Sail Rock Beach in Kenting is a small beach near Sail Rock, a large piece of coral rock that broke off the mainland. It features short yellow sandy beach, as well as clear water that is relatively warm year round. In addition, the beach has sunshine for most of the year. Popular activities include jet skiing, water skiing, surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. It has everything you would want from a Kenting beach but it is smaller and there are less people than Nanwan Beach.
Sail Rock is 18 meters tall, and was formed with the upheavel of the Taiwanese mainland, until it broke off from the main limestone shelf that forms the Hengchun Peninsula. Its name comes from its shape which looks similar to a ship's sail.
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).
The facilities at Sail Rock include showers, toilets, rentals, and a parking lot.
Showers and Rentals: about 9 AM to 6 PM
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 pastHengchun into Kenting National Park. Continue past Kenting Street until you see sail rock on the shore.
By Bus: Busses leave daily to Kenting from Zuoying HSR station, Kaohsiung Station, and Pingtung. Get off at Middle Chuanfanshi stop （中船帆石）.
By Plane: There are direct shuttle busses to Kenting from Kaohsing's Xiaogang (KHH) Airport.
Map: Please see below:
I have been past Sail Rock about four or five times. The beach has never seemed too crowded, so it seems like a nice place to enjoy the water without getting barraged by people.
For an overview of the area, see our drone video above.
Or see the 360 degree view in the image above.
View of the beach from the road, with jet skis and boats on the shore. There are paid showers to the left of this photo near the main entrance to the beach.
View looking west.
View to the north.
Last view of Sail Rock before we left.
The sand here is just about perfect.
The beach here is not as large as other beaches in Kenting, but there are also fewer visitors.
Swimmers in the calm water around the rocks.
Looking back to the road.
Looking at Dayuanshan (大圓山).
View of the beach from the air.
View from Sail Rock.
View directly above sail rock.
Another view of the rock from the side.
Wider view of the beach.
View from in the water.
For more photos of this beach, check out the album above.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more 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.