Famous for its night markets and fresh seafoods, Kaohsiung is the 2nd largest city in Taiwan on the south west part of the small peninsula.
Where to stay:
For two nights, I stayed in Ahiruyah Guesthouse located very close to Formosa Boulevard Station, where you will find one of the finest works of our arts in this city, The Dome.
|Being close to the famous Liouhe Night market and train station, Ahiruyah Guesthouse’s location is unbeatable. They have modern and stylish facilities, comfortable and clean rooms, it’s the place to be in Kaohsiung. Price is affordable and very reasonable, checkout their website for booking.|
Travel Tips and Highlights:
Take the MRT and alight at Zouing station. The pond from its name is famous for the lotus plants on the man made lake and the beautiful temples around it. Including the Spring and Autumn Pavilions, Yuandi Temple and my personal favorite, the very traditional Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. There’s a local belief that when entering the Dragon’s mouth and going out from the Tiger’s transforms bad luck into good luck.
You can go around the lake by walking or cycling to visit each of the huge and beautiful structures around it. Rising straight by the lake is an enormous 72-meter high Syuan Tian Emperor holding a giant sword, it’s like a statue built to guard the lake.
For adrenaline junks and those who want a little adventure, you can ride a wakeboard at the newly opened Lotus Wake Park. The first and only full size cable park in Taiwan.
Cijin is a district of Kaohsiung in a small island located near the port. You can easily visit by taking a ferry from the old district of Yancheng. Ferry departs every 30 minutes and takes only 10 minutes to reach Cijin.
This island is popular for tourists to eat seafood, enjoy the beach and see historical sights. I did not skip trying the fresh catch from the street food stalls; it’s really fresh, delicious and cheap. Cijin seaside park has a beautiful collection of sand sculptures.
Visit the old and beautiful Tianhou Temple and do a 20 minute hike to Cihou lighthouse. From here, you’ll see the beautiful view of the sunset and the city of Kaoshiung from its harbor.
Liouhe Night Market
About a minute walk from Formosa Blvd Train Station, this night market is a must and your visit to Kaohsiung is incomplete without walking to its myriads of food and shopping stands.
Taste all the popular Taiwanese/Chinese street foods, take your time and have an empty stomach prior to your visit. Many foreigners from around the world visit this night market. It’s a busy and exciting place for foodies like me. Have your dinner here each night and you’ll never run out of selection.
Other places to visit :
Moon World – This unique landscape got its name due to its resemblance to the surface of the moon. A popular spot to enjoy chicken dishes.
Fo Guang Shan Monastery – The biggest Buddhist temple complex in the country. A lantern festival takes place here during Chinese New Year.
Shoushan National Park – Also known as the Monkey Mountain, it’s an easy hike from Gushan District and a protected natural park where you can interact with many monkeys dominating the park.
Itinerary for discovering Kaohsiung, Taiwan:
From Kaohsiung International Airport, take a train to Formosa Blvd Station. Visit the The Dome at the center. Check in at the guesthouse.
Take a train to Zouying Station, alight and ride a bike or walk to Lotus Pond and visit the structures around the lake. Have some adventure at Lotus Wake Park before heading back to the guesthouse.
Visit the Liouhe Night Market and enjoy the best street foods.
Morning walk or cycle at the Love River. Have some snacks and bubble tea at Yancheng district before taking a ferry to Cijin.
In Cijin, walk along the main street and visit the Tianhou Temple. It leads to the beach and there a several stalls selling fresh seafood along the way.
Enjoy the sunset from top of Cihou Lighthouse.
Take a train to Central Park, walk around and get a coffee in one of the coffee shops around, enjoy the fresh breeze before you start our journey to your next destination.
How to get there :
Recently, Scoot launched a direct flight from Singapore to Kaohsiung which departs on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
You can also take a direct flight from any other major cities in China or a domestic flight from Taipei.
Taiwan Highspeed Rail
Similar to Japan’s Shinkansen, you can also reach Kaoshiung from Taipei via their highspeed train. Journey will take 1.5 hours for the express train. Online booking is available.
About the Writer
Jaypee Licudan is a Filipino Expat based in Singapore. He’s a traveller and writer for Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog and has been to over 30 countries across 4 continents. He’s major long term goal is to go back to the Philippines for a long time travel to discover the hidden gems of his home country. Follow his personal blog: The Rustic Nomad
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