Nanwan (South Bay) is the most popular beach in all of Kenting National Park. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- It’s the first beach you’ll pass as you drive toward Kenting Town.
- It’s got some of the best B&Bs and guesthouses in the national park.
- Easy access by public transportation.
- Convenience (a 7-11, a beach bar, good restaurants)
- The only beach that provides public services such as lockers, toilets, and changing rooms.
- Umbrellas and beach chairs for rent.
- It’s long and beautiful.
- Not too many rocks by the shore, so it’s safe to swim.
- Great surfing waves, especially during the winter / spring months.
Nanwan – an unfair reputation
Nanwan has a reputation for being busy, noisy, and dirty. That’s because from 2008 to 2016, it was packed with hundreds, and sometimes thousands of tourists from mainland China, who came here by the bus load. Those days are long gone! Nowadays, Nanwan has returned to its former glory as a gorgeous, accessible beach with some of the finest sand you can find in all of southern Taiwan.
A tale of two beaches…
That being said, it can still get somewhat busy on weekends and national holidays, and the southern part of the bay is still occupied by rowdy locals who offer sea-doo and banana boat trips for pretty high fees. The southern section is also busier because that’s where you can rent beach umbrellas and chairs.
The northern part of the bay is much quieter and that’s where you want to lay your beach towel if you’re looking to have a little siesta on the sand. The waves in that part of the bay also attract quite a few surfers, especially during the winter months.
I must be honest and warn you, there is a nuclear facility nearby (at the northern end of the beach) but unless there is another Fukushima type of cataclysmic disaster, you should be just fine!
South Bay Recreation Area 樂活南灣
The best place to have a drink and listen to music (aka party!) on the beach in Kenting is at South Bay Recreation Area. This is also where you can park your car, lock your belongings, and have access to changing rooms, toilets, and showers.
Cowboy’s Beach Bar and Grill 牛仔沙灘酒吧餐廳
If cold beer, sunshine, bean bags, volleyball, and live music sound like the perfect ingredients for a chill-out-on-the-beach recipe, you’ll want to check out Cowboy’s Beach Bar and Grill at the South Bay Recreation Area. Happy and friendly Nikki (the owner) is there every day, from 10am to 10pm to warmly welcome customers and serve you icy cold booze and delicious subs. If you’re not in the mood for booze just yet, check out Cowboy’s neighbor! (keep reading…)
Three Fools Cafe 南灣三個傻瓜
Next to Cowboy’s, Three Fools Cafe offers a nice list of good coffee, fresh juices and smoothies, as well as cold beer and some simple snacks. Just like Cowboy’s, it’s located on the massive wooden patio at South Bay Recreation Area, facing the sea. The vibe is chill, the picnic tables call for friends gathering, the music adds to the good mood, and there is a constant flow of happy people looking for the same experience as you – fun at the beach, or, comes sunset, a little tropical pa-pa-pa-party time!
The owner, A-Ming (明哥) is really chill and he’s got some of those free-standing hammocks in front of his place. If you don’t see them, just ask him, and I’m sure he’ll get one for you from behind the bar (where he supposedly lives! :D)
All in all, good fun and good vibes at 三個傻瓜！Check it out!