Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Kenting Days and Nights

Kenting is actually a national park with beautiful scenery. Although we spend a fair amount of time we relaxing, we did take a tour of the park with the resort. The national park sits at the southern tip of Taiwan and on one side is the Taiwan Strait and the other side is the Pacific Ocean. We drove by an old gate and climbed up steep stairs to look at this ancient wall. Next, we stopped at a gas well where we saw Chinese tourists walking over hot rocks and over flames. Some eccentric Taiwanese man baked sweet potatoes over a fire and made a big production over it.
Next we continued further and stopped at several spots overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Awwwwww, nice sandy beaches and clear blue water.

More sand dunes and clear water with big waves. It is truly a beautiful country.
My parents, J, W, and I spent probably half the day together. My parents rested and visited the bar in the evening while J, W, and I went into town for dinner. The first night we went to a Mexican restaurant and had decent Mexican food. It certainly was no Latinos Restaurant though! After dinner, we walked the main street and took in all of the food vendors, groups of teens and college students, and gift shops. It was a combination of a Taiwanese night market and Coney Island but without the guidos.
I had read about stinky tofu, a delicacy which is basically fermented tofu. I decided I had to try it once so J, who had eaten in Taipei, bought some with cabbage and hot sauce on it. Stinky tofu can be described as ripe cow manure mixed with garbage and a hint of BO. I took a bite and did everything I could not to spit it out on the street. Although I read some have compared it to blue cheese or goose liver, I can only describe it as taking a big handful of cow manure and shoving it in your mouth. It is disgusting and have no clue why anyone would willingly eat it. That said, I can now proclaim I ate an authentic Taiwanese dish. J did buy me an ice cream after to get the taste out of my mouth but I swear I could smell it on me for the rest of the night.
The next evening we returned to town and at a small Thai restaurant where I had a wonderful Pad Thai dish and a couple of beers. I am unsure if it is a southern Taiwanese thing but there was a couple who had a golden retriever and lab lounging under their table. Surprisingly I was a little weirded out about it but then I realized that I was being foolish, the dogs were impeccably groomed, and were not bothering anyone. Anyway, wouldn't I like to bring my dog to a restaurant if I knew he would behave as well?
Again we walked around and this time stopped in shops. Nothing appeared interesting enough to purchase so we returned to our room for the evening. We left the next morning and continued our journey to Kaohsiung, another lovely stop on our journey.