Xiaowan Beach in Kenting (aka Little Bay) features beautiful white sand and a long, flat 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 , surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Located right next to the beach is Kenting Street, a great night market for snacking and tourist oriented shopping.
Kenting was first settled by Chinese during theQing 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.
During the Japanese era Nanwan was used as a whaling area and there were a few fishing villages here.
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 Xiaowan include changing rooms, showers, toilets, rentals, and a parking on the side of the road.
Nanwan Beach: 8:30 AM to 9 PM
Kenting Street Night Market: 6:30 PM - Midnight
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 Kenting Street. There is parking next to the side of the road near the beach.
By Bus: Busses leave daily to Kenting from Zuoying HSR station, Kaohsiung Station, and Pingtung. Get off at the Xiaowan Beach stop （小灣）.
By Plane: There are direct shuttle busses to Kenting from Kaohsing's Xiaogang (KHH) Airport.
Map: Please see below:
I have been to Xiaowan three times, and I can say it is a nice beach. It is nicer than any beach in northern Taiwan. But there are often too many people and life guards watching.
Check out our drone video above for an overview of the area
Or see above just for footage of Frog Rock.
Or check out the 360 degree spherical panorama above.
No jet skis or fireworks allowed.
First view of the beach.
Restaraunt that was closed due to the pandemic.
Showers here are 50 NT a pop.
Here there are two swimming areas.
You can also see Frog Rock clearly in the distance.
Nice, light colored sand.
Another view of the beach. Seemed to be a bit dirty that day.
Pano frame by frame of the beach above.
Closeup on Frog Rock.
View of the beach in the morning.
Small pool with reflection of Frog Rock.
Check out more photos of the area in the photo gallery above.
I also noticed there is a secret walkway to Ceasar's Palace Hotel here. It seems that the hotel has claimed this beach as their own, even imparting visitor hours.
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.