Exploring Kenting & riding in the wind
By Josie Wu
Translated by Ann Lee
The entire award-winning Taiwanese film "Cape No.7" was shot in Kenting, and there's no better time to make your way down that part of the island than before this year's April Spring Scream music festival, or just before the summer arrives. Kenting is a place that never loses its charm, especially at this time of year, when blue skies, ocean breezes and the beach all await visitors. To make it even better, consider taking your bicycle along, allowing you to chase the winds as you ride and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Whether you're a novice or experienced rider, the rich cultural landscape and its biodiversity make this trip very worthwhile. There are a variety of interesting destinations, routes and several resort hotels noted as part of this suggested biking excursion. One route will take you to the newly-opened Yoho Bike Hotel, which itself has planned out 11 bike routes that pass through popular tourist destinations in Kenting (see map).
One of the easier routes passes through Baisha Bay, a seven-kilometer one-way trip that takes about 25 minutes to complete. Meanwhile, an intermediate route takes you to Houbihu Fishing Port, where you can get a taste of the simple fishing culture and serenity of this tiny fishing village. For advanced riders, a route will take you to Szuchung Creek Hot Springs, Eluanbi lighthouse, and around the entire Hengchun Peninsula--117.4 kilometer one-way trip that will take about seven hours to complete. While challenging yourself to this more difficult, longer ride, you'll get to experience the beauty of Hengchun and Manzhou townships.
All bikers pass by Leofoo Resort when riding south on Taiwan Highway 26. Here, there is a golden beach and a government designed and constructed bikeway (costing about NT$120 million) situated just outside the resort. This route is mostly flat with few passing vehicles, making it a safer area to ride with the entire family. One suggested itinerary is to ride straight through to Fu-an Temple, give a prayer to the temple gods, and then enjoy some tasty icy garlic green bean treats at the snack stand just outside the temple.
Another recommended route is taking the County Highway 199 towards Checheng. As the town is famous for its onions, this route is also known as the "199 Onion Road". Spring is the best time of year to harvest onions. Along the way, you'll see cherry blossoms and purple Paper Flowers blooming,creating a romantic setting. Riding at night is even better, as you view the night sky while riding past onion farms. Keep heading up on County Highway 199 and you'll pass Mudan Reservoir and beautiful ginger lilies. Continuing on will take you through to "The Crying Lake" and more great views. At this point, you can opt to connect onto the 199 "Jia" (甲) spur route, for a ride that crosses from the west to east coasts, from the Taiwan Strait to the Pacific Ocean. Finish up by standing on a meadow, overlooking the vast ocean and enjoying the feeling of personal conquest.
It's important to note that Kenting's Yoho Bike Hotel has collaborated with well-known bike company Giant to create Asia's first and only bike-themed hotel. Specially-designed check-in areas allow to do so without even leaving your car. Bicycles are hung on guest room walls for a unique look, and there's a high-tech "bicycle body spa" sponsored by Giant, as well as a bike maintenance shop within the hotel where you can fix any problems at all times.
urthermore, there's a "Biking Camp" available to those who want to learn how to ride a bike, "professional biking rental" services, and the "Maestro Mountain Bike Institute", offering specialized, comprehensive training courses to all. Whether you're a hardcore enthusiast or simply enjoy riding, joining these courses will help you maximize your bike-riding fun.
Yoho Bike Hotel
27-8, WanLi Rd, Hengchun Township, Pingtung County
The Leofoo Resort
6-5, Haikou Rd, Haikou Village, Checheng Township, Pingtung County
* Bike route distances are calculated using YoHo
Bike Hotel as a starting point.
* Because some roads on these routes do not
have street lighting, we strongly advise you to
return to the YoHo Bike Hotel prior to 6 p.m.
* Emergency Numbers------------
YoHo Bike Hotel reception supervisor
2. (08) 889-4172
Longshuei Police Station
3. (08) 889-2704 ext. 253, 208
Hengchun Tourism Hospital (ER)
4. (08) 889-1321Kenting National Park Administrative Office
National Museum of Marine Biology &
One-way: 7 km
Time required: About 25 min
Longluan Lake Natural Center / Sisal
Industry Historical Exhibition Center
One-way: 5.2 km/7.1 km Time required: About 35 min
C. Baisha Bay
One-way: 7 km Time required: About 25 min
Sunset in Guanshan (with steep hills)
One-way: 5.2 km Time required: About 30 min
One-way: 9.5 km Time required: About 35 min
F. Kenting main street
One-way: 13.9 km Time required: About 50 min
G. Houbihu Fishing Port
One-way: 10.7 km Time required: About 40 min
H. Checheng (Fuan Temple)
One-way: 12 km
Time required: About 42 min
Szuchung Creek Hot Spring
One-way: 17 km Time required: About 60 min
J. Eluanbi lighthouse
One-way: 18.5 km Time required: About 70 min
Around the entire Hengchun Peninsula
One-way: 117.4 km Time required: About 7 hours