Do You Know the Way to Kenting Bay?

Bright lights…small city

We are on a mission. A mission to find sunshine and a beach.

Kenting is just about as south in Taiwan as you can go, and that’s where the beaches are. We take a train ride to one town, then catch a two hour long bus ride to Kenting. Overall, it’s easy and comfortable travel, if you ignore the tassels on the bus window curtains hitting against your face. It’s also quite relaxing, though the scenery is stunning.

View from Kenting Beach

By the time we arrive in Kenting, it’s close to dinner time, and the night market that lines the main street is just starting up. Neon lights start humming, and food starts frying. Soon, the heady night air will be filled with the scent of spicy squid (squeeeee!), bubbling hot prawns, and salty sea taste.

We walk to one beach, a pleasant alcove just below town, and then we head back up to the main street again to explore the night market. There, just above the large hotel by the water, is the familiar sign – the green mermaid. Sarah doesn’t even have to ask; she instinctively knows that I want a Starbucks. Alright, I am a sell out to globalization, but usually only when it comes to my coffee.

Kenting Main Street Night Market

With my frapp in hand, we venture down the street, checking out the wares of various carts and stores, curiosities at every turn. I get a big bag of “squid formerly on a stick” (squeee!) and a milk tea (nai cha) once my frapp is gone, and we continue on our way, up and down the street. Kenting is a night market paradise, and it’s a foodie-gone-wild world. You can dig into a large bag of barbequed snails, flayed chicken on a stick, tacky taffy fruit on a stick, squid, prawns, sweet potato fries with a sweet plum dust sprinkled on them, scallion wraps, unidentifiable pig parts, etc, etc.

After a long stroll up and down the street, I settle on one more naicha (addicting!) and a few cups of sliced fruit – wax apples, guava, papaya, and dragonfruit. Our hotel is smackdab in the middle of the busy street, which means we have a dance party in our room. The DJ across the street is playing music loud enough to wake the dead in California, and we can just hang out and listen without being in the crowd.

Ear plugs. They are a beautiful invention.

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