Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kenting

I wanted to go from Yuli to Kenting but knew a train did not go there so would have to go via multiple buses or train and then a bus. The guidebook only talked about going to Kenting from one town on the west side of Taiwan and it was a bit out of the way. I went to the train station in the morning and figured I would ask if they could give me some advice. I went to the counter that had a sign that said English. I don’t think the guy really spoke English but he was helpful. I showed him the Chinese symbols for Kenting and he sold me a ticket. The ticket only has Chinese charters on them so I did not even know the name of town I was suppose to get off the train. I ask then name and he told me something and then said bus. The town where I needed to transfer was also only on the map in my guidebook in English so could not make sure of where I was suppose to transfer. I found a chart with the names in English and Chinese of all the train stops just before the train arrived so at least I figure out I was suppose to transfer at Fangliao.

When I reached Fangliao I looked for a map to find the bus station but had no luck. A taxi driver ask me “Taxi” and I said no but ask bus. He pointed down the street. Nice to have a taxi driver point a direction and not just say long ways you need taxi. I walked down the street and saw a bus stopped so used the guidebook to ask a lady at a food stand bus station and the lady pointed here. I then turned to the page for Kenting and she pointed at the bus in front of me. I made it to Kenting in about an hour and was in the ocean about 30 minutes later.

Kenting is a town within Kenting National Park. There are a number of towns in what is now a national park. Really in driving down the road I would have never noticed that I was in a national park. The park is huge and covers the entire southern tip of Taiwan. There are also different parks within Kenting National Park.

I rented a motorbike and rode just about all of the way around the park. I started by going to Kentng Forest Recreation Area. This is up the mountain from the town of Kenting. I walked about all the trails in the recreation area. I think the stone walls in the park were limestone and at some places in the park it looked phony to me like something you see in an amusement parks where they have build landscapes.



The recreation area also had a number of butterflies and I seem to have a hard time keeping all the ones that I have seen straight but think I saw a couple that I had not seen before.



After the recreation area I rode back down to the coast and went for a swim on this beach.



After a refreshing swim I followed the coast first south to the southern most point in Taiwan and then north stopping to take a picture now and then. I visited another beach that is known for good surf and watched the surfers for a little while before going on to Jialeshui. Jialeshui is some sort of park that has all kinds of different shaped rocks on the coast. I have learned that the Taiwanese seem to have great imaginations. They say this rock looks like a lion, that rock looks like a turtle but usually I don’t see it. I did agree that this rock looked like the island of Taiwan.



After Jialeshui I cut across the island going from the east side to the west and then followed the coast down the west side of the island until I came back to the town of Kenting. I did stop at one beach to eat and another beach to have another swim. It was a really enjoyable day with a lot of changes in scenery for a short ride.

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