Strikingly standing on the seashore just a few meters off the coast highway, Sail Rock (Chuanfan Rock 船帆石) is an amazing vertical monolith that is one of the iconic landmarks of Kenting National Park in southern Taiwan.
Please watch the following video for more images of Sail Rock.
Origin of Sail Rock
Sail Rock is actually a huge piece of coral reef that broke off from the coastal cliff nearby and rolled down to the sea. Due to gravitational dragging effects and seawater erosion, only the relatively harder and more solid part of the giant reef remains standing in the water and its current shape was then formed.
Origin of the rock’s name
Sail Rock is 18 meters (59 feet) high, with a circumference of about 40 meters (131 feet). It resembles the shape of a quadrangular sail when seeing it from a distance, hence, its name.
In fact, the top of this coral reef is covered with weeds and shrubs that look like hair on a human head, while its extruding piece on the front side appears like a human nose.
Because the contour of the rock bears some resemblance to the profile of Richard Nixon, the former U.S. president who switched diplomatic ties from Taiwan (formally called the Republic of China) to China in 1979, the rock is thus commonly referred to as “Nixon Head.”
Situated right next to Sail Rock is a fine white sand beach. Though it is much smaller than the famous Nanwan (South Bay) Beach in this national park, it does offer a wide range of water sport activities, including snorkeling, jet skiing, water skiing, surfing, banana boat riding, swimming, and sunbathing.
There are plenty of cozy guesthouses (B&B) across the street from Sail Rock, and many of them are the favorites of informed travelers.
Though without luxury lobbies and beautiful gardens like those five-star hotels located about 3 km (1.8 miles) away from Sail Rock, these guesthouses do offer distinctive amenities and services that cater to all guests.
Take one of the reputed guesthouses in this area for instance. Besides spacious guest rooms and complete concierge services, it also offers complimentary in-room breakfast and free laundry service to all of its guests.
With a cute balcony, all of its guest rooms are facing the ocean and have a spectacular view of Sail Rock. It is relaxing to enjoy the exquisite Western- or Taiwanese-style breakfasts at a cute table on the balcony, while taking in the striking “Nixon Head,” along with huge white clouds in the clear blue sky over the immense azure ocean and the lush mountain in the distance.
Among other things, its free laundry service is particularly favored by travelers, as it can save them not only money, but also the hassle of doing their laundry themselves after a strenuous day exploring the national park or doing some sports in the sea or on the beach.
As long as guests put dirty clothes in a laundry bag and send it to the reception desk by 9 p.m., their clean clothes will be delivered to the guest room along with breakfast the following morning free of charge.
Additionally, another considerate offer is that freshly brewed coffee will be delivered to guest rooms upon request anytime.
Sail Rock is definitely an attraction that should not be missed when visiting Kenting National Park, and the guesthouses in this area will always be good accommodation options for visitors.