Day 2 (morning) in Kaohsiung/Kenting: Eluanbi Park

The sunlight streamed through the curtains onto us. It was the start of the second day! There was no trace of the heavy rain the night before. We got ready to go out for breakfast! Slipping into our flip flops once again, which together with our shoes had mysteriously changed positions – Mr. Ma, munching on his bread at the sofa at the lobby, said he moved them to protect them from the rain (thank you!) – we made for the main street! This time, however, it was completely deserted – as if whatever happened last night didn’t happen! The stalls were nowhere to be found, the shops were shuttered, and there was absolutely no one in sight! Except for other breakfast-seekers, of course!

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One of the places that weren’t shuttered was Kenting Huo Li Zao Can, or (my own translation) ‘Kenting Lively Breakfast’ haha. Given the reasonable prices (especially compared to another breakfast place), we decided to stock up on energy there! We ordered garlic toast, danbing (egg rolls) as well as orange juice; after which, we checked out of Dragonfly 100 guesthouse. Leaving our bags at the guesthouse, we crossed the street to the bus stop where we alighted the day before to board the bus towards Eluanbi Park, where the famous lighthouse was situated.

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We had our reservations about the efficiency of the bus services in Kenting, since many travellers who went there before rented electric scooters to get around. However, we were proven wrong when the bus we needed to take arrived promptly (according to the written time on the bus stop sign)! The road to Eluanbi Park was long, and there was an attraction that could be seen from the bus – Sail Rock! Originally, we wanted to alight to have a better look, but in order to keep to our tight schedule, we settled for a passing glance, which worked too.

Although the road seemed long, the bus was fast – it reached Eluanbi Park in just under 10 minutes! We walked between two rows of different kinds of trees to an open compound. The ticketed area was further in front! There were already quite a few tourists from a tour group loitering outside, but we bounced past them and bought tickets from the booth (NTD 60)! Seeing that they were headed straight for the lighthouse, we decided to take the path less travelled, and visit the attractions in reverse order, culminating at the lighthouse.

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It began as a comfortable paved road down the right that led to some trees (not dense enough to be considered a forest, I think). We just followed the signs that said ‘Sea Pavilion’. Soon, we reached the base of large coral rocks. Midway upon climbing up the wooden stairs built onto their sides, we saw the Kissing Rocks in front of us! The Kissing Rocks were two coral rocks that almost gently touched each other, as if they were kissing! The negative space formed by them could be imagined to be in the shape of Taiwan! Beyond them, there were people fishing in the sea.

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Two more flights of stairs up, and we were greeted with this beautiful view …

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… which I can safely say overlooks the whole of Kenting’s south coast! One could even make out Xiaowan in the distance! We spent a long time just staring at the vast, vast sea, letting the wind blow in our faces and hair. After some time, we had to tell ourselves it was time to go … but we truly hope to be back again! Following the winding designated path around the rocks, we wound up at another viewing platform – one that was lower, but closer to the sea! The sea breeze was so cooling! There were people who made it onto the coral rocks themselves, and we wondered to ourselves how they did it.

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Next, we ventured past dark caves and into a series of narrow tunnels, all of which were formed by more rocks! There was a ‘mystery cave’ that had no passageway through and a ‘narrow gorge’ which we had fun walking through, stopping throughout to take photos of each other haha 🙂

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Emerging from the rock formations, we found ourselves in the open once again, and even stumbled upon rows and rows of palm trees in an open field (and did a little iconic Bollywood dance around one of them)! We were soon approaching the lighthouse! True enough, a pathway through a series of tall bushes led us to where the lighthouse stood, as well as the plains in front of its compound. Unfortunately, our plan to walk in the reverse direction may or may not have worked, as there were still quite a number of tourists frolicking about – the consolation was that their presence made the place a little livelier! We saw a group of Taiwanese students laughing at two of their friends trying to carry each other, and countless other groups trying to do jumpshots in front of the lighthouse. Not wanting to miss out, we did our own at the grass fields leading down to the sea! It was a rare sight to see the horizon, where the sky and sea met, placed even higher than the land!

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These postcard-pretty photos that Eluanbi Park gave us made it one of the best places we went to on this trip! We did not, however, manage to find the southernmost point of Taiwan, which, in hindsight, probably would have been down the path to the right of the lighthouse. We did enter the walled compound around the lighthouse, though! The only lighthouse in the world that was protected and armed, the walls used to house cannons in the past to ward off aboriginal invaders. Eluanbi Lighthouse was also known as ‘The Light of East Asia’ for its strong beam and excellent visibility to ships all around. We took a long time for the passers-by to move out of the background before we got the perfect shot! Thank you to all those we had to wait behind our camera!

Other than the lighthouse, there was a museum inside the compound as well, providing historical context to all those who visited! Also, we added quite a few Eluanbi stamps to our burgeoning collection!

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Walking down the palm trees and enjoying the breeze was a refreshing experience. Once we exited through the orange gates, there were souvenir shops selling all kinds of memorabilia. We considered buying some postcards to remind us of the time we spent here, but decided to keep our money for better uses in the end – our photos and stamps would be enough! We checked out the side road I saw leading to the shore, thinking that it was where the southernmost point was, but it just led to an ordinary breakwater. We were greatly disappointed! 😦

We munched on our Oreo wafer sticks while waiting for the bus (a makeshift lunch), and it didn’t take very long to come. 9188 for the win! For our next stop, we had to get off at Kenting Street and change buses!

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