With Backpack

One World in One Lifetime

The Ipanema Surf House

Posted by Heliocentrism on September 8, 2009

August 30, 2009

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A Gong Hotel Resort

Just to sit on a beach

In the morning I checked out of my hotel. It was a nice hotel, but it wasn’t near the beach that I had come all the way to Taiwan for. This was a relaxing vacation, not a sightseeing one. I wanted to just lie around on a beach and not do anything for a week.

Most buses are group tour buses

I asked the ladies at the counter for the best way to get to Baisha. They acted like this was a very near to impossible thing to do. “You have to take a bus into town, and then take another bus to Baisha. It could take a long time. Buses don’t come by very often.”

As we were talking, the owner of the hotel overheard our conversation. “I’ll take you for 300TWD.” I don’t know if this was way too much to pay or if it was a deal, but I was willing to pay it. I would rather be sitting on a beach instead of standing at a bus stop.

He took me to the Ipanema Surf House, which is run by a surfer named Max. He used to live in Brazil and is still quiet in love with everything Brazilian. It cost me 400TWD per night for a room.

my private room with TV and a/c

The rooms can be rearranged to fit many people. There were four beds in my room before I got there, but most were moved out to make it a one person room.

The amenities were: free wireless internet, free internet when Max isn’t using his computer, free usage of a huge washing machine, and I think Max gives surfing lessons, though I don’t know how much it costs.

The hotel I slept in the previous night cost 1300TWD a night. That hotel came with a pool. Most of the hotels along the Kenting road cost about 800TWD for the low-end hotels to way more money than I care to think about for the high-end ones. The closer you are to the populated beaches the more the hotels will cost.

my scooter

Scoot on Over

I was able to rent one of the two scooters that Max owned for 400TWD a day. This was great for me because I had budgeted 800TWD per night for a hotel and 500TWD per day for a scooter. The scooter cost about 80TWD to fill up with gas which I did 1.5 times while I was there and gave it back to max with roughly the same amount of gas it had when I got it.

Why don’t more people ride scooters? Funny you should ask that…

Just like Erik Estrada!

Max just handed me the keys for the scooter. He only asked if I had a driver’s license. He never asked to see it or whether or not I could drive a scooter. He gave me a 10 minute lesson only after I nearly rammed his scooter into the side of the guest house.


All by Myself…

Baisha beach was not what I was expecting. I wanted an isolated beach and that is exactly what I got. But it was a bit too isolated. There were no nearby restaurants or convenience stores. Every time I got hungry I had to scoot into town.

At the start of my mini-vacation I wished I had gone to Paradise Beach Resort in Vietnam. There I never left the beach. It cost 20USD per night and included 3 meals a day. But I purposely chose not to go to Vietnam because I had already seen Vietnam and I had never been to Taiwan.

Doc Let beach in Paradise Resort in Vietnam

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The Republic of China
(Zhōnghuá Mínguó)

How to get there:

Taiwan in an island so you can enter this country by plane or boat.

Americans get a 30-day visa at the port of entry. Check with you local Taiwanese embassy or consulate for exact details on getting a visa.


  • Emergency Numbers:
    • Police 110
    • Ambulance and Fire 119




  • If you ever visit Taiwan, write some address and phone number on your landing card, even if it’s for a Starbucks. Never leave the section for hotel’s address blank.


How to get there:

  • 21°56’02.9″N 120°43’04.4″E

You can take

  • a taxi.
  • a bus from Kenting to Hengchun and then a bus from Hengchun to Baisha.
  • a scooter.

Driving directions:

Go north on the Kenting road. Once you pass Nanwan beach look out for a 7/11 on the corner of a big intersection. Turn left there. The road will end at a T-intersection. Turn left onto that road. Stay on that road until you see signs that say Baisha.


  • There is more than one beach in Taiwan with the name Baisha. This is the one near Kenting.

ISH card

The Ipanema Surf House

How to get there:

  • 21°55’53.2″N 120°43’56.1″E
  • Go north on the Kenting road.
  • Once you pass Nanwan beach look out for a 7/11 on the corner of a big intersection. Turn left there.
  • The road will end at a T-intersection. Turn left onto that road.
  • Stay on that road until you see a temple. There are several little shrines, but you are looking out for a temple.
  • There will be a traffic light a few meters from the temple and a road between the light and the temple. Turn left on that road. The Ipanema Surf House is at the end of that road.


  • 400TWD/night for a room
  • 400TWD/day for a scooter (He only has 2 scooters though)
  • The name of the owner is Max.
    • He used to live in Brazil.
    • He loves surfing.
  • This place is popular among surfers.
  • Max offers surfing lessons for a fee.
  • You can use the kitchen and store stuff in the fridge.
  • You can do laundry here for free.
  • Laundry detergent is free too.
  • The rooms have air conditioning.
  • The showers come with free shampoo and body wash.
  • There is free wi-fi.
  • There aren’t any restaurants nearby (within walking distance on a hot Taiwanese summer day).
  • There is a corner shop that’s about a 10 minute walk away from the house. It’s really just an old guy sell snacks from his garage.


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