Wanlitong is one of the premier scuba diving and snorkeling spots in Taiwan, and sits inside Kenting National Park. The waters here are clear and full of coral and sea life. Other popular activities here are kayaking, SUPing and eating seafood.
The waters of Wanlitong have one of the highest concentrations of coral and sea life in Kenting National Park. Underneath the water is its own underwater coral forest park.
Kenting was first settled by Chinese during the Qing 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.
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).
Snorkeling: 300 NT per hour (or thereabouts).
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 then turn right on Wanli Road. The village will be on your left.
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 101A to Xiaowanlitong bus station.
By Plane: There are direct shuttle busses to Kenting from Kaohsing's Xiaogang (KHH) Airport.
Map: Please see below:
I have been to Wanlitong twice. The first time was during a Typhoon and even though there was a sea warning, the water was calm and there were still people snorkeling here. Still, most snorkeling shops were closed anyway because their business had been ruined by the Typhoon. The second time was on a nice day and lots of people were out to play.
The main bay area where most people go out to sea, as seen from the road.
Be careful not to enter the red area which is a protected area. If you get caught, there is a fine.
Another view of the people getting in the water.
There are multiple scuba gear, snorkeling, kayaking, and SUP rentals here in the village.
Beautiful clear water.
If you look carfeully you can see people snorkeling.
People gathering near the small beach.
People beginning to snorkel in the shallows.
Another view of the shallow water near the village.
Perfectly clear and calm water here.
Check out more photos of the area in the photo gallery above.
A little further down the coast, we visited Shanhai Harbor, which has some great sushi.
View of Shanhai Harbor.
You can also take a glass half submarine here and enjoy the sea life.
Another view of the fishinf harbor.
The road stops here.
This is another protected area.
Fresh sushi for 100 NT a plate.
It was not a joke, this plate was 100 NT.
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.