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  1. Taiwan Day 1 and 2 : Kenting

    Wednesday, 6 June 2012

    It's finally the beginning of our 8 days 7 nights trip in Taiwan. As we decided on our trip fairly last minute, budget airlines were expensive as well. Hence, we went ahead with Cathay. 
    Counters to get your shuttle bus tickets

    As mentioned in the poster, we took a shuttle bus from Taoyuan Airport to Taoyuan HSR station. You may purchase your tickets at B1 upon arrival at the airport. This is where you can purchase your bus tickets to other places such as hotels or even other parts of Taiwan.



    Shuttle Bus Tickets!



    We also bought prepaid cards from Taiwan Da Ge Da (台湾大哥大) as they were really cheap (500NT for 7 days usage, with unlimited data and 10+ min talking time) compared to you getting the data plan from SG to use in Taiwan. Do note that they only open at 10am so if your flight reaches Taoyuan Airport too early, you will have to wait. The prepaid cards for foreigners are only available at the airport. You would need to present both your passport as well as your IC. Keep the prepaid card with you if you plan to return to Taiwan within 6 months as it can be re-used and topped up at the airport.
    Telecommunication station - You will see it as soon as you exit from the custom

    After 3.5 hours of ride (HSR + Taxi), we finally reached our Minsu - Minimi Inn! :D
    I booked our stay at Minimi Inn via email. They have a Facebook page that contains photos of their rooms as well as the promotions they have. We enjoyed our stay there as Carrie was really helpful in providing us with information to make our stay a pleasant and meaningful one. She arranged for us taxi transfer from Zuoying HSR station which saved us time on travelling. If your minsu does not provide this service, you may choose to take bus there as well. There is a station set up in Zuoying for you to get the tickets! 


    The room was great as it was really spacious and clean. However, you may want to bring along your own towel as the one that they provide is a lil small. 


    After checking in, Carrie arranged for us transport to Nanwan 南湾 for water sports. There was a selection of water activities and we chose the 4 in 1 which costs us 650NT (inclusive of transport). The water sports include banana boat, jet ski, donut floats and etc. We chose randomly from the pictures and the instructor would follow us through the activities. 
     At Nan Wan. The beach would be more crowded from mid-June-July as it's their school holidays.
     Somewhere in the middle, the water activities are lined up.
    The only counter that provides water activities. If you were carrying a small bag, you could stash it with them.

    Basically, the instructor would ride on the jet ski that attaches it to the ride. The first ride that we took came as a shock as I slipped off immediately when the instructor started the ride as we were both standing. Personally, I felt that unless you have really strong biceps and balancing skills, you should sit on the float instead. As the instructor created lots of waves, the ride was really bumpy (not what I was expecting)! After being traumatized as I fell into the sea, banana boat was comparatively more stable. The instructor would ask if you want the boat to capsize but we chose not to as I am definitely not up for another trauma! The third ride involved us lying on our tummy and yes, it was another bumpy ride again. I was really uncomfortable as I did not like the hits on my chest and tummy, also I had to use my biceps to hold onto the grip very tightly in order not to slide off the float. My boy and I tried really hard to weight shift forward and... our float turned upside down! It was another trauma for me and thankfully my boy pushed me out, otherwise, I was trapped below the float. Please do not get frighten by my experience as I'm really not a sports person! Well, the last ride was on the jet ski with the instructor. And.. obviously I grabbed onto him with all my strength as I was really scared. He did not go too fast because I think he knew that I was quite fearful of the rides already, haha! 


    Water sports would be great fun if you were there with a bunch of guys, but the exciting nature of the games is definitely not suited for people with injuries, or who don't have enough strength to hold on for their life. It really takes a huge effort to cling on with whatever you have, well, you could give up and fly into the water but that would be annoying after a while. In all it's crazy, wet, and no doubt tiring fun. You definitely wouldn't want to give their water sports a miss if you're in Kenting and excitement is what you are looking for.


    The one day tour which was included in our package was great as well. You can select the places you want to go (e.g. 船帆石, 砂島, 鵝鑾鼻公園, 台灣最南點 etc.) and the driver would send you there in a private car. Our driver also introduced the places to us and answered our questions to the best of his abilities. He would also drop us at other tourism spots if it was along the way hence making the tour even more fulfilling!


    (1) 龍磐草原 Long Pan Cao Yuan
    Let the pictures do the talking! The view there is really great! Definitely worth a stop to take some pictures and breathe in the fresh air there! :D
    The view there are really breathtaking, especially with the sea breeze and all, it's just so breathtaking. The coastal area below is a nature reserve, so rest assured this beautiful view will be at its best condition.


    (2) 風吹砂 Feng Chui Sha
    According to the driver, the best time to view how the wind blows up the sand would be during the winter season, hence we did not get to see it. However, the driver did point to us where the sand were blown from and it was really far below. The roads would be covered with sand during their winter season and the sand will be cleared so that the roads will still be accessible. Quite interesting! 


    (3) 佳樂水 Jia Le Shui
    This place is all about rock formations from erosion, something similar to Ye Liu 野柳. The tram ride costs 40NT and would bring you around the place. Choose seats that are on the right side of the tram so that you can see the rocks clearly! Perhaps my visual imagination is really poor? I felt that most of the rock formations don't really look like the descriptions given.  Some pictures below for you to judge if it's worth going.
    The guide to rocks which is on the tram
     A rhino!
     A frog!
     A pig lying on its back!
     A face!
    This is a random shot! Spot the cat! :D


    (4) 恒春 Heng Chun
    We arrived at around 2pm and most vegetarian shops were closed. Luckily for us, we found a small vegetarian stall located in an alley. Although small (could only seat 8 people), it had this cozy feeling to it, and the food was good and cheap! (Fried rice and E Mian for 115 NTD)
     The fried rice which tasted awesome even though it looks plain.
     After lunch, the driver bought us to the East Gate of the historical city
    The historical city 古城 has nothing much to offer, so if your one day tour is packed, you could probably give this place a miss. It's only worth some pictures if you like history =)

    (5) 貓鼻頭
    Another rock formation which supposed to look like a cat. We took some time to figure out which rock was the cat by eavesdropping to a random tour guide. 
    Can you spot the cat? We guess that its the mossy rock right in the center. The cat is lying on its tummy and looking left. If you find another catty looking rock, let us know!

    (6) 後壁湖觀光半潛艇
    We don't really recommend the ride as the coral reefs and fishes were really not fantastic. In addition, the boat was moving so much that we both were having sea sick. If you have been to places like Redang, you would really see the difference. Tropical waters are still the best for viewing fishes!

    The boat that we took.
    Dull coloured fishes.
    Inside the boat, clean and neat
    Murky water and dull coloured coral reefs.

    (7) 關山 Guan Shan
    This place is great to view sunset, however, many locals and tourists visit this place during sunset time too. Hence, you either squeeze with them at the viewing platform or stand afar. Sadly, the sky was really cloudy when we were there hence we didn't get a good view of the sunset ):
    Other than the mosquitoes, if you feel lucky, you MUST go to Guan Shan for the sunset. It's really beautiful, just hope that clouds don't obscure your view. There is another cafe at the bottom, which offers a similar view with drinks, but it requires a minimum expenditure of 100 NTD per person.

    (8) 出火 Chu Huo
    It's a small area where natural gases are emitted from underground. Once there's a fire source, the fire will continuously burn. However, fire weakens after a rain which was what happened when we went. According to the driver, there won't be fire during cold season too. 

    Even though they say bbq-ing and fireworks are not allowed, there's a vendor selling popcorn, tapioca and fireworks right outside the park... 
    And so, we got fireworks to play with! (: 
    The fires are supposed to be stronger if it didn't rain right before we came! 


    And that's the end of our 8-hours one day tour around Kenting.

    We settled our dinner for both nights on Kenting Night Market. There are many vendors along both sides of the street, however, some are not opened everyday. Here's a summary of the food we had over the 2 nights.

     The stalls start opening at around 5-6pm.
     My boy's fav! 脆皮汤包! However, it was closed on the 2nd night! ):
    This is a must eat. If you've been to Crystal Jade for Xiao Long Bao, it's similar. Just imagine more juices which spurt out when biting it, and a crispy crust! Sprinkled with sesame seeds and spring onions, 6 of these crispy tang baos win hands down at only 70 NTD.
     I had the salt/pepper flavoured tapioca fries. They were really tasty!
    The flavour of choice is definitely Salt and Pepper 椒盐. There are many of these stalls around, just choose one with the longer queue, you definitely wouldn't go wrong. 
     The crowd comes in at around 7-8pm!
    This stall looks really cool and was playing clubbing songs. So, my boy gave it a try.
    It gave off a really good smell of bbq chicken, and since there was a long queue I just gave it a try. Whilst it tasted pretty good with a lot of juices in the meat, I felt the queue and price (50 NTD) wasn't really worth it. It's an upsized Tori Q, if I were to quote an example. 
     
    Fried prawn balls with different sauces (e.g. tartar sauce, wasabi, cheese) that you can choose from. They offer you 2 sauces to choose from, and since wasabi was out, I had Tartar and cheese, which tasted pretty good! At 50 NTD it's quite worth a try.
    It's the first time we saw pasta sold in a cup, pasar malam style, so we gave it a try! Nothing special, just good for filling tummy! (70 NTD)
     
    I love fried golden mushrooms. Salt/pepper flavour again! Really nice! It's really crispy and well fried. Needless to say, the portions were generous! Golden mushrooms were overflowing so much that we had trouble picking out the first piece to eat.
    Selling cocktails. Do choose to add more alcohol if you were to try it because we felt that the alcohol taste was really weak. At 120 NTD for our "Sixth Sense"cocktail, it was average at most...
     Their popiah skin is slightly thicker than SG's but with the icecream wrapped inside with the peanuts, the taste was really good! Besides, this dessert is hardly found in Singapore, if anyone does know where to get this, let us know!
     Enjoying the dessert! :D
     There was a crowd at this stall so my boy gave it a try.
    All the guys out there, how can a Taiwan trip be complete without eating their famous Chicken Cutlet 鸡排 right? And so I tried this Japanese style chicken cutlet. They had lots of fried tidbits, which I would have given a try if not for my already bloated tummy. As for the chicken cutlet, it was good, but not that special as you could probably find it in Singapore. At 80 NTD, it wasn't that much cheaper too. Moral of the story: Eat from small stalls!
     Wanted to buy chocolate flavour but it was OOS. So I tried peanut flavour instead. The peanut taste was rather weak but overall, it was ok... Think I had nicer ones before...
    The teas are prepared upon order and we had passionfruit red tea!
    I liked the sour taste but my boy didn't really like it!
    The breakfast shop along the Kenting Night Market in the morning. There are very few stalls that are open in the morning. Most stalls open at around 11am to serve customers having brunch.
    I had egg sandwich while my boy had 蛋饼!
    While this is not the most awesome Dan Bing I had in Taiwan, it still tasted pretty good! Dan Bing in Taiwan is hard to describe. Imagine egg roti prata, just without that much flour, but retaining the egg, and wrapping it around the filling of your choice. Be it bacon, ham, or just plain Dan Bing. Never miss out on this, you can find it at most breakfast shops in Taiwan! And remember to try it with their sauces.
     Minimi Inn provided 1 breakfast meal which we had before we left for Kaohsiung. The breakfast stall was located behind Minimi Inn which serves for several other Minsu too. They have a few types of sandwiches to choose from, and a vegetarian option is available too! (:
    And that marks the end of our two days in Kenting! Find the right time to come and you'll be rewarded with great fun, be it water sports or just a one day tour. There are ATVs, and jeeps going on sand dunes, go karts, and plenty more. Find the right company and explore Kenting!





  2. 7 comments:

    1. Anonymous said...

      Chanced upon your blog and noticed you have a fulfilling trip to Taiwan.
      I would like to find out more about the Kenting leg of your trip as will be going soon. Hope you could advise:
      1. How's the Minimi Inn minsu that you stayed in? How much does it cost for a two person room per nite?
      2. Do you have any idea what time does the Nanwan water sports stall close for the day?
      3. Read from your blog that is costy 650NT for a package. What does that package include? 650NT per person? Includes the 1 day taxi tour?
       
      Hope you could share your experience. Many thanks! =)

    2. Hello!
      Sorry for the delayed reply!
      1. Minimi is snuck away in an alley, which joins up to the main roads, so it's pretty accessible. You wouldn't be far from the night market as well as electric scooter rental stalls. The Minsu itself doesn't have a lift, and if you heavy luggage you would have a slightly tough time lugging it up the 3 floors, if you stay on the 3rd. As for the cost, do refer to point 3.

      2. The sports stalls close before sunset. Although this is not confirmed, I do recall them still operating at 4+ pm to 5.

      3. Minimi Minsu offers a package of 1 day tour, 2 nights stay, and taxi transfer to Zuoying HSR station at 6130 NTD for 2 pax. You could email them if you need more information. The 650 NTD is purely for the sea activities, which include 4 games out of 8 (of your choice) and the transport to and from your lodging. Hope this answers your question! We can't answer the cost of room as we opted for the package =)

    3. Anonymous said...

      Hi,
      Would like to check with you how to locate the water sports stall? Is there more than 1 such sports stall that provides water activities?

    4. Hello there!

      Well if you ask to be transported to nan wan for water sports they will most likely drop you off near the stall. As far as we could remember there was only one stall. However you will see lots of posters in cafes and eateries so there are quite a lot of agents. There shouldnt be much of a price difference although it would be better to go to the beach and observe first before making your decision.

      In any case the stall is located on some sort of a slipway down to the beach so it should be quite hard to miss. Cheers!

    5. Anonymous said...

      hi. do you have the driver contact? im doing a similar program like yours.thanks

    6. Sandra Chan said...

      Hi Sheena,
      Read your blog on Kenting and was impressed. Thanks for the details on all location and also those lovely pictures. Can you email me Minimi MinSu's email so that I can contact Carrie directly? Many thanks. My email is snowytraveller@gmail.com

    7. Jean said...

      Hey Sheena, thanks for sharing your travel experience with us. Really like your blog, and looking forward to see you post more travels. My friend told me I should go to Eluanbi Park in Kenting, have you been there and how do you like it? I cant find much real information about it, except in this itinerary(https://www.43km.co/published_trips/2d91a628-c1a5-4b3e-be93-a72d1ad9d318), please provide some comment. Thanks!

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