Kenting National Park, Taiwan
Located at the southernmost tip of Taiwan, the Kenting National Park offers visitors spectacular landscapes, pristine sandy beaches washed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean, Luzon Strait and Taiwan Strait, and fascinating flora and fauna. Each season brings its own special delights, making Kenting National Park a pleasure to visit at any time of the year.
Kenting National Park was created in order to preserve the unique wildlife, landscapes and cultural heritage of this beautiful part of Taiwan. Millions of local and international tourists enjoy visiting the park each year, and it is undoubtedly the most popular resort area in Taiwan. The west coast features coral reefs teeming with marine life, making this a popular area for scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors who prefer to remain above the water level can view the diverse and colorful marine life of Kenting National Park on a glass-bottomed boat tour, either from the yacht harbor of Houbihu, or Hongtsaikeng-Wanlitung. Other watersport activities available include boating, jet-skiing, parasailing, water-skiing, kayaking, surfing, windsurfing and, of course, swimming.
Extending from north to south, the Hengchun Longitudinal Valley Plain splits the park in two, and the geological features caused by the shifting earth over millennia have created some unique habitats supporting an astounding variety of plants, insects, birds, reptiles and other animals. In addition to the local population of birds, Kenting National Park is host to flocks of migratory birds in autumn and winter. Birding enthusiasts can look out for Crested Honey-Buzzards ( Pernis ptilorhynchus), also known as Oriental Honey-Buzzards, Chinese Sparrowhawk (Accipiter soloensis), Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo), and Brown Shrikes (Lanius cristatus).
There are many caves within the Kenting National Park, each with its own unique display of stalagmites, stalactites and columns, as well as a variety of other geological marvels. Hikers can explore the numerous trails in the park, taking note that some of the magnificent trees along the way are hundreds of years old. The Visitor's Center, located at Tanzihwan, offers directions to various features of the park, guided tours, exhibitions and video presentations to encourage visitors to make the most of their time in Kenting National Park.
Kenting National Park is the venue for the annual outdoor music festival known as "Spring Scream". The festival was started in 1995 by Wade Davis and Jimi Moe, two expatriate Americans, and has become a highlight on the social calendar of many a music-lover. Incorporating the Chinese traditional naming of each year, this year's festival was called Spring Scream Rabbit 2011.