It seems like there is a lot of confusion about traveling between Hualien City and Kenting National Park. Should you take the train? Bus? Go through Taitung or Kaohsiung? Read on, I created this page to help you answer these very fundamental questions.
Hualien to Kenting by Train + Bus
One of the most convenient ways to travel between Hualien and Kenting is to take the train at Hualien Station all the way down southwest to a town called Fangliao 枋寮. Then from Fangliao station, you take bus #9188, #9117, #9189, or Kenting Airport Express all the way to Kenting National Park. Easy!
Hualien to Fangliao Train Schedule and Fare
The following trains are direct, no transfer required. If you’re OK to transfer in Taitung 台東, then there are more options for you. In that case, your train itinerary would be Hualien-Taitung-Fangliao.
Bus #9188 is a local bus, not a direct bus, which means it will stop at pretty much every town and every beach. The downside is that it’s kind of slow. The main advantage is that you may disembark wherever you need in Kenting.
Fangliao to Kenting Travel Time: 1h, 15m
Fangliao to Kenting Bus Fare
Bus #9188 stops at the following places in Kenting National Park. This is what you should expect to pay for a full-fare adult ticket from Fangliao:
- Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium 126$
- Hengchun Transfer Station 148$
- Hengchun South Gate 恆春南門
- Nanwan 南灣 (South Bay) 165$
- Kenting Street 墾丁大街 (North part)
- Kenting Police Station (South)
- Xiaowan 小灣 (Little Bay) 181$
- Sail Rock 船帆石 189$
- Banana Bay 香蕉灣
- Shadao 沙島 201$
- Eluanbi 鵝鑾鼻 204$
Fares for direct, express buses might be a bit more expensive, but you get there a little faster and the seats are usually more comfortable. In my experience, people usually jump on the first bus that shows up at Fangliao Station, because they’re in the mood to just get moving asap. I’m also the impatient type, and I hate waiting, so I usually just get on any bus that says Kenting 墾丁 on it.
Fangliao to Kenting Bus Schedule / Timetable
It’s somewhat pointless to know the schedule as buses on the Fangliao – Kenting route are seldom on time, especially during rush hour, weekends, and holidays. Also, quite often, there’s road work along the way, which can slow down traffic. What you should know is that there is a constant flow of buses plowing that route, and you will very unlikely wait more than 30 minutes at Fangliao Train Station.
What about Fangshan 枋山?
Good question! When you look at a map, you will realize that Fangshan 枋山 is even more south than Fangliao. So why not get off here? Why head north, only to have to retrace back the same way. The answer is that you could get off the train at Fangshan, but you’ll have to walk 10 minutes to get to the bus stop. The bus stop is not at the train station in Fangshan.
It should be fine if you’re carrying a backpack, but most people find it a pain in the a** if traveling with a big suitcase. You’re wondering “Who goes to Kenting with a suitcase!?” Trust me – many people do!
Reserve your train ticket in advance!
This is critical! I’ve heard quite a few bad stories about people who had to take the bus from Hualien to Kenting. Why? Because they couldn’t get seats on any train from Hualien to Fangliao. They waited too long before booking. Along the west coast of Taiwan, it might be ok to just show up at the station minutes before your departure. It’s not the same along the East Coast. There are fewer trains, and competition for seats is an issue.
Dulan, and Donghe to Kenting
If you want to travel to Kenting from Dulan or Donghe, take a bus along Highway 11, all the way to Taitung. From there, you take a train t0 Fangliao. At that point you take a bus to Kenting.
Yuli, Fuli, Chishang, Luye to Kenting
These four touristic destinations are in the East Rift Valley, and they each have their own train station. From Yuli, Fuli, Chishang, and Luye, you can either take a direct train to Fangliao or transfer in Taitung. Then it’s Taitung to Fangliao. From Fangliao, but to Kenting, as previously described.