The laid-back side of Kenting National Park
Manzhou is a beautiful countryside township in the north-eastern part of Kenting National Park. I know this area very well because that’s where Ruby and I live part-time. In the summer of 2017, I decided I’d had enough of living in the nasty pollution of Taichung, and got a house here, in a tiny community called Binlang, mid-way between Manzhou village and Jiupeng, along the East Coast.
Moving to the southern part of Taiwan has been the best decision of my life! I really, really love the slow-paced, relaxed lifestyle down here. And there is SO MUCH stuff to do in this area. It’s a true paradise for nature lovers!
Who goes to Manzhou?
Not many people visit Manzhou and that’s a great thing if you ask me. This is the quiet part of Kenting National Park. No traffic jams, no problem parking your car, no lineups at restaurants, and best of all, no noise pollution! Prices are also much cheaper than in busy Kenting Village, Nanwan, and Baisha.
Some people get confused, because Manzhou is both a township and a village. The township is a large area of Pingtung County which contains many small villages. One of those villages is called Manzhou. This village is the second biggest in the area after Hengchun.
In central Manzhou, the main “downtown” part is at the big tree, next to 7-11. This is where you can find some of the best (and cheapest) food in all of Kenting National Park.
Manzhou town is 15 minutes away from Jialeshui, 15 minutes to Hengchun, and 25 minutes to Nanwan. It is a great spot to establish your basecamp, as it’s somewhat central and makes it convenient to visit different parts of Kenting National Park.
Things to do in Manzhou / Attractions
- hike to waterfalls
- surf or chill on the beach at Jialeshui
- walk around (or ride a jeep) on the Jiupeng sand dunes
- visit Zhongshan Harbor with beautiful sea & mountain views
- cycle or ride a scooter along country road 200
- take pictures of very old houses / ancient Taiwanese architecture in Manzhou Village
- visit aboriginal Paiwan villages
- swim in the ocean!
- eat at one of the excellent local restaurants
Restaurants / Food / Drinks
At the big tree, in downtown Manzhou, there’s a bunch of little restaurants that offer traditional Chinese and Taiwanese dishes at very affordable prices. You can get anything from dumplings, beef noodle soup, seafood, big plates of veggies, and beer. Just walk around and see what’s on display. Unfortunately, few places have English menus.
There is a Vietnamese place around the corner, which has quite a few good dishes. My personal favorites are the Wonton soup, fried rice, and deep fried spring rolls.
If you feel adventurous, you should try stinky tofu at #14 Wenhua Road, 2 minutes away from the big tree by scooter. The stinky tofu here is one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. The individual hot pots are also super delicious and hard to beat value-wise. Whatever you eat here, make sure to wash it down with a can of Taiwan Beer!
Fruit Juice Bar
Simply the best juice bar in the whole Kenting area! The fruit are not certified organic, but the owner lady told my wife (actually tells her every time) that her fruit are grown locally, some even on her own land, and they have absolutely no pesticide, zero chemical / GMO stuff done to them.
The juices are AMAZING! You can make your own mix or you can order what’s on the menu (Chinese only). She’ll ask you if you want to add ginger to your juice… I say go for it. It’s good for the liver! Enjoy!
This juice bar is just to the right (across the street) from the big tree when you come from 7-11. Address: #2-1 Zhongzheng Road, Manzhou Township
Accommodation in Manzhou
Hotels, guesthouses / B&B in Manzhou tend to not be as busy as their counterparts in Kenting Village and Hengchun, because they are further away from the nightlife that so many tourists expect to enjoy here. There are some very good options in both Manzhou village and Jialeshui.
My top pick in Manzhou is Wild East Guesthouse, an amazing rustic country house villa located in a quiet part of the national park. I have stayed there with my wife Ruby, and we had the most amazing experience! We had the whole place to ourselves and could use the living room, kitchen, front yard and hot tub without being disturbed. It’s the only such guesthouse in Kenting National Park where you can get the entire place, such a massive and comfortable space, to yourself, for such low price. Check it out and book it in advance if it’s still available.
Check hotel deals and make a reservation right from this site, use the following form:
- Travel from Taipei to Kenting
- Surfing in Taiwan
- Hengchun Travel Guide
- Paiwan Aborigines of Taiwan
- Sail Rock
- Houwan (Back Bay)
- Xiaowan (Little Bay)
- Fengchuisha Viewpoint