accidental hike in Kenting National Forest Recreation Area – monkey alert!

If you want to see the nature side of Taiwan, go to Kenting.  Then, go to Kenting National Park.  If you only have a couple of hours and want to do an easy hike, go up to Kenting National Forest Recreation Area.  We started the day without planning to do a hike, but the paths in the park were so well developed and maintained, I was able to manage with flip flops and a dress.

From the entrance (see picture below) to the pedestrian gate is 4km (about 2.2 miles).  I suppose you can walk, but we opted to negotiate a ride in a small van, together with another couple of Canadian tourists.

Address : 201 Kenting Park Rd., Hengchun Town, Pingtung County
Tel: (08) 886-1211
Opening hours : 08:00~17:00 (Sep~Nov.06:00~17:00)
 

Kenting, Taiwan

Our park brochure stated that the Visitor Center supposedly provides lockers!?  That can be handy if you need to store luggage somewhere before or after check in/out.  But if you plan to do so, please call and confirm that first.  I don’t guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Kenting, Forest, Taiwan, nature

Within minutes of entering the park, I already found myself ogling over impressive vegetation.  By the way, the hallow part of this tree is big enough for a guy to stand inside.  (yes, for this post, I’ll be using my traveling companion, a 6 ft. tall-guy-in-blue-shirt (a.k.a. GiBS) to illustrate the relative size of the objects.

and please don’t ask me what the trees or flowers are called.  I really wouldn’t know their names, except that they are beautiful.

giant hallow tree

Stalaginite Cave anyone? The first cave we visited was wide and had this impressive formation.  See how much wider the main section is comparing to GiBS?  It probably took million of years to form!  again, please don’t hold me to it.  Maybe someone who knows more about geology reading this post can comment?

staglaginite cave

At another cave, aptly named Silver Dragon, the stalactities and staglaginites (if you don’t know how to tell them apart, here is a quick illustration) formed a long and narrow pathway, as if a dragon was traveling through the mountain.  See now GiBS needs to walk side way to go through?

narrow stagalainite cave, Kenting, Taiwan  narrow staglagnite cave, taiwan

Trees with long, exposed roots were all all over the park.  Somehow I thought of Tomb Raider movies.  hmm…

trees, long roots, intertwined roots

As I mentioned, the walk/hike is pretty easy.  However, you still get all the benefits of breathing in fresh air.

As we hiked further into the park, we were awarded with an awesome coastal view.  This is the tower we climbed up 7-stories for that view.Sea Viewing Tower

Ta-da!  You’re looking at the very south tip of Taiwan island!  To the right, it’s Taiwan Strait.  To the left, you have Pacific Ocean.

On the roof of the building, you have obscured 360 degree view of the lush greenery in the area.  Sometimes you forget, while in big cities like Taipei, that Taiwan is a pretty island in the trolics.

southern tip of Taiwan

and as promised.  Monkey!  Formosa Rock Monkey is a species native in Taiwan. There were a lot of them high up in the trees.  They moved around in groups.  These were the most clear picture I was able to capture with my camera, since they were shy and didn’t come close to say hi.

Taiwan monkey

some more shots of beautiful flowers and butterfly.

   

 

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