Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Travelogue: Kenting, Taiwan Part 1 | Water Sports & Kenting Night Market

After staying in Taipei for one night, we planned to travel all the way down to Kenting for day 2 and day 3's journey in Taiwan. As Taipei is right at the top of Taiwan, whereas Kenting is all the way at the bottom, we thought we would spent hours traveling. But surprise surprise, all thanks to technology and advancement in transportation, we managed to reach Kenting in just two hours, via the High-Speed Rail (aka bullet train) from Taipei Main Station. 

The price of the ticket is not cheap though, so if you are going on a budget trip, you might want to think of some other ways to get to Kenting. Each ticket costs NTD1580, which amounts to approximately $68.80 SGD. However, if you value time and productivity more, then maybe it is worth the price. 

As easy as it is, just buy one of these tickets from the automated machines which are available at the train station, before you board the train. You might want to check out the timings of the trains so that you won't waste time waiting for the next one! 

Happy with our virgin-bullet-train experience so here's a selfie and a photo with the train. 

From Zuoying Train Station, we took a cab to Kenting, to our hostel, which took around one-hour. One thing I realized is that the people in Kenting likes to scoot around in scooters like these as so many shops and houses were renting them. 

Finally, we've reached our hostel and I must say that this is the best accommodation booked so far! Thank you Shin Fen for the recommendation! The entire hostel is decorated with inspiration from Santorini and the nautical vibe. Everything feels and looks new and fresh, not to mention, their beds are really comfy. Among all the 7 nights in Taiwan, I slept the deepest in Kenting, almost so that I thought I was back at home in Singapore when I woke up. 

Our initial plan in Kenting was to chill and relax, so we hadn't really planned any concrete activities, but we saw pamphlets at the hostel reception area, promoting water sports and a 1-day-tour to 8 famous sightseeing spots in Kenting. We immediately signed up for them as the price was really reasonable and transport was provided, so how could we say no to such convenience. 

We headed out for water sports at this place called Ho Bi Hu, where most youths take part in water sports there. You can choose to play a range of sports, between 3-6, depending on risk appetite. The water-fearing me chose banana-boat, jet-boat and this reverse-bumper ski. To be honest, my heart almost flew out and I almost flung out into the waters as the driver in-charge of driving the jet-boat sped so fast, with furious fast turns that my hands slipped off from the grip twice. Though with life-jackets, the thought of flinging out into the waters is still quite terrifying. Phew, thankfully we were safe and had lots of fun. 

Headed back to our hostel to bathe and freshen up before heading down to Kenting Night Market. Silly us asked the driver when he drove us back, "Sorry, do you know how to get to Kenting Night Market from here (our hostel)?". In which he replied, "(Giggles) Haha, this is the start of Kenting Night Market already (points to where we are standing)". Awesomeness, the night market is just right outside our hostel! 

Barbecued meat sticks 

Japanese Parfait with red bean filling and Hokkaido soft-serve Ice-cream 

Seasoned fried giant squid (My favourite!)

Sweet Potato Balls (My favourite!)

Cheesy-baked potato mussel

Potato Spirals seasoned with curry and seaweed 

Having visited quite a number of night markets in Taipei, I must say that I love Kenting's night market the most. It is one whole stretch of stalls selling food (mainly), with some retail shops behind the food stalls, but still along the same stretch. It is not as messy as most night markets, where there are different zones and sectors. Kenting's night market is as straightforward as it can be, just two stretch of stalls facing each other. Just be very careful about the vehicles when crossing the road.

That's it for Day 1, more to come in Day 2's post where I will share with you the 8 beautiful and scenic sightseeing spots we visited!

Follow more of my Taiwan journey 2015 here:
8 Things to do in Taipei (LaidBack Edition)
Kenting Beaches, Taiwan
Kenting Part 1: Water Sports + Kenting Night Market
Kenting Part 2: 9 Famous Sightseeing Attractions
Hualien Part 1: Nanbin Park + Farglory Ocean Park
Hualien Part 2: Taroko National Park

With Love, Quans

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