**Updated: 18 April 2015 **
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Kenting, Taiwan by Money and Travel
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— Original Post below —
So here comes the final first-time ride on this trip! *Drum rolls*
Here’s the clue:
For the non-Chinese speaking tourists, this banner displays the prices for various combination of sea sports activities. They usually include a jet ski tugging a float and speed around the sea, such as the famous Banana Boat. There are many other types of floats, of course. Each structured slightly differently, and in our opinion, tests different aspects of your physical strength.
There are many shops and outlets lined along the main Kenting street, that offer these activities at relatively competitive prices. As we tried only just one shop, we couldn’t really tell which shop’s service is better. So we are going to narrate our experience to the best of our ability and perhaps grant insights to whether you would like to take up this experience. We still think you should try it out anyway.
Having plans in mind to try the sea activities, we were all ready packed with our swimwear and brought extra clothes. Minutes after we confirmed our bookings with the shop owner, they called in their vans to have us sent to another branch outlet, closer to sea. Over there, there are shower cubicles for changing and a quick wash after the activities. Oh! And the people there were very thoughtful to ask if we require wet suits or sea boots. To which, we gently declined indicating we brought our own swimwear.
Leaving our bags at the shop, the van once again brought us to the sea, where a guide or instructor led us down the beach, into the sea and onto this floating platform slightly further out in the sea. A word of caution though, the beaches had large rocks and scattered with many other rough surfaces. To reach the floating platform, we had to navigate over the rocks and cling on to the rope that connects to the platform. Very much unlike Singapore’s beach, the waves there were a lot more forceful, making the navigation very tricky, especially when we are partially submerged in the sea. A slip of foot or under pressure from the waves could render cuts easily onto our knees.
They also provided each participant a life-vest to at least safeguard us from drowning. Then again, here comes the fun part. Taking the jet ski as pillions was our first ride in the package that we signed up for. The person controlling the jet ski would go at high speeds, make sharp turns and display impossible techniques! Never did I know that the jet ski could still continue to travel at an angle nearly parallel to the sea surface! As you might have guessed, Faith and I were half submerged into the sea when he did those tricks. In all attempts to throw us off the jet ski, we persisted and refused to let go of what little we could grab on to.
Rest assure though, in all the rides, the driver would always turn back every now and then to check if we were still on board. The first test of inner thigh strength, core strength and grip strength was over. Then comes something they called 大力水手 which translates “Strong Sailor” or literally meaning “Strong arms”. The float enables up to 5 or 6 people to board it, which in our case, again we had the luxury of just the two of us on board. There were many handles on the float which allow us to hold yet, we were expected to either sit or lie down – without any footholds or seat belts.
That means, if anyone wants to avoid being swung out into the sea, they would have to, literally hold on for their lives. It was fun! Except after much tugging, sudden jerks, and odd angle swings, our arms were tensed and tired. Beats a gym I suppose. Fun and functional, how economical.
The third one in line was ” 大脚丫” which we do not really know what it means until they explain so we can choose to sit on the float and hold tight, or we could stand at the rear end. Faith sat, and I had to go into a horse-riding stance in order to keep myself balanced. This ride strained my thighs, calves, forearms and biceps.
Ultimately, we were very determined not to fall into the sea on any of these rides and had a good laugh seeing how the driver couldn’t swing us off. He must be thinking “What a persistent bunch!”
All in all, we love this trip! The sun, the weather, the scenery and all the fun! And most importantly this trip has pulled Faith and I together closer than before. There are certainly many benefits travelling around the world as a couple, so try them out and do let us know how your travelling experience has been like. Of course, as a rounding off note, there are so many other attractions that we have not covered, and so many other activities uncovered as well! We will definitely head back to Kenting someday again!