From Taichung, it is quite easy to get to Kenting but it can take you about half a day of traveling if you choose to take trains/busses (by car it takes about 3-4 hours). We took a 2 hour train ride from Taichung to Kaohsiung (which I really didn't mind since it gave me some time to catch up on my sleep). From the train station we arrived at in Kaohsiung (not sure what the exact name of it is) we took a metro to the Zuoying Station where we would catch an express bus to Kenting. The bus was very cheap and had wifi (!!). After about 2 and a half hours of snoozing off in the bus, we finally arrived in Kenting!
First thing we did in Kenting was check into our hotel. We were with 7 people, so you would think finding a room where everyone is able to sleep would be close to impossible. Wrong. Our hotel room had 5 queen size beds lined up next to each other in a big row. We basically had one huge, 25 foot (almost 8 meters) sized bed. It was perfect for our big group, seeing that we all basically had our own bed.
We spent our last day fairly relaxed. We had breakfast at 7-eleven (of course), went to look at this really big rock in the middle of the ocean, and then headed back to Nanwan Beach for a couple more hours of surfing. At around 4pm, we took the bus back to Kaohsiung in order to get the train back in time so we wouldn't get home so late.
Getting back, we took a high speed train from Zuoying station straight to Taichung. This cost a little bit more but it only took us 40 minutes…. 40 minutes instead of 2 hours (can you imagine how fast it went?!?!) to get home.
The south part of Taiwan is definitely worth visiting, especially when it is still very good weather in Taiwan. Even though the water is not ideal to swim in (crazy waves), the beaches were very nice. Regardless of me being mostly a city girl, there is something about the beach, friends and sand EVERYWHERE that makes me very happy. (cheeessyyyy, I know)🧀
After getting to the hotel and checking in our bags, we could start our first day. We did not have a schedule on ‘what to do’, so we just kind of started walking and hoped we’d end up somewhere cool. In this map, you can see approximately what route we walked on our first day.
Continuing our walk, we ended up at the famous tourist selfie spot, the Merlion. Merlion=Mermaid Lion, took me a while to figure that one out. Here, you also have a great view on the very luxurious Marina Bay Sands Hotel. For like… 700 euros per night, you can swim in their rooftop infinity pool, which honestly might be worth it if you see the amazing view it gives you over the city🏙💁🏻.
Walking through the mall and the hotel, we finally reached the very unique Gardens by the Bay. The gardens were created to enhance the quality of life by raising the greenery and "flora" in the city. We mostly stayed by the Supertree Grove in the garden. Supertrees? Yup. They mimic real trees, except for the fact that they are man-made and covered in flowers, vines, and plants. These supertrees imitate the real ecological function of trees—pretty cool to see and walk through.
We packed our first day with so much that the remaining 2 days were much more relaxed.
Getting a late start on our second day, we decided to walk around the Orchard Road district. With many malls and stores, it was a fairly crowded area, kind of like the Madison/5th Avenue of Singapore. Orchard Road had a really unique side street with many colorful houses👇🏼.
Only having been to Asia once before, I was super excited about traveling to Malaysia and exploring another part of Asia. We planned this trip as a little 2 week vacation before our 5 month exchange program in Taiwan, and wow... it was worth it.
With my adrenaline at the highest it's been in weeks, we finally arrived to our little beach front hotel and the relaxing can begin. We stayed at the Sari Pacifica Resort and Spa, which is surrounded by dozens of other hotels along the beach. We entered the hotel from the beach, so we never really saw a front door/entrance; these hotels felt very isolated, which is something I have never experienced before-- just beach, ocean, and hotel; no roads, no cars, nothing.
The food at our hotel was not that great and very expensive for such low quality, so we always went a couple hotels over to their beach bar to have dinner. This beach bar is part of the Redang Bay Resort and is called SandFly. They have a variety of local and western dishes at a very cheap price (I got a huge plate of fried rice for 2 euros...yeah).
We left Redang with a little sunburn, tan lines, relaxed minds, sand everywhere, and lots of memories.
Want to go to Redang Island?
We spent the next four days in 📍Kuala Lumpur.
Not gonna lie, the first day we were there we just stayed at our place to plan what we will do the following couple days (and to watch Game of Thrones finale).
Getting another late start, our third day in Kuala Lumpur was dedicated to visiting the Thean Hou Temple and the Chinatown of KL. I have to say, I love temples. I don't know what it is about them, but the colors, the tranquility, the history, etc. So visiting this temple in Kuala Lumpur was a must. We took a Grab taxi to the temple, which was a very cheap ride (similar to Uber, a very handy app to have in KL). The temple itself is free and open to worshippers or people just visiting. There was a place to eat and buy little souvenirs at the bottom of the temple. There was also a garden full of statues of all the Chinese horoscopes (I am a pig🐷). The temple itself was not that big, but it was so beautiful and gave a nice view on Kuala Lumpur's skyscrapers so I really suggest going here!
Later that night, we had drinks at the craziest rooftop bar ever. The bar was located on the 30-something floor, however, you could walk up to the rooftop to have your drinks on the helicopter pad. Yes, the helicopter pad... where there are no railings or glass walls, just complete open air between you and the skyscrapers of KL. I think that this is the coolest rooftop bar I have ever been to, hands down; I loved it.