Taiwan, Kenting : Day #4 (Chateau Beach Resort Kenting)
Started the day with an early morning check-out from Rainbow Hotel in order to get to Kenting (墾丁). Encountered our first major problem in Taiwan – we had two luggage bags and three hand-carry bags to carry to Kenting, and back to Taipei! Lucky for us, there was a cab driver right outside Rainbow Hotel who took pity on us and offered (of course we had to pay in the end!) to drive us to Taipei High Speed Rail (HSR) Station.
Decided to dump our umbrellas as they were a little too troublesome to carry around. Arrived early as usual. Collected our HSR tickets that we had bought online, and waited at the main seating areas at level one.
Realized that we arrived a little too early – we could only board the bullet train roughly 15-minutes before the departure time. For people with more luggage like us, there is an option to use the lift instead of the escalator. A HSR staff (rather easy to spot them in their uniforms) will verify your ticket before allowing you to take the lift.
Taiwan HSR is extremely punctual and they leave right on the dot. Boarded our bullet train and left at exactly 11am. One thing to note is that there are certain HSR timings that are the express editions, meaning they do not stop at all the stations along the way. Our train takes only 1.5 hours instead of the usual two hours to get to Zuoying (左营) HSR Station.
Inside the train, it is clean and spacious. Train attendants ensure that everything is in order, and sale of food and drink items are available. Also, they allow you to bring in your own food and drinks as well. We bought onigiri and bottled coffee from 7-11 for breakfast!
Top compartments can be used to place hand-carry bags, whereas there are designated areas to put larger luggage bags at both the front and back of each cabin. From the menu, we could see that they provide a wide variety of food items. Unfortunately, the bento set that we wanted to try were sold out. Settled for a simple hot coffee instead.
Again, took a couple of shots and entertained ourselves as we journeyed to Kenting. Somehow managed to get an interesting shot that turned out giving a kind of aged, yellow-ed photo effect.
Weather is still as gloomy as previous days. Wet and cloudy.
Arrived at Zuoying HSR and dragged our luggage to the taxi pickup point outside MOS Burger, which we had arranged with Chateau Beach Resort Kenting (墾丁夏都沙灘酒店). As expected, our driver was holding a sign with my name on it, and he helped us (phew!) load our luggage into the cab. Was feeling kind of hungry by then, so I asked Shan to wait for me in the cab when I scooted off to MOS Burger to get some butterfly prawns.
Still drizzling/raining as we travelled to Kenting, we chatted a bit with our driver, and dozed along the way. At times, the rain came down hard, and then miraculously it stopped as quickly as it had started.
One of the reasons why Chateau is so famous, is because it was the place where scenes of Cape No. 7 (海角七號) was shot at.
By the time we arrived at Chateau, it was 3pm in the afternoon. Pretty surprised to find that the lobby was full of people! First impression was that Chateau is a more family-oriented kind of resort, which was what we were expecting after checking out the reviews online.
Checking in was hassle-free, and a Chateau staff was assigned to help bring up our luggage with a trolley as he led us to our Positano Honeymoon Suite. There are a total three accommodations blocks at Chateau, the other two being Provence and Marbella, with each of them lined up parallel to the beach.
Stepped into our room, and our first thought was that the place is huge! With an area of 46.2 sqm, it is about half the size of our construction-in-progress Punggol flat.
The room comes with two 32-inch LCD TV, one in the lounge and one in front the bed. A luxurious king-size bed sits in the middle of the room.
The restroom is cheerfully lined with blue mosaic tile, with a very, very wide mirror by the sink. Chateau was very thoughtful in providing a set of L’Occitane skincare products!
One of the best feature of the honeymoon suite is the two-person bathtub, complete with an ocean view.
Slid open the balcony glass doors, and we were immediately greeted by the sound of the soothing waves. Went out onto the balcony area and was presented with gloomy, dark clouds. On a sunny day, the view would have been absolutely gorgeous, with nothing blocking the view at all.
With the unpredictable weather, we decided against going out to sight-see. Instead, we roamed around Chateau taking photos and entertaining ourselves.
View of the Positano block from the beach!
A wide range of water activities can be enjoyed at the beach, when the weather is good. The colourful kayaks below can be borrowed from Chateau.
The sand was soft and smooth, but a little wet because of the rain. By now, the rain had stopped. Had a little fun doing little drawings in the sand.
Went around to the front of the resort and snapped a couple more photos, before we headed for dinner.
Chateau has a daily shuttle bus service from Kaohsiung (高雄) to Kenting at specific times, costing NT$400 per pax, per way. You get to sit in their minibus which I believes looks like this.
Plenty of colourful and interesting signs around Chateau, and we managed to capture a couple of them here.
Dinner was a choice of either oriental or international (buffet style) at the two restaurants at Chateau. Nothing too fantastic here (didn’t take any photos), but we did manage to eat a little of everything. We didn’t have much to eat throughout the whole day, so the food was pretty OK for us.
Went back to our suite and had a good rest. I have to agree though, long distance travelling while lugging along heavy, bulky luggage really takes a toll on us. But eh, nope, that wasn’t the end of our day. Far from it, in fact.
Dual TVs in the suite was kind of cool, we could watch different channels at the same time! Snuggled in the warm, comfortable bed, and Shan even dozed for an hour!
Since it was still rather early and the weather seemed pretty alright, we decided to pay a visit to Kenting Big Street (墾丁大街) at night. Not sure whether it even has an English name, so I did a literal translation.
Earlier in the day, we had made an enquiry at Chateau’s service counter, and we learned that this street, about five minutes away from Chateau, magically comes alive at night. Both sides of the road would be lined with stalls selling all kinds of stuff! Seven days a week, and the stalls mostly operate until 12-midnight.
Set off to visit this street, and it was not long before we found what we’re looking for. Pretty amazing that on a Sunday night, it seemed like the whole world was out here or something.
Besides all the delicious food, there are game-stalls, stalls selling accessories, umbrellas, and even stalls that does temporary tattoos. Even the police station has a nice sign on this street!
Took us more than at hour just to walk from one end to the other, and back. Grabbed some food that we would really like to eat (not exactly hungry since we had dinner earlier), and headed back to Chateau. This baked potato, drenched with cheddar cheese, and topped with chicken bits, bacon, ham and corn deserves special mention. Absolutely delicious!
Travel planning related information :
- Cab ride from Ximending to Taipei HSR Station (NT$100, 5 minutes)
- HSR return ticket from Taipei to Zuoying (NT$1265, 1 hour 36 minutes, per pax, per way)
- Return transfer from Zuoying HSR to Chateau Kenting (NT$1400, 1.5 hours, per car, per way)