TW: Kenting Day 1
In the morning, we woke up and had a nice breakfast with a great view of the city from our room. We relaxed and had a slow morning before packing up and taking a shared taxi down to Kenting. They have a shared taxi service (very common if you ask around) that is $350NT a person and takes just under two hours which isn’t bad at all.
On the ride down, we stopped at a fruit stand and ate some fresh fruit. The owner said we could eat as much free samples as we wanted so I ate and ate and ate! Of course I eventually bought a few from him because the fruit was so good that I had to take some for the road. See the pictures below of the amazing Taiwanese fruits they had including wax apples, persimmons, and sugar apples.
When we arrived in Kenting, we stopped by the old district in town and had some lunch at a small popular noodle joint.
Cho Shiang Yi Mien: they hand made the noodles in front of us and this bowl cost $1.25USD!
This was our side dish which included extremely delicious items such as pig meat, pig intestines, and pig skin…mmm!
And afterwards, we walked around and bought some of this:
The making of Red Bean Cake!
One of the main reasons that I wanted to visit Kenting was to surf. We tried staying at Afei hostel but ended up switching at the last second. Why? Below are a few reasons why I switched and please skip it if you don’t care for reading my rant on why you should not stay at A-fei Surf Hostel.
1. Board Rental. The boards they had for rent were expensive and crap. Half of them did not have fins and they won’t let you borrow wax or a wax comb. You have to buy it. The lady behind the desk actually laughed at me when I asked if I could borrow a stick of wax. Also, one of the workers there accidentally put his board in the rental rack and then cussed me out when I touched his board and then yelled at his friend for putting his board in the rental rack. I ended up renting at a place to the right of A-fei called Beach House. The owner was really nice and helped me pick out a board and was lenient on the hours and pricing. They also let me borrow some wax (for free) and stored the board on the side of the entrance for me because I told them I wanted to dawn patrol the next morning and also told me when the best times were to paddle out. Great people and very friendly.
2. Rooms. You don’t actually stay at the A-fei surf store that is located across the street from the beach, they drive you to the place fifteen minutes away. Oh yeah…and you have to pay for the ride over every time you want to go surf which they charge $5 USD/person. There are tons of other places to stay at the boardwalk which is what we eventually did. We stayed at Yo-Yo Inn which was cleaner, had nicer rooms and service, had wifi in the rooms (Afei doesn’t), and was $900NT cheaper per night. The only reason A-fei does so well is because they’re the only surf hotel/rental that has a website in the little down of Nanwan and have pretty much monopolized all of the business from international surfers who research Taiwan surfing online. I would recommend just showing up here and just walking around to find a place.
3. Friendly Service. Or lack there of. The lady behind the desk on the other hand was a complete B…which if you know me, I have probably maybe only used that word once in my life…maybe…in reference to a human female. She pretty much didn’t give a rip about us the second we arrived. When I tried talking nicely to her, she would slip in comments like, “well, that’s your problem isn’t it?” I could deal with crappy boards and expensive rooms but if I’m your customer and you’re just flat out being a jerk, it’s really easy to take my business elsewhere. The only time she was somewhat friendly was when I grabbed my bags and started walking out and even then “friendly” is very generous word to describe how she was. It sucked too because I bumped into A-fei, the owner, was when I was walking out. What a shame because from my two minutes of interaction with him, I could tell that he was a pretty cool guy. Too bad the lady ruined it for him and lost all of my future business and any of my friends who wants to go down there.
Back to my post.
All the boards at A-fei…that you can’t rent and they yell at you for touching.
Anyway, after all that turmoil…I needed to relax and sit in the ocean. When we drove by earlier that day, it was pumping. When I went out it looked like this.
That’s me with my where-are-all-the-waves-I-saw-earlier?!? look
A few smaller waves did roll through eventually.
This is what I flew out to Taiwan for!…not
The waves were double over ankle but they were really really fast. Whatever. By the time I finished, it was time for dinner and hitting up the night market.
The awesome bathroom at Yo-Yo Inn
The first day in Kenting was overall a good one. I got to surf and eat some more delicious Taiwanese food and aside from the hiccup at A-fei Surf Hostel, it was a great day.