Camping Southern Taiwan: Rock Garden
January 6, 2020
Southern Taiwan’s Rock Garden Campground
Chances are, you don’t know about this place.
Here, the morning wakes before the sun. There are sounds of nearby ocean waves, singing insects and barking dogs. This is a place where you can pitch a tent, make a fire, and then eat home-made real butter brownies. Down a one car road encased in green mountains and good air, is Rock Garden Campsite and Restaurant.
Camp Close to Kenting National Park
Rock Garden is one of the best kept secrets of Southern Taiwan. Located in ManZhou near Kenting National Park, it’s an ideal location for those who want to get outdoors and away from city living while still having amenities such as hot showers, clean bathrooms and cooking areas. You have the option to bring a tent, or stay in one of their raised bungalows that include power outlets and sleeping mats. They also offer kayaks, surf boards and bikes to rent out and enjoy.
If camping isn’t your thing, there are also other local options such B&B Wild East (Yes, they have a jacuzzi).
In the daytime you can hear the Beatles or Neil Young playing in the background while Jonathan and Sammy prepare pizza and brownies in the kitchen. Locals and travelers alike come here to take a break away from traditional Taiwanese food and enjoy something of a different flavor.
From selling Christmas trees on New York corners, to making decadent, chocolate brownies in Taiwan, Jonathan does everything with his own flavor. “I wake up at 5:30 to start the pizza dough. It takes some time to rise, so I take the dogs for a walk to the beach, drink some tea, pack up and come here.”
All of the food is made from scratch with the best ingredients around. “If you’re here in the morning, the air smells like brownies,” Denise, one of the regulars told us. He is usually behind the kitchen walls or setting on some music, so if you can’t find him around the Garden, just give one of his dogs a pat instead.
Eric, the Lao Ban
Eric, owner of Rock Garden, created this spot a few years ago. It’s a place where people from various backgrounds can meet and interact in a relaxed setting. A place where both adults and children could connect and unwind. When you talk to him, it seems like he has done almost everything. From surfing, to biking, from places to hike to advice on how to train your dog. If you have any questions about the area, what to do, where to go, he is the man to ask.
With live music and other events offered on holiday weekends, Jonathan and Eric are working on Rock Garden’s continual changes. “We look forward to creating the environment and dreaming of new projects as well as meeting people and creating relationships.”
Rock Garden, the Best Campsite in Southern Taiwan
Outside beach access, waterfalls, fires, and the Kenting coastline, there is something else special here. It’s why this place attracts all different kinds of people, from all different areas of the world. And, it’s why we like coming here so much. Whether humans, or dogs, or the burst of life from everywhere you look, this kind of thing doesn’t function if you don’t do your part. Leave no footprints so others can enjoy the beauties and freedoms of Rock Garden as you did.
At the end of the day, when the sky disappears into the audience of mountains, you’re listening to live music, and you’re surrounded with some like minded people (and dogs), Rock Garden is the place to be.
Chances are, you don’t know about this place, but you should.