Kenting Market - "Massage Time"

Wherever I go in Asia, there seems to be an extraordinary amount of massage parlors (feet, back, neck, etc). Kenting was no exception. One of the creepier things I saw is featured in the top photo. There were several older guys (down a dark alley) sitting next to Hello Kitty chairs... and apparently waiting for customers to come by for a massage. I have no idea what the sign above them means... but I definitely did not want whatever it was that they were selling!

Kenting Night Markets - "The Food"

(other than people watching) My favorite thing about the night markets at Kenting was the food... lots of fresh oysters, squid, sashimi, meat, chicken, fish balls, crabs, curries, various types of fish... and DEEP FRIED OREOs! The deep fried Oreos were probably unhealthy food items I've ever eaten... but they were amazing (so I didn't care). I almost went back for seconds.
The prices were also ridiculously low... you could have a feast for the equivalent of less than $10USD.

Kenting Night Markets - "The Scene"

Just down the street from where I stayed in Nanwan is the town of Kenting. During the day, the main strip is relatively quiet. A few shops might be open selling sunscreen or beachtowels and there also are some lunch places mixed in. However, when I first cruised by during the day, it was basically empty (a lot of the places were closed). I didn't have any desire to go back. However, one of the people I met while surfing convinced me to take the bus down there one night and have another look. It was amazing how this area transforms after the sun goes down. All of the stores open up, neon lights illuminate the sky, restaurants/bars fill with patrons, food vendors line the street on both sides (selling grilled squid, fish balls, korean bbq, grilled chicken, fried oreos, sashimi)... it's a bit of a overload on your senses. If you're ever in the area, I recommend spending a night there (the grilled squid was amazing).

Surf Taiwan

There's no surf in Taiwan?
When I found out that I would have a few extra days at the end of a business trip to Asia, I started thinking about hopping on a short flight to Bali (before coming back to the US). However, there wasn't enough time to go back and forth... and I had never spent time in Taiwan. Therefore, I decided to stay on the island and go exploring. My first thought was to go to Taipei... but after looking at some maps, it seemed like Taiwan would have decent surf in the southeast and east. I asked some friends that lived in Taiwan about my options down south... and their response was similar: "There's no surf in Taiwan". A few people thought there might be waves near Kenting, but were not positive. That didn't discourage me though... if there were no waves, I would enjoy a little beach holiday or go hiking in the mountains down south. Taiwan has an amazing high speed rail network... so it is very easy (and cheap) to navigate the island.

Prior to my departure, I contacted a surf tour agency (The Perfect Wave) that I had used in the past to visit Fiji and the Maldives. They were based in Australia and had extensive knowledge of the SE Asia region. The Perfect Wave put me in touch with Surf Taiwan and I made arrangements for some accommodations down south in Nanwan.

The Surf Taiwan crew was great! They were super accommodating and made me feel like I was part of their family (the constant supply of Taiwan Beer was also nice). My host had the entire coastline dialed in and knew where to go for certain conditions. I was thinking I would be lucky if there were 2 foot waves... but there were waist to head high waves everyday and the water felt like a bath tub (managed to get a mini-barrel one day that no one saw). Another great thing about Taiwan is the lack of crowds... I think my friends meant to say "no one surfs in Taiwan" (instead of "there's no surf in Taiwan"). Anyways, not many people read my blog... so I'm sure that this posting will not lead to a giant influx of surfers to Taiwan.

Hoping that I can come back again soon!

Taking the HSR from Taichung to Zuoying. The commute took less than an hour (wish we had these in the US!)
The beach at Nanwan... no surfing during Typhoons  :(
What you don't see is this image is the giant nuclear power plant to the right. Surfing this place kind of reminded me of surfing at San Onofre.
Surf check!
Yes, there is surf... now let's see how fast I can run down the hill and go through the forest.
The left... good for longboard.
Lonely A-Frame reef break.
Have to be quick on your feet to make the speedy inside section at low tide.
Adios Taiwan!... hope I can visit your beaches again!