Friday, June 1, 2012


Our last weekend in Taiwan we took a trip down to the southern part of Taiwan to the serenity of Kenting (pronounced Kend-ing). As you leave the city and travel along the countryside, it is only a matter of hours before you find yourself amidst the tropics of Kenting. Kenting looks something like this from the train:

When we arrived, Kenting took on a new look:

We found out later that it only rains somewhere around 30 days a year in Kenting, which I found amusing that our quick three day weekend managed to catch that less than 1% chance. A few rain drops was not about to stop our beach weekend that we had been looking so forward to.

Kenting is your quintessential beach town helping make me feel quite at home as the smell of salt water wisps past you and gets caught up in your hair. It consists of one main road where all the shops are located and a night market that takes up the entirety of this street as soon as the sun goes down.

On our main day there, we all rented mopeds and drove them all around. Needless to say, I was nervous because anything that has an engine and transports me on wheels does not settle well with me (refer to two blog posts ago). Most people in my group were partnering up because about half of our group had never driven a moped before, let alone one in Taiwan. Considering one of my first interactions with a moped consisted of my standing next to the bike, my brother letting go of the stationary scooter, followed by the bike (with me attached to it) toppling over less than two seconds after he let go, I decided to follow suit and buddy up with one of my friends. I questioned the group until I found the most experienced moped driver where we then split the cost to rent it for the day, grabbed our helmets, and drove off along the southern coast of Taiwan. We were not required to have an international drivers license or even a regular drivers license, just a word of mouth that we knew how to drive these things. Our motto quickly became, “what happens in Taiwan stays in Taiwan.” We drove to multiple beaches and also made a pit stop at the southern most point of Taiwan. (Insert note: “we drove” really means Marissa drove and I rode gleefully on the back.) Fortunately the rain let up for most of the day and we were able to experience some of the beauty Kenting has to offer.

Marrissa and I
The rest of our clan

Heading down to the beach
Coming out of that tunnel
That is only half of our mopeds. We probably looked intimidating with all of our bikes racing down the streets.
Yes we are actually driving the moped in this picture. And yes, those chin straps are super sexy. It's okay to be jealous.

Trying to be native Taiwanese... fitting in between the two cars at the red light
Touching the southern most point of Taiwan!
Poor Marissa had to drive the moped all day because I knew I was incapable of helping out. Eventually we decided to try and see if I was up for the task. I managed to go straight down the street, but apparently missed the concept of putting your feet on the moped. Maybe next time! (I will try to see if I can upload the video for it later because its not working right now.)

Our weekend was full of food, fun, fast drivers, and a fair amount of shopping. It was the perfect getaway! Much to our surprise, it continued to poor down rain on our journey back up to Tainan where we would finish up our last week working in the hospital there. Time was winding down and the thoughts of leaving were bittersweet!

P.S. I also got the chance to visit the largest sitting Buddha later that weekend! It was so cool!

Bright pink rain coat

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