Introducing Kenting National Park
Kenting National Park (Kěndīng Guójiā Gōngyuán) attracted massive attention first as one of the settings for Taiwanese director Wei Te-sheng’s hit movie Cape No. 7 in 2008, and later for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi in 2012. But long before this period of cinema-fuelled tourism spike, the park, which occupies the Hengchun Peninsula (the entire southern tip of Taiwan), was already drawing in flocks of visitors who came to swim, surf, snorkel and dive, visit museums, hike and enjoy a little nightlife – all year round. The average January temperature is 21°C and it's usually warm enough for you to swim. In July it can get to a scorching 38°C.
Low mountains and hilly terraces prevail over much of the land in the park, along with rugged high cliffs and sandy deserts. The swimming beaches with yellow sands and turquoise waters are wonderfully suited to recreation, and sightseeing on a scooter or bicycle is highly enjoyable.
The park is a sanctuary for wildlife, including the reintroduced sika deer. In autumn, migratory raptors can be spotted overhead in the tens of thousands, and these are just a few of the 310 bird species recorded in the park.
The national park covers 180 sq km. At the time of writing only the area of Eluanbi required entrance fees, but there were plans to charge entry to more sites from 2014.