Kenting is a definite beach vacation playground in Taiwan. Millions visit yearly and we saw almost innumberable tour buses coming and going to sites throughout the southern tip of the island.
We awoke our first morning to a downpour, but Emma and Sam were insistent on going to the beach. They spent the morning in the rain and as the day passed, the rain diminished. As adults, our first thought with the rain, was what will we do on a beach vacation if it keeps raining, but that didn’t stop the kids in the least.
Sam, true to form, dug and swam, dug and swam and even made friends with Taiwanese teenagers in his tunneling exploits. He was noticeably happier the whole trip-he has always been our fish. We stayed in Nanwan (which means South Bay) a very small community a few miles from Kenting and were right across the street from the beach. The kids swam much of the day, and Tom relished taking pictures of the scene…the irony of a nuclear power plant pouring warm coolant discharge into the ocean at the edge of the beach where we swam.
In the evenings, we went to Kenting for the night market there…night markets have the feel of a really crowded county fair, complete with food stalls, vendors, games and performers.
We’ve been to quite a few in various towns and cities and they are lively spots, teeming with humanity. In Taipei last week, we experienced some kind of Buddhist/Taoist temple celebration complete with fireworks that never seemed to stop and billows of smoke that kept coming closer and closer to us . Kenting was very small scale just located on the main street and not too crowded since it was a weekday.
Our second day was the DAY of the SUNBURN. Too much time in the sun, sunscreen stolen, inside by lunchtime, but Sam and particularly Emma were both burned, so we stayed away from the beach for awhile. That evening we met Dutch tourists on the beach and found that Kenting has 2 beaches on either end that are open to the public, but a huge space in between that is closed for safety reasons.
Sam found a section of beach that bordered on an area where wild dogs supposedly roam. He was unnerved by that, but all the dogs we came across just looked like survivors.
Day three, we rented a scooter which turned out to be a great choice….easier to see the whole area quickly and get a better feel for the region. We had spent much time waiting for unreliable shuttle buses, so being in control of our transportation was better.
Tom carted us around to a national park and various coastal areas with landmarks and there were gorgeous views and charming spots.
Adoption Update: We were finally able to video chat with Han-han our first real day in Kenting. Considering language barriers and age limitations, it was relatively successful. Can you imagine a 3 year old being told that the faces on the computer screen will be his parents; he is in a foster home-he has a family in his own mind I’m sure. As a side note, we had been told that he hadn’t gotten our packages (sent in Feb and Apr), so we knew he didn’t have very much context about us since the missing package contained a picture album of our family. BUT, seeing that sweet face made it so much more real and was a moving experience for Tom and me.