Looking for a place where your kids can run and jump around to their hearts' content? Pingtung is a small strip of land with diverse terrain and ecology and boasts a wealth of magnificent attractions. Take your kids to Liudui Hakka Cultural Park to see its umbrella-style buildings, or to Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park for interactive experiences with the Hakka and indigenous cultures. Or visit Rinari in the mountains to appreciate the hand-carved artworks of the indigenous people who live there. Go to Sika Deer Ecological Park to see sika deer up close, and then pay a visit to Sheding Park to witness the spectacular views of Chinese sparrowhawks passing through Kenting. You can also stroll along the wild ginger flower trail in Dongyuan Forest Recreation Neighborhood, or go to Shuangliu Forest Recreation Neighborhood to see the second most beautiful waterfall in Taiwan. If you enjoy cycling, don’t miss Houfeng Bicycle Path, which is a designated national cycle route. Houbihu is the perfect spot to enjoy water sports and eat delicious seafood. You can also take your kids to Taisugar Civic Park to explore the climbing facilities and run around the huge grassy area.

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    Dongyuan Forest Recreation Neighborhood

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    Dongyuan Forest Recreation Neighborhood, located in the north of Dongyuan Village, Mudan Township, is an important national wetland in Taiwan. It covers an area of about 12 hectares and belongs to the Dongyuan wetland along with the water grassland. There are tourist information stations, lake trails, pavilions and other facilities in the park. You can take a guided tour of the entire park or walk along the tree-lined trails at your own pace, enjoying beautiful Dongyuan Lake and the white wild ginger flowers growing on its shores. When wild ginger flowers are in full bloom from July to September each year, the air is filled with a fresh floral fragrance, attracting many tourists. The park is rated as having one of the best routes by cyclists. Dongyuan Forest Recreation Neighborhood is the venue for a series of activities held during the annual wild ginger flower season, including tribal competitions, markets, traditional dances and orchestral performances. Dongyuan Forest is committed to fostering a positive relationship between humans and the natural world, making this an ideal place to take the family on an eco-tour.

    Location: No. 1, Mudan Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 945

    Open: January to June and October to December: from 9 am to 5 pm on public and national vacations July to September (wild ginger flower season): from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

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    photo by 中岑 范姜 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    2

    Paradise of Deer Ecological Park

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    Have you heard about Paradise of Deer in Kenting? Paradise of Deer Ecological Park was established by three people aged 30 to 39 years old, who wanted to successfully breed sika deer on their own farm. Unlike the sika deer in the wild in Kenting National Park, the deer here like to play with tourists, and you can pet and feed them. You can also learn about the difference between pilose and fully developed antler. Pilose antler is soft antler still in the growth stage, while fully developed antler is slightly hard and the product of calcification of the pilose antler. You can get close to the young deer to observe their habits and understand the ecology of sika deer and red deer. Paradise of Deer Ecological Park hopes to be able to educate people and show how we all have a huge impact on ecology. Next time you visit Kenting to swim in the sea, why not add this trip to your itinerary to broaden your horizons?

    Location: No. 1097-1, Henggong Rd., Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946

    Open: Open all year round from 9 am to 6 pm, closed on New Year's Eve during Chinese New Year

    Map
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    Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park

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    Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park is located in Beiye Village, Majia Township, Pingtung County and covers an area of about 82 hectares. It's easy to get to and just 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Pingtung City. It's the largest outdoor museum in Taiwan, boasting magnificent natural scenery and the largest collection of preserved cultural relics of indigenous peoples. The park is divided into four neighborhoods: Papakufang, Tamaluwan, Fuguwan and Naluwan. The Papakufang Neighborhood is located at the entrance and has an artifact display room, a handicrafts room, a multimedia room and a special exhibition hall inside an octagonal building. The Tamaluwan and Fuguwan Neighborhoods contain examples of traditional houses of indigenous peoples, made from slate, bamboo and wood. The Naluwan Neighborhood hosts energetic performances, with a 360-degree circular theater and a lifestyle exhibition hall dedicated to 16 ethnic groups. If you're visiting Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park, remember to check out the times of the performances, which include singing and dancing, praying for blessings, welcoming guests with drums in the Naluwan Neighborhood, as well as salutes in the Papakufang Neighborhood. All are worth watching.

    Location: No. 104, Fengjing, Beiye Village, Majia Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 903

    Open: From 8.30 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays

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    Houbihu

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    Houbihu has the largest fishing port and the largest fish distribution center on the Hengchun Peninsula and is also the location of the first marina in Taiwan. At dusk, when the fishing boats return to unload their fresh catches, local residents and tourists can be seen rushing to buy seafood at the bustling port. In addition to seafood, Houbihu Fishing Port also offers a wide range of water sports, including jet skiing, parasailing and sailing. For a great view of the island, you can take a yacht out to sea. If you want to swim with the fish, why not try snorkeling or diving? As Kenting's most successful marine conservation demonstration area, Houbihu's sea area prohibits fishing, making it the richest fishery along the coast of Hengchun Peninsula. If you love seafood and water sports, Houbihu is a great place to visit.

    Location: Daguang Rd., Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946

    Open: Open 24 hours

    Map

    photo by dennis (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    5

    Shuangliu Forest Recreation Neighborhood

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    Shuangliu Forest Recreation Neighborhood is located next to the Southern Cross-Island Highway in Shizi Township. One of the park's most famous attractions is Shuangliu Waterfall, whose magnificent twin falls cascade straight down from the hillside, and was once voted the second most beautiful waterfall in Taiwan. Tropical rainforest plants can be seen all over the park. You can stroll along the forest trails, wade in the river, play in the water, watch butterflies, listen to the calls of insects and birds and breathe in the fragrant forest air. Maozi Mountain, the highest point in the park, rises to an altitude of 2,133 feet (650 meters) and overlooks the Pacific Ocean and Taiwan Strait. Shuangliu is less crowded and quieter than other forest recreation neighborhoods. You'll therefore have plenty of opportunities to slow down and get a closer look at its unique ecosystem. Along the trail you'll find typical plants such as Hengchun mountain loquats and selaginella boninensis. A rich variety of rare birds and more than 196 species of butterfly are also waiting to be explored here.

    Location: No. 23, Danlu 2nd Ln., Shizi Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 943

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 5 pm

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    Sheding Nature Park

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    Located on the southeast side of Kenting Park, Sheding Nature Park has been preserved in its original natural state with only simple trails and explanation facilities. Dominated by coral reefs, the park features a rich variety of flora and fauna, limestone caves and the One-Line Sky scenic spot formed by rock fissures, all well worth a visit. There are more than 329 kinds of plants alone. If you're lucky, you might get to see the amazing bioluminescent mycena chlorophos on summer nights after heavy rains. In spring and summer, nearly 50 species of butterfly can be seen flying around. To admire the butterflies fluttering in the breeze, head for Butterfly Alley. In mid-September each year, Lingxiao Pavilion within the park becomes the perfect vantage point for the spectacular scenes of Chinese sparrowhawks and grey-faced buzzards soaring over Kenting at dawn. And if all that weren't enough, you might even catch a glimpse of wild sika deer in the sika deer ecological conservation area during the day.

    Location: No. 186-1, Shexing Rd., Hengchun Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 946

    Open: Outdoor space: daily; carpark: daily from 8 am to 5 pm

    photo by Joe Lo (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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    Liudui Hakka Cultural Park

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    Liudui Hakka Cultural Park is situated in Neipu Township, Pingtung County, and has a total area of about 30 hectares. As you enter the park, you'll see six oil-paper umbrella-style structures, designed to resemble a Hakka settlement. There are four themed neighborhoods, including Hakka Ditch Neighborhood, Natural Prairie Neighborhood, Hakka Settlement Architecture and Nine Flowers Garden Neighborhood, which have been developed with the aim of preserving Hakka culture and giving visitors the chance to experience the life of the Hakka tribe. Each scenic spot offers a diverse and colorful display of Hakka culture. An auditorium and a multimedia exhibition hall host a variety of exhibitions, performances and art activities. The biggest highlight are the traditional red brick houses scattered everywhere. One of them is the Rice Mill Exhibition Hall. This building houses a 100-year-old rice huller donated by the third-generation ancestors of the founder, Mr. Shi Xinde, for the purposes of demonstrating traditional Hakka rice culture. The children's area offers role-play activities and teaches children about Hakka culture through interactive technology. Outside, there are endless fields and grassy neighborhoods that are perfect for families to visit and enjoy.

    Location: No. 588, Xinyi Rd., Neipu Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 912

    Open: From 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Tuesdays)

    Map

    photo by Titania Design 沅禧設計 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Houfeng Bicycle Path

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    Houfeng Bicycle Path, covering a total length of 4.6 miles (7.4 kilometers), is built under the viaduct stretching from Jiuru Interchange to Changzhi Interchange, and is a designated national cycle route. Have fun chasing the wind and admire the various orchids, ferns and other flowers and trees that line the route. You'll pass numerous large driftwood creations along the way, set against a backdrop of stunning rural views that make this path so appealing to cyclists. In addition to the main bicycle path, there are also many country trails along the way. You can follow the signposts to explore the trails and immerse yourself in the local culture. If you're feeling thirsty, stop off at the Jiuru Lemon Marketing Co-operative for a glass of cold lemonade. The entire lane surface is smooth and free from sun and rain damage, and there are specially designed cycling signs. It's ideal for a leisurely family cycling vacation.

    Location: Under the viaduct stretching from Jiuru Interchange to Changzhi Interchange

    Open: Open 24 hours

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    Taisugar Civic Park

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    Taisugar Civic Park is also known as Akauw 1909 Green Water Park. "Akauw" is the old name of Pingtung, and "1909" is the year when Pingtung Sugar Factory was established. Covering an area of about 20 hectares, the park is the first large-scale integrated playground in Pingtung. At present, only the children's play area is open. Facilities for the arts, ecology and leisure will be added to the park in the future. The park has installations ranging from simple triangular climbers to complex semi-circular net rope climbers, where energetic kids can climb up and down as much as they want. It's a fun way to improve physical strength and balance. Dotted around the grassy area you'll see ladybug sculptures of different sizes and colors, set against the backdrop of an old paper pulp factory. The large grassy area has plenty of space for riding a bike or flying a kite. This park is an ideal place for families to relax and enjoy some time together outdoors.

    Location: Taisugar Street, Pingtung City, Pingtung County, Taiwan 900

    Open: Open 24 hours

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    Rinari

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    Rinari was constructed to accommodate three tribes after Typhoon Morakot destroyed Majia Village in Majia Township, Dashe Village in Sandimen Township and Haocha Village in Wutai Township. Surrounded by mountains and forests, Rinari enjoys expansive and breathtaking views. All around the village you can see the arts and crafts of the indigenous people, including Hundred-Pace Snake Totem (the symbol of the ancestral spirit) and precious lillies. Wood carvings can be seen in front of every house, representing the status of the owner. If you want to see more arts and crafts, the 1n1 Creative Space located in the center of the three tribes is also worth a visit. There are many interesting installations, including the "Slope Story" of the Dashe Tribe, and the "Deer Running at a Speed of 110 kmph" on the wall. If you like crafts, try your hand at activities such as beading or stone and wood painting. Before you leave, don’t forget to sample the unique red quinoa dishes, millet doughnuts and tree beans.

    Location: No. 5, Lane 17, Guchabo'an St., Haocha Village, Wutai Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan 902

    Open: Outdoor space: open 24 hours; other business spaces: varies depending on the provider

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