Located right next to the beach is Kenting Street, a great night market for snacking and tourist oriented shopping. It is the main street in Kenting, and at night both sides come alive to become a tourist night market in Taiwan. It may be the most pure tourist night market in Taiwan, with most visitors coming from out of town to enjoy Kenting's warm weather and beautiful beaches.
Kenting was first settled by Chinese during theQing Dynasty. The word Kenting comes from twp words that mean cultivate (ken3 墾) and strong man (丁 ding1). During that time, a group of strong men (or Zhuang Ding 壯丁) came from Guangdong, who were basically Chinese pionners of the area to cultivate the land, hence the area was named Kenting for them.
The area was considered to be made into a park during the Japanese occupation due to it being the only tropical location in the Japanese Empire, but was never officially created.
During the Japanese era Nanwan was used as a whaling area and there were a few fishing villages here.
Kenting National Park was established in 1984 as the first national park in Taiwan after WWII.
Kenting became a major vacation spot, becoming a center for hostels and hotels for travelers.
Kenting is considered by many to have the best beaches in Taiwan. This is because of its fine white sand and year-round warm temperatures and sunshine (it is in the tropical part of Taiwan after all).
Popular treats at Kenting Street Night Market include seafood, and there are many international restaurants on the street, as well as swimming gear. Because most customers are tourists from out of town, prices at this night market are a bit higher than other more localized markets in Taiwan.
6:30 PM - Midnight
When to go:
Summer! It's when the water is warmest and the sun is hottest. However there will be more people in summer, and there could be Typhoons.
Spring and Fall are also good times to go, as there will be less visitors and cooler temperatures.
Winter is an okay time to go as well, it will be warmer than the rest of Taiwan and the water will still be warm enough to swim in.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: Take provincial highway 1 south to the bottom of Taiwan until it becomes provincial highway 26. After that keep going past Hengchun into Kenting National Park. The night market will appear after you reach the Mcdonlads, and there is paid parking nearby.
By Bus: Busses leave daily to Kenting from Zuoying HSR station, Kaohsiung Station, and Pingtung. Get off at the Kenting Bus stop.
By Plane: There are direct shuttle busses to Kenting from Kaohsing's Xiaogang (KHH) Airport.
Map: Please see below:
I have been to Kenting Street Night Market multiple times. It is one of the best places to find food in Kenting, besides downtown Hengchun. Some people have complained that they hate this night market because it is so expensive. I admit the prices here are a bit more in general when compared to other night markets, but you can still find some delicious food here at a reasonable price. Just let me show you.
40 NT onion pancake and 80 NT beef roll. Not terrible.
The price and taste of this is not far off from any other night market in Taiwan.
If you are not into the stalls, there are also quite a few reasonably priced rice and noodle stalls around.
Like this bowl of braised pork noodles for 50 NT.
It's also hard to miss the 20 NT soft serve on the street.
You can't tell me this is an expensive treat.
Also we had some delicious octopus balls on the street 章魚燒.
These were also not expensive either.
And we had a fried chicken steak for 70 NT.
Delicious fried chicken.
Dongshan duck head.
Crowds of people on the street.
Salt water chicken.
Closeup of their menu.
I admit these squid are a little over priced.
Thai fried banana pancake.
Prawn at a seafood restaurant.
Crowds of people in the middle of the street.
Large and juicy squid.
Another view from the middle of the street.
The most busy 7-11 around.
Clams and crab.
Havaianas, a unique clothing shop on the main street.
Sunglasses and accessories for sale.
More views further down the street.
Fried sea snacks.
Beach toys for sale.
Swimwear for sale.
Zebra headed manakin.
100 NT Rechao.
View near the end of the street.
Another view looking down the street.
Liushaoye Seafood Grill.
This seafood grill was once a night club with a giant Gorilla on it that got shut down.
Another view looking down the street.
Different ingredients for sweet red bean soup.
Another view from the middle of the street. Driving a car down this street at night is a nightmare.
Custard apple stand.
Walking to the end of the old street over to the Mcdonalds.
For more photos of the old street, see the gallery above.
For even more photos of the old street, see the gallery above.
Right next to Kenting Night Market isKenting Beach. Go check it out. Even though it is not a swimming beach, it is definitely a nice place to enjoy the sand, waves and water. For our full blog on this beach, click here.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more of our blogs on Kenting to come!
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.