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Let’s talk about how to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park. It is easier than you might think, so there is no excuse not to visit Kenting National Park!
Kenting National Park is one of the most popular day trips from Kaohsiung (although you could easily spend two to three days in Kenting). It is one of the most beautiful places in Taiwan and shouldn’t be missed!
One of the most frustrating parts of planning a day trip (at least for me) is figuring how to travel from one city to another. And that’s where this post comes in!
You’ll learn the easiest way to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.
Your day trip to Kenting National Park will be stress free after reading this post, and you can enjoy the beauty of Kenting without stressing about how to get there.
There are three ways to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park. They all require taking the bus, and it is just a matter of whether you catch the bus at Kaohsiung Station or Zuoying Station (the high-speed rail station), or the airport. The express bus leaves from Xin Zuoying Station and is the most popular way to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.
PS: If you’re looking to take multiple day trips from Kaohsiung, you might want to check out my posts about Fo Guang Shan Monastery (one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been) and Cijin Island (a must for anybody visiting Kaohsiung).
Before We Get Started
I hate figuring out how to travel from one place to another, but I love writing transportation guides for you!
I would love to have an all-in-one resource that goes over how to travel from one place to another, and that’s why I write them. Hopefully they make your travel experience better.
If you’re traveling throughout Taiwan, here are the transportation guides I’ve written to date to help you navigate Taiwan public transportation:
- How to Travel from Taipei to Kaohsiung
- How to Travel from Taipei to Hualien
- How to Travel from Taipei to Tainan
- How to Travel from Taipei to Taichung
- How to Travel from Taoyuan Airport to Taipei
- How to Travel from Kaohsiung to Hualien
Option One: Taking the Bus from Zuoying HSR Station
This is the best and most popular way to get from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.
You can take the express bus, which is spacious and comfortable, and that is the reason it is such a popular choice for tourists and locals.
The bus ride from Zuoying Station to Kenting National Park takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic. It will take longer during rush hour and on weekends than it will during off-peak times on a weekday.
It isn’t uncommon for the buses to be delayed by 20-30 minutes so keep that in mind and budget your time accordingly.
How Much Does the Bus from Zuoying Station to Kenting Cost?
A one-way ticket costs on average 371 NT (or approximately $12.50 USD).
Compared to other bus tickets in Taiwan, it is pretty expensive to take the express bus from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park, but it is so worth it! I’m guessing the bus is a little more expensive because it is taking you to a national park and one of the most beautiful places in all of Taiwan.
You can save a little bit of money by purchasing a return ticket. A return ticket costs 650 NT (or approximately $22 USD).
Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket
You purchase your ticket at Zuoying HSR Station at a ticket booth.
Take Exit 2 towards the bus stop, and you’ll walk right into the ticket booth.
The bus from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park is one of the rare instances where you’re not able to use your transportation card and have to purchase an actual ticket from a ticket booth.
Your EasyCard will not work on this bus!
You have to purchase your ticket before you get on the bus, so you’ll want to leave enough time in your schedule to wait in line, buy a ticket, and get on the bus.
I suggest allotting 15 minutes to purchase a ticket. You probably won’t need that much time, but it is better to have extra time than be rushed and stressed about not catching the bus you want.
How Often Does the Express Bus to Kenting National Park Leave?
The express bus to Kenting National Park runs every 15 to 30 minutes from 8:30am to 7pm.
This means you can basically show up to the bus station whenever you want and not have to wait too long to catch a bus!
It is the perfect bus schedule for people who are laid back and want to go with the flow rather than plan exactly when they need to get on the bus because it only leaves every 90 minutes.
I recommend you try to get on an early morning bus. You’ll have more luck at avoiding traffic congestion, and you’ll have more time to spend at Kenting National Park if you’re only doing a day trip.
What About Getting Back to Kaohsiung from Kenting?
The express bus leaves Kenting National Park for Kaohsiung every 15 to 30 minutes from 8am to 7pm.
You do need to pre-buy your ticket before you get on the bus, which is the main reason you should purchase a return ticket rather than a one-way ticket.
Option Two: Taking the Bus from Kaohsiung Station
This is the second most popular way to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.
The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours, so there is no difference between the time it takes to get from Kaohsiung to Kenting whether you depart from Zuoying HSR Station or Kaohsiung Station.
You need to get on either bus 9117 or 9188. Both take you to Kenting National Park. The difference is in where they drop you off. 9188 drops you further south, so if you want to explore the southern part of Kenting, this is the bus for you!
How Much Does the Bus from Kaohsiung Station to Kenting Cost?
The bus from Kaohsiung Station to Kenting National Park costs:
- 352 NT (approximately $12 USD) if you take bus 9117
- 362 NT (approximately $12 USD) if you take bus 9188
Unlike the express bus, you are not able to purchase a return ticket. You can only purchase a one-way ticket from Kaohsiung Station to Kenting.
It isn’t that much of an inconvenience, but it is something to keep in mind when you’re planning your trip and budgeting.
Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket
You can either purchase your ticket in cash on the bus or purchase it at the bus station before you get on the bus.
Both payment methods work well, and it comes down to your personal preference more than anything else.
If you only have larger bills and need to get change made, I suggest purchasing your ticket at the station rather than on the bus, so your bus driver doesn’t have to make a lot of change.
A Note About Where to Catch the Bus:
Both the 9177 and 9188 depart from Zhongshan Bus Station at Kaohsiung Station.
The bus station is located one block south of Kaohsiung Station on Jiangguo 2nd Road.
You won’t have any trouble finding the bus station. There are signs in Kaohsiung Station to point you in the right direction, and there will be a crowd of people heading towards the bus station.
Plus it is only one block away from Kaohsiung Station, so you should be able to see the buses as soon as you start walking towards the bus station.
If you’ve walked more than a block, you know you’ve gone the wrong way! But you shouldn’t have any issue finding the bus station.
How Often Does the Bus to Kenting National Park Leave?
The buses departing from Kaohsiung Station are less frequent than the express bus that departs from the HSR station.
There are currently 35 buses a day to Kenting National Park that depart from Kaohsiung Station.
The up side to the buses departing from Kaohsiung Station is that their hours of operation are much longer than the express bus.
The first bus departs at 4:15 am (yes, you read that right!), and the last bus departs at 10:30 pm.
This is perfect for the extra early birds (like me) who want to have as much time as possible at Kenting National Park and have no problem getting out of bed long before the sun is up.
A Note About Bus Time:
You can try to find an English version of the bus timetable online, but my recommendation is to use Google Maps.
Google Maps works really well in Taiwan, and you can easily and accurately find when the next bus departs and even plan your trip days in advance by changing your departure time in the app.
I rely heavily on Google Maps when I’m in Taiwan, and I love it. It makes traveling through Taiwan so easy, and it is nice to not to have to do any Googling to try to find bus timetables (that may or may not be up-to-date and accurate).
Option Three: Taking the Bus from Kaohsiung Airport
The final bus option (and the least popular) is to take a bus from Kaohsiung Airport to Kenting National Park.
It takes two hours to travel from the airport to Kenting, so all three buses take about the same amount of travel time.
I don’t know whether or not there is a place to store your luggage on the bus, but if there isn’t, you can rent a locker at the airport if you’re coming back to Kaohsiung that evening.
How Much Does the Bus from Kaohsiung Airport Cost?
This bus is unique because the price you pay depends on how you pay.
- Cash: 367 NT (approximately $12 USD)
- Credit Card: 418 NT (approximately $14 USD)
It is nice to have the option to pay by credit card- especially if you’re running out of NTD cash. It is a little bit more money, but it is still cheaper than paying an ATM transaction fee to get some cash.
You can’t purchase a return ticket on this bus either, so a one-way ticket is the only option for you.
Where to Purchase a Bus Ticket
You have to purchase your ticket before you get on the bus to Kenting.
The ticket counter to purchase a ticket is located near the arrivals lobby near Exit 5.
The ticket counter is inside the terminal so don’t go outside looking for it!
The ticket counter is really easy to find, and you should be able to spot it at Exit 5. If you’re having trouble finding the ticket booth, you can always ask one of the airport employees roaming around or at the help desk.
But you shouldn’t need to because the ticket booth is so easy to find!
How Often Does the Bus to Kenting National Park Leave?
There are only eight buses a day from the Kaohsiung Airport to Kenting National Park.
They depart at:
- 10:10 am
- 11:10 am
- 12:50 pm
- 1:50 pm
- 4:10 pm
- 5:10 pm
- 6:50 pm
- 7:50 pm
If one of those time slots doesn’t match your schedule, you’ll have to head into Kaohsiung and catch a bus from either the HSR station or Kaohsiung Station.
Other Ways to Travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park
There are, of course, a few other ways you can travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park.
I’m not going to go to talk about them in this post because they aren’t all that common and/or cost a lot more money than I think they are worth.
- Renting a car/scooter and driving yourself
- Renting a taxi to drive you
- Going on a private tour
I hope this post illustrates how easy it is to travel from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park!
You now have no excuse not to visit Kenting and take in all its beauty!
I personally recommend taking the express bus from Zuoying HSR Station. I think it is the most convenient because it leaves on a regular schedule, is very comfortable, and you’re able to purchase a return ticket.
No matter what bus you choose to take, your trip from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park will be stress free. You just need to get on the bus and get off once you get to Kenting National Park.
It doesn’t get any easier than that!
One final tip before I leave you to your Taiwan adventure:
The buses will be cold!
Taiwanese people enjoy having very cold and air conditioned buses and trains. I’m always freezing whenever I’m on a Taiwan public transportation even though it is hot and humid outside.
You might want to bring a scarf or something light to put over your arms to keep you a bit warmer. Otherwise your bus ride from Kaohsiung to Kenting might not be as enjoyable as it could be.