What to Do on Taiwan’s Southern Coast

Taiwan’s southern coast sits at about the same latitude as Kauai and Cabo San Lucas, and has tropical beaches of the same caliber. West-facing Baisha Wan (which means “white sand beach”) is popular with sunbathers, while Jialeshuei is where the surfers hang out. Kenting—a laid-back beach town—is the main hub for tourists, but a number of boutique B&Bs are tucked away along Taiwan’s southern coast. There are also geological oddities along the coast that range from the spectacular to the novel.

No. 27-8, Wanli Road, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946
Asia’s first bike hotel, YOHO Bike Hotel in Shanhai, Kenting, Taiwan. The hotel is geared toward bikers, with 68 rooms featuring bike racks, an onsite Giant bike rental and tour agency, a bike maintenance area, a bikers lounge with a projection screen for photos, bikers message board, and cycling magazines, cyclist training courses, an Off-Road Experience Center, a special VIP check-in for cyclists and more. The hotel will give you a map of the area so you can bike to the many attractions, like the National Museum of Marine Biologic Aquarium, Shih Chunghsi Hot Springs, Lake Lunglunan Bird Watching Center, Maopitou Park, Kenting Forest Recreation Area and downtown Kenting. Staying at the YOHO Bike Hotel is a great way to explore Taiwan’s rich cycling culture.
No. 259之2, Hengdong Road, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946
The ChuHuo Eternal Flame (恆春出火) just outside of Hengchun in the far south of Taiwan is definitely worth a stop. Natural gas seeps up from the earth and ignites on this otherwise dead area of rock and sand ground. There are several areas of fire to see and, on at busy times, there are vendors in the parking lot who will sell you popcorn to pop over the eternal flames.
2號 後灣路
Not far from Baisha Beach on a fairly remote stretch of coastline is one of Taiwan‘s finest attractions: the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium (國立海洋生物博物館). Despite the odd local, this world-class aquarium is sure to impress. The massive, modern structure houses everything from whale sharks (pictured here) to exotic fish from around the world, to an enormous cold-tank full of penguins. Although it’s a bit out of the way, this should not be missed.
946, Taiwan, Pingtung County, Hengchun Township, 白砂路
My photo does not do this beach justice. Flanked by coral, Baisha (which means “white sand” in Chinese) Beach is possibly the most beautiful beach on the island. Just outside of Kenting, this beach is popular with visitors year-round. There are several hotels nearby as well as two campgrounds. It is rare to hear that somebody has traveled to the south of Taiwan without stopping by this gorgeous place.
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