Fairy Cave in Kenting National Forest Recreation Area is the longest limestone cave in Taiwan, and right next to it is Silver Dragon Cave. These two caves are some of the most beautiful and easily accessible limestone caves in Taiwan. Next to the caves there is also a tower with a cafÃ© and viewing platform that offers amazing panoramic views of the Hengchun Peninsula. You should definitely stop by on your next trip to Kenting.
Kenting was first settled by Chinese during the Qing Dynasty. The word Kenting comes from twp words that mean cultivate (ken3 å¢¾) and strong man (ä¸ ding1). During that time, a group of strong men (or Zhuang Ding å£¯ä¸) 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.
Fairy Cave is 120 meters long and includes features such as buddhas ear, south pole man, and milk waterfall. Silver dragon cave is 30 meters long and is so named because of the dragon like rock feature inside.
8 AM to 5 PM
Kenting Forest Recreation Area å¢¾ä¸åå®¶æ£®æéæ¨å: 150 NT per person
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 and take Sheding Road to the Kenting National Forest Recreation Area parking lot.
By Bus: Busses leave daily to Kenting from Zuoying HSR station, Kaohsiung Station, and Pingtung.
By Plane: There are direct shuttle busses to Kenting from Kaohsing's Xiaogang (KHH) Airport.
âMap: Please see below:
I have been to Kenting National Forest Recreation area only once. Most of my visits to Kenting have been to the beach only, but Kenting also has amazing and beautiful forests, as you can see in the blog below.
View of the parking lot with tower in the background.
Near the parking lot is the Kangzhuang Memorial, which is a memorial to the mudan incident. âThe Mudan incident occurred when a group of shipwrecked sailors from Rykukyu were massacred by indengious tribesmen in Taiwan. The incident was a pretect for Japanese takeover of Taiwan.
"Seaview Flower Gallery"
"About 3 million years ago the Hengchun Peninsula was still under the sea. Successive thrusting of the Eurasian Continental and Philippine Sea plates gradually uplifted the land of the recreation area to the relatively high level we find today. From here we have a view of the local scenic spots of Mt. Dajian (Dajianshan), Maobitou, Cingwashih (Frog Rock) and Kenting Main Street. Seaview Tower offers a 360-degree panoramic view, taking in the Pacific Ocean, Bashi Channel, Taiwan Strait, and Eluanbi Lighthouse. In September and October, you can also see the migrant grey-faced buzzard and Chinese sparrowhawk from here."
View from the road looking down at Kenting Street.
Another view of the coastline below.
Looking down at Frog Rock.
Wide view from the parking lot.
It is kind of a long walk from the parking lot over to the caves, about 1 KM or so.
Along the way are lots of grassy areas and shady places to rest.
Also there are a few gardens with stone pathways.
More people walking along the asphalt roads.
You can see more photos of the park above.
Signs describing the wetland plants in the area.
You can also try out orienteering here.
Basic map of the recreation area. I didn't see any monkeys while I was there.
Finally I made my way to the visitor's center.
View outside the visitor's center.
View inside the visitor's center.
Another map of the are.a
More gardens near the visitor's center.
Inside the visitor's center.
First blurry view of the trail.
The trail cuts through some limestone rocks here.
Closer view of the trail through the rocks.
This trail is beautiful because of all the coral rock formations in the woods.
More of this unqiue forest.
More paths through the rocks.
Fairy Cave ä»æ´
This is the outside of Fairy Cave, the largest limestone cave in Taiwan.
There is a sign that tries to explain the geological processes going on.
Fairy cave sits 290 meters above sea level and is 137 meters long. Rainwater erodes the cave and leaves interesting formations.
View at the front of the cave.
Another view into the entrance.
There is a railing that goes trough most of the cave.
First view of the formations in the cave.
Looking up at the roof of the cave.
Another view through the cave.
Lotus lamp formation.
The cave is fully lit up the whole time.
Another view of the rock waterfall.
The moon goddess Chang E.
Rock fall in the middle of the cave.
More of the caves insides.
Steps to the outside.
View of the back entrance to the cave.
It's common for vines to "strangle" trees here.
Like this one.
Sea View Tower è§æµ·æ¨
One of the best parts about this recreation area is the sea view tower.
You can choose to take the stairs or elevator to the top.
At the top is a snack bar, tables, and great views.
It is a great place to relax and enjoy the amazing scenery.
And there is free water here.
View of the southern tip of Taiwan.
View of Dajian Rock.
Because of currents coming from the south, Hengchun is warm year round.
Description of rocks in the horizon.
Dry north to south winds blow down from the mountains in winter.
On a good day, you can see orchid island from here, and older geological shorelines.
You can see more views from the tower above.
Another map of the area.
Silver Dragon Cave éé¾æ´
View of the entrance to silver dragon cave, which is smaller than Fairy cave but has a cooler name. It is right next to the sea view tower.
Silver Dragon Cave is 280 meters above sea level and 30 meters long. The inside of the cave glisten like scales of a silver dragon.
View inside the cave.
Is this the dragon?
The cave gets very narrow here.
View looking up.
This cave is way more narrow than Fair Cave.
Finally we can get out of this cramped hole.
âStay 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.