our kids. Sorry to hear you did not have a good experience.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Not so terrible in fact. I love Kenting for what it is.

    See this: http://taiwan.typepad.com/flavors_of_taiwan/2009/05/southern-pearl-of-formosa-kenting.html

    sand was really golden, I and no garbage.

    You will be far more disappointed by Fulong beach in north of Taiwan

    ReplyDelete
  5. mistakes & mistakes in my previous comment... sorry for them :)
    here in Taiwan you are forever in hurry

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi,

    Where was the nice small beach you went in Kenting, and what's the name of the snorkel shop ?

    It will be very helpful, as I go to Kenting this week end !

    Thanks a lot :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. agreed - any advice on finding the snorkelling shop would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I was visit this place last years.The Kenting beach was actually the only disappointing thing about the whole trip! After our long day in the Kenting National Forest, we went to what I believe is the most popular beach in Kenting, and I was absolutely amazed by it.More info visit Lembongan Snorkeling Tour

    ReplyDelete