Baishawan Beach in Kenting (aka White Sand Bay, not to be confused with Baishawan Beach in New Taipei) is arguably the best beach in Taiwan, with excellent sand, warm clear water, warm temperatures year round, and fewer visitors than Kenting Beach.
Kenting was first settled by Chinese during the Qing Dynasty. The word Kenting comes from two 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 pioneers 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.
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).
Baishawan beach was a filming location for Life of Pi, acting as the tropical Mexican shoreline. Baishawan Beach was also named the "Best Kept Secret" beach in the world by BeachTomoto.com.
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 you pass Hengchun, take a right onto Longguang Road and keep going west toward the sea. The beach will be on your right as you travel south on county road 153.
By Bus: Busses leave daily to Kenting from Zuoying HSR station, Kaohsiung Station, and Pingtung. Get off at the Hengchun Bus Station, and then take the 305 Hengchun Bus to the White Sand Bay 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 three times. My latest trip came right after typhoon Nepartak in 2016. As you can see above, the typhoon devastated Kenting. The eye passed right over the Hengchun peninsula.
Baishawan can be hard to get too if you do not have your own transportation. It is off the main road on the west side of Hengchun.
You can park either on the side of the road or on the dirt path north of the beach.
There is a small sand parking lot on the north side of the beach.
There are also showers here, 30 NT per person. And a port-o-potty.
View looking down from the parking lot.
First view of the beach coming down.
View looking south.
View looking north. There are also umbrellas here to rent.
The whitest sand on the main island of Taiwan.
And some amazing blue water. The water gets deep really fast and there are not many shallow parts.
There is also a hostel with a great view on top of the hill above the beach.
The water quality is pretty good here most of the time too, and you can go snorkeling right on the beach.
Jet skiing and being pulled by a jet ski are all popular activites here. For more Jet Ski photos check out the gallery above.
To get a Jet Ski into the water, they have to drive a tractor down the shore. This tractor got stuck for a good ten minutes.
Sun beams over the water.
My sand castle getting destroyed.
For more photos of our trip to White Sand Bay on a weekday see above. Below was my trip during Chinese New Year when there were a ton of people.
The sand and water are truly beautiful at Baishawan. It's everything you could want from a beach.
Crowds can be hit and miss at this beach. Although there are usually less people than Kenting Beach, on weekends and holidays it can feel just as crowded.
Wave crashing into coral rocks on the side of the beach.
Crowds of people waiting to get their feet wet.
This beach also has beach umbrellas for rent. You can also go on a ride on a banana boat or raft behind a jet ski.
Although there are less people that come to this beach, the beach is smaller, and the shore is steeper, so it may be harder to find your own spot on the beach.
Jet ski for rent in the bay.
Another huge wave crashing against the shore.
A couple floating in the water after being tipped over behind a jet ski.
Beautiful white sand on a young man's back.
Cargo ship in the background.
Sun beams over the water at the end of a great day relaxing on the beach.
More photos from a 2021 trip above just after the COVID outbreak when beaches were opened up.
Originally we were planning on going snorkeling near Baishawan at Wanlitong (萬里桐), which is a premier snorkeling spot on a coral reef. On the way we saw the destruction caused by Typhoon Nepartak.
The wind had blown so hard, that all the trees on the east side of this hill had their leaves blown clean off. Over 200 mph winds blew through here.
When we made it to Wanlitong, all the snorkeling shops were still closed down because of the Typhoon. We Also saw that some buildings had been blown down.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more blogs about Kenting!
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.