Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Trip To Taiwan 台湾: Kenting 垦丁 - Shadao Ecological Reserve / Sand Island 砂岛


Photo By: Elin Chow
Address: No. 224, Shadao Rd, Hengchun Township, Pingtung, Taiwan 恒春镇鹅銮里砂岛路224号

Leaving Sail Rock Scenic Area 船帆石, we set off once again to visit the Shadao Ecological Reserve (also known as Sand Island) 砂岛, one of the eight shell beaches along the coast of Kenting. 

Shadao Ecological Reserve / Sand Island 砂岛


Shadao Ecological Reserve ( also known as Sand Island) 砂岛 is an unspoiled environmental protection area containing the highest proportion of shell sand among the eight shell sand beaches in Kenting. The 220 meters long beach is composed of 98% sea shell sand, formed naturally from the debris of seashell, corals and forams caused by powerful waves and erosion over a long period of time.


At the first sight, Shadao looks just like any other ordinary beaches in Kenting. Although the attraction is named the ''Sand Island", it is not actually an island, but rather a small bay area filled with sea shell sand that are so fine that it resembles sand.  

Shadao is one of the many of the many Ecological Protection Areas in Kenting National Park 垦丁国家公园. The beach has been declared as a specially protected area in Kenting and is off-limits to the general public.

Before Shadao was environmentally protected, the sand on the shore was exploited for building materials. A large amount of sand was evacuated by merchants and are used to make jewelries and other decorative items for export to countries like Japan and Hawaii, causing severe damages to the natural environment.

One side of the beach is also a breeding ground for the critically endangered Hawksbill turtles. As a result, many local fishermen illegally lay their fixed net around this area to catch the turtles and other reef species. In order to protect the shore filled with shell sand and the endangered marine species , a large stretch of the beach has been cordoned off and closed off to the public.

It is disappointing that we are not allowed on the beach. We could only enjoy its beauty from afar. There is also a small shell beach exhibition hall located next to the protected area. That is where you will get to learn more about the island, particularly on the formation and preservation of the shell sand. You may visit the exhibition hall if you wish to see and feel the shell sand with your own hands.


The rest of the coral beach next to Shadao is still open to the public. Under the waves, the area is blessed with beautiful coral reefs and rich marine life. The waters is crystal clear and the visibility is excellent, making it an ideal location for a shore dive.


During the day, it is not a surprise to see some people fishing off the rocks. Rock fishing can be particularly dangerous due to the unpredictable nature of the ocean and the rocks. Be careful and mindful as you walk as some of the rocks can be slippery, wet, uneven and often sharp. Falling on the rocks can cause one to suffer from serious injuries.

Shadao is said to be the most beautiful beach in Kenting. Free from footprints and littering, the sand on the island is shiny and smooth.


Hot and humid air, warm sea and the scorching sun. This is how I would describe the weather in Kenting at the time we visited. So, do not forget to apply sufficient amount of sunscreen, wear a hat and drink plenty of water to avoid getting sunburnt and dehydration. 


We visited on a weekday morning and was delighted to see that there was no crowds. The beach is seemingly clean and almost litter-free, which was very appealing. So, please remember bring all of your trash with you before you leave this place. We all have a part to play in protecting and preserving the beauty of our natural environment.


We spent about 20 minutes taking photo and admiring the beauty and quietness of the beach. It was a nice place to stop by if you are on your way to Eluanbi Park 鹅銮鼻公园 in Kenting. With its unspoiled coast and ocean teeming with marine life, Shadao is a really a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Kenting.

If you are interested to know more about our trip, you may want to check out our 11D10N round island tour itinerary for the list of attractions that we had visited during our 11 days in Taiwan. Be sure to follow me on Facebook or Twitter  for the latest updates on my 11 days adventures in Taiwan!

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