Want to know more about Spring Scream in Taiwan? This article will make it easy for you to partake in one of Taiwan’s hottest parties (literally and figuratively!) with minimal injuries and accidents.
One of Taiwan’s biggest parties takes place every year during the beginning of April on the southernmost tip of Taiwan, a town called Kenting.
If you’re young and looking for some adventure or debauchery then Spring Scream is the perfect place to indulge. Half of the population of Taipei and neighboring cities flock to Kenting for this 3 day long party that takes place over the weekend.
I decided to go this year, and now that I’m back (hang-over free and sporting a killer tan) I can write about this event. If you found this article, chances are good that you’re looking for information about Spring Scream in Taiwan.
I aim to provide.
In this article you’ll learn how to get to the party from Taipei and how to navigate through the crowds to find the best parties or just have an overall decent time.
Couple of things first, much like other countries in Asia, Taiwan is a conservative country with a conservative culture. Taiwan has it’s fair share of clubs and parties but they’re not as wild as in some other countries, and most locals avoid them, preferring to head to a KTV on weekends with friends.
In fact, if you come from America, then you’re probably expecting massive beach parties with college girls running around naked and steroid fused dudes fist pumping to deafening electronic beats. It’s a little bit more calm over here.
Taiwanese people are not that keen on letting their wild side show, and if they do drink enough to reveal their wild side, they’re a few seconds away from collapsing face-down on the ground.
With that in mind, Spring Scream in Taiwan is still a lot of fun.
I noticed that this year there are not as many parties and the streets seem to clear around 12 am, everyone vanishing as if some curfew is in place. Maybe I didn’t get the memo.
If you are planning on going to Spring Scream in Taiwan and you’re looking forward to partying all night this is what you need to know: the beach parties close at 12 a.m.
This doesn’t mean the beaches close at 12 a.m. It means the music stops and the security ushers people away from the beach, sometimes police are there too. It’s a bit of a buzz kill but you can always come back later when everyone is gone.
How to Get to Kenting from Taipei:
Assuming you live in Taipei, here’s how to get from Taipei to Kenting in the shortest amount of time possible.
- Purchase a High Speed Rail Ticket (HSR) to Zou-Ying (the last stop)
The HSR is the fastest and most comfortable transportation available. It’ll set you back 1,500NT (around $50 USD) each way but it’s worth it because you can avoid being trapped in a bus for 6 + hours, an experience that’s not recommended.
To buy a ticket, head to a convenient store and search for a IBON machine. Since this is Taiwan, there are convenient stores on pretty much every corner (avoiding them is difficult) walk in any given direction and you’re bound to find one.
If you don’t understand the Chinese interface, ask one of the workers to assist you, they’ll be more than happy to do so. Otherwise, consider asking a friend to purchase the tickets for you, it can be done in a few minutes. Choose the time and date and hit the print button.
The HSR leaves from Taipei Main Station. There are other stations but this one is the easiest to find, follow the signs, and soon you’ll find yourself on a bullet train headed to Zou-Ying Station.
The trip will take about 2 hrs.
When you feel your lungs filling with pollution, that’s when you know you arrived.
Zou-Ying is a station close to Taiwan’s southernmost and second largest city, Kaohsiung. The foreigner population in this city is relatively small so if you feel like an endangered species… well, that’s probably accurate.
People stare more often than usual.
When you arrive in Zou-Ying the next step is to either take a bus or mini-van to your destination.
This step is pretty easy because as soon as you exit the station you’ll be harassed by drivers looking to ship more people over to the town. If you take a mini-van (several people jam-packed into a van) then you shouldn’t have to pay more than 300 NT per person.
The bus takes longer but it’s significantly cheaper (and significantly more uncomfortable).
Cabs will be the most expensive but they’ll take just about as long as a mini-van.
I recommend taking a mini-van.
Assuming you booked a hotel, the mini-van driver will almost always be wiling to deposit you in-front of your hotel free of charge. If you don’t have a hotel then you can just find the most comfortable looking curb and stop the vehicle for a nap.
So you have arrived, deposited on the street with a pile of back-packs, congratulations.
Do the same thing but in reverse.
You can take a mini-van or bus back to ZouYing or Kaohsiung from Kenting and then hop on the HSR back to Taipei.
Spring Scream in Taiwan: What to Do
If you came to the town for Spring Scream, then you’re probably in “Party Mode” and locating a cold alcoholic beverage is your primary objective.
No worries, there are plenty of convenient stores that’ll love to indulge your alcoholic tendencies. You might want to check into your hotel while you can still recognize letters and shapes.
The Rundown on Kenting:
Kenting is basically a glorified walking street steaming with melted flip-flops and street vendors. Whip out that sun block because you don’t want to be in this sun for more than 10 minutes, trust me. This sun will beat down on you without mercy!
It took me a grand total of 10 minutes to transform into an aviator-wearing tomato.
There’s one main street, and it runs directly through the town, this is where all the action takes place. Get familiar with this street because it’ll be your home for the next few days.
The street is littered with a wide variety of shops, street food, bars, and questionable establishments.
During the peek of the weekend, this street is absolutely crowded and a traffic jam runs through the entire town. There are a lot of restaurants on the street, so if you’re hungry I suggest start walking on this street and see if you can find some food.
Or you can check Google Maps for a more accurate suggestion before you accidentally walk back to Taipei.
There are three main beaches in Kenting: Chateau and Howard’s Hotel Beach. These two beaches are the nicest and I didn’t bother with the Chinese names because everyone called them by their English names, or more accurately by the hotels closest to them.
Chateau is the biggest beach, stretching northwards for a few kilometers, it’s really nice, but it’s technically property of Chateau Hotel. That means the chairs, sun-beds, and hammocks are not for you (unless you stay at the hotel) but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a few minutes of relaxation until hotel staff usher you off the premises.
Chateau Beach, where the main party, Spring Break, takes place:
This is the main beach where the main party, Spring Break on The Beach is located. This party is the most popular party during this weekend and most people will be here, a three day long event that starts Friday night and ends Sunday night, shutting down each night at 12 a.m.
It’s definitely a lot of fun and I recommend buying 3 day pass tickets in advance.
The other beach has a party too, but it’s not a major event, not so many people go to this one, but it’s free, and you can bring drinks to the beach and relax.
Well, relax as much as you can with jet engines blasting popular songs into your ears. During the daytime it’s quiet, the DJs only start around 8 PM.
I spent more time on this beach because it was closer to my hotel.
These are the two beaches where you’ll likely spend most of your time. If you’re lucky, the water will be calm and clean, if you’re not lucky it’ll be choppy and full of jelly-fish, I experienced both (the jelly-fish are not recommended).
To explore the area, renting scooters is an option but be warned that the prices will be jacked up during this weekend because it’s the town’s busiest week.
Still, a scooter can be rented for about 500-800 for a day, it’s not a total deal breaker, and it’ll make it easier for you explore the area. Just remember that you’ll need a drivers license but there are some shops that will let you rent scooters without one, they might be hard to find though.
One notable attraction are the natural gas fire pits.
Keep in mind, Taiwan is a volcanic island, and the entire southern coast is covered in razor sharp volcanic rocks. The natural gas emitted from the rocks creates a cool fire pit that’s worth a peak during the nights.
You can also go scuba-diving and there are plenty of water-sports available. Basically, there’s always something to do, and if you don’t do want to do anything – that’s fine too!
I had the most fun just driving down the coast in the morning and checking out the different beaches and just exploring!
It’s also not unusual to spot monkeys on the road, but I heard that they can be a bit aggressive and dangerous so keep your distance.
Wild monkeys are not cool.
So, if you come to Taiwan, and you hear your friends talking about something called Spring Scream, well, now you know what they’re talking about. If partying is not your style and your prefer more recreational activities, head to Kenting any time besides the beginning of April.
Spring Scream in Taiwan is a lot of fun but it can be a bit wild, so make sure to make proper preparations in advance, unless you want to end up with extreme sleep deprivation.
Just keep in mind the town doesn’t get a lot of tourists and you might find that most shops and restaurants are closed during off-season dates, like a ghost town. It’s still a nice place to visit with your friends if you have some time to kill.
Just avoid the jelly-fish.
And the drunk people.
P.S. I’ll be writing more about Taiwan so stay tuned.