How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream (part three)

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Kenting Road and Peace Lane

This entry is follow-up of this previous article, and covers Saturday and Sunday of Spring Scream 2008 weekend (April 5-6, 2008).

Saturday was the night that I decided to skip Spring Scream, and attend Spring Wave, a (more) commercial version of the outdoor music festival. In terms of notoriety, the bands featured at Spring Wave were usually more pop, and also more popular, and all played on the same single huge stage. On the night before, Sodagreen, Tanya Chua and Cyndi Wang performed at the Maobitou park, just across the bay from Kenting (Da Wan), but some 12km to go around the bay, and the nuclear power plant, seen here below:

Hengchun Nuclear power plant
Hengchun Nuclear power plant

Can you believe that! In a charming location such as Kenting (otherwise a national park), they built a nuclear plant just looming the beautiful beach of Nan Wan… I will come back to all these Nan Wan, Da Wan, and other place names… They are all considered to be in “Kenting” (the name of the whole national park), but are separate constructed areas, Da Wan being what can be considered as the main Kenting agglomeration. Bear in mind that this town is tiny (probably less than a thousand), but fills up like mad during holidays.

On my way to Maobitou (貓鼻頭 Cat nose rock), I stopped five minutes for a break at Duggar’s Nan Wan shop/hostel, as the sun was setting on Kenting. At this point, traffic was crowding Nan Wan completely, and I did not know that I only did barely 1/5 of the whole trip to Maobitou. I was still riding my super bicycle (a hard seater), and it had been a dramatically different tourist experience. Not having a backpack, and carrying a large bottle of water and a heavy SLR camera did not help. Very few people use the bicycle to go around, probably because most of them descended to Kenting with their scooter, a very very popular mode of transportation in Taiwan.

I arrived at Maobitou an hour of bike later, biked down the slow slope, past columns of young people with their phosphorescent bands, while following the sound of music, the only signal telling me that I was at the right place (or not even, with the number of different parties across the township that night).

Shino at Spring Wave 2008
Shino Lin Xiao-Pei or 林曉培

The first concert that I heard was that of Shino Lin, or 林曉培 (Lin Xiao-Pei). The music was not my type (it wouldn’t be, for most of the night). I understood at some point that she was joking around about drinking iced tea that her mother made instead of alcohol, and relayed the information to my second article for BAP saying that singers exchanged their cans of beer (flowing at SS) for tea gourds. What I in fact did not know until much later, after being back in Montreal, was that Shino was responsible for a drunk-driving killing in Taipei, just a little more than a year before, according to this Taipei Times article! Weird!

Crowd at Spring Wave 2008
Crowd at Spring Wave 2008

The crowd was very well-behaved. The next two bands were some boys rock bands, one of which was a very well-known band called Mayday (五月天). I was extremely tired and a little out of it then, and did not take any picture, relying on the fact that other people would (photos by a dude nicknamed Swanky, who is a really good semi-pro photographer who came to see Cheer, but took pictures of the rest) (also see YouTube of MayDay, if you are interested to know what I am talking about).

Cheer Chen 陳綺貞 at Spring Wave 2008 in Maobitou, Kenting
Cheer Chen 陳綺貞

Next, after Mayday, and after the mass exodus, there was Cheer Chen! Swanky has better pictures, and even the show’s set list on his Flickr set.

This was probably one of the most surreal experiences of my life, just like the night before, being in a foreign country, and listening to live music by an artist that I have been following for the past year or two, surrounded by many big-enough fans to go to a remote part of Taiwan to listen to her. She sang many of her usual concert songs, as well as one 一起去巴黎 (Let’s go together to Paris) and her rendition of a song that she wrote for Faith Yang 楊乃文 (Evidence/證據).

The trip home was perhaps the scariest bike ride to date (as if the previous day’s ride wasn’t frightening enough). Instead of taking the high road, inland, from which I arrived in Maobitou, I decided to take a turn towards the coast. There was a slope down, so it was fairly pleasant at the beginning (as painful as the way up would be). Of course, there are no lampposts, and I had only the few passing cars’ headlights to guide myself such that I wouldn’t bike directly into the beach / the sea.

I did not take any picture, but really should’ve. Besides the uninteresting stretches of provincial roads, there were tiny isolated patches of houses along the way, with people sitting on their Chinese version of a front porch.

Back to the intersection with Road 26, the highway to Kenting, I randomly bumped into my new Taipeite friends, met two days earlier. They were waiting for the bus to take them back to Da Wan, where their hotel is located. They just hung out at a nearby DJ set, somewhere across from the nearby pond.

Entering Da Wan was superbly triumphant.

Kenting on Spring Scream's Saturday
Kenting on Spring Scream’s Saturday

After chilling for a few minutes on front of Duggar’s inn, I set out again for another bain de foule.

Kenting night market
Kenting night market

Skewers
Skewers

People dancing outside bars
People dancing outside bars

I called it a night, and prepared to go back to Eluanbi in the early afternoon to catch Wonfu, the only band that I knew, or which was of interest.

Wonfu at Spring Scream Double Rat
Wonfu

Springscreamers
Springscreamers

They were absolutely fantastic on stage. They performed many songs from their newest album, Dance of Youth. The male lead singer reminded me a bit of Dédé Fortin of Les Colocs, in terms of facial expressions.

We had a concert, but noone came...
It wasn’t that awkward – people were just hiding under the shade

Passiwali
Passiwali

There was another interesting band called The Chairman, and then I wandered behind the hill, noticed that the crowd was minute compared with Friday night, took a nap, and went back to the main stage to see a band that I forgot about, and closed up Spring Scream with a Taiwanese latin band called Passiwali.

Kenting

Kenting - view of the parking on Monday morning

Kenting

On the next morning, I took a walk around Kenting, after absolutely everyone left (Monday ain’t a holiday). I went to the nearby beach and swam in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. I got some help to call a taxi-van, said goodbye to Duggar, Camie and Noa, and left for Kaohsiung.

To complete the coverage of Kenting during Spring Scream, here is a map of the place that I spoke about in these three entries on Kenting:


View Larger Map

How-to guide for Kenting during Spring Scream:
Part One | Part Two | Part Three

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