Maobitou Park is a coral and limestone cliff area with viewing platform that offers amazing panoramic views of the Hengchun Peninsula. There are also many interesting rock formations such as a rock that looks like a cat, as well as plants and wildlife. You should definitely stop by on your next trip to Kenting.
Maobitou is the dividing line between the Taiwan Strait and the Bashi Channel in the Pacific Ocean. There is one prominent rock here that looked like a cat to local residents, hence the name of the area Maobitou 貓鼻頭, literally meaning cat rock.
After uplift of the Eurasion Plate due to Collision with the Pacific plate, the rocks here have been thrust up from the sea over thousands of years. Now that they are exposed to wind and rain, the rocks here have taken on odd shapes and made giant holes and crevices.
The water between Maobitou and Houshanbi Harbor is clear and full of sea life, and is one of the most diverse environments in Taiwan.
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 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.
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).
8 AM to 5 PM
30 NT per person
Parking: 40 NT for cars or 10 NT for scooters.
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 turn right on highway 153 and keep left until you see the signs to Maobutou.
By Bus: Busses leave daily to Kenting from Zuoying HSR station, Kaohsiung Station, and Pingtung. From Hengchun Bus Station, you can take shuttle bus 102 to Maobitou Bus Stop.
Please see below:
I have been to Maobitou Park once and it was hot. Be prepared to sweat and hike. It is kind of a steep climb to the top but it is worth it.
The parking lot here is quite large but there is no shade.
There are also multiple bathroom locations, and the whole place is very wheelchair friendly.
After paying 30 NT, you can finally enjoy this view.
There is also a wheelchair and stroller friendly ramp up the hill here.
You can also enjoy views from the cliff here.
This is one of the most pristine coral coastlines in the world.
Looking back down from the wheelchair ramp.
The strange rocks at Maobiti.
The rock on the far left there is the one that looks like a cat.
Fishing ships heading back to harbor.
Another view of this beautiful coastline.
Another view of the Maobitou coastline and cliffs.
"Cat Rock is a limestone block that extends out to sea from the rock strata at Hengchun. Wind and wave erosion have carved it into the shape of a crouching cat, lending the area its name, Maobitou. Maobitou lies at the boundary between the Taiwan Strait and the Bashi Channel. Along with Cape Eluanbi, it is one of the two southernmost headlands in Taiwan.
"The Warm Kuroshio Current"
"The Kuroshio Current flows southward along the coasts of Taiwan. The main current passes buy on the east coast of the island and continues to low north to Japan. The branching current passes by on the west coast ad flows through the Taiwan Strait heading north. The current contributes to the abundant marine life in Kenting. Due to the current, the sea temperature in Kenting remains at Twenty one to thirty degrees Celsius year round, which is perfect for coral reefs to flourish and also brings floating seeds northward from the southeast."
Map of the natural sights in Kenting, like Frog Rock, Sail Rock, and Eluanbi.
More descriptions of sights in Kenting such as Mt. Dajianshi and Mt. Dashanmu.
View looking back at the visitor center from the top of the mountain.
Another view of the cat rocks from the top of the hill.
Explanation of various coastal landscape features.
Marine potholes formed by waves erode into rocks.
You better watch your step here.
A coast guard tower in the distance.
Giant boulders on top of the mountain.
View towards the ocean.
Another view of the coral coastline.
There appears to be a trail down there.
I am not sure how you would get down there, but it looks like a nice walk.
Check out more photos of the area in the photo gallery above.
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.