Being the second largest city in Taiwan China, Kaohsiung has evolved from a small fishing village to a modern metropolis with many cultural spots including great museums and art venues. There is a mix of the old and new with ancient temples and extravagant modern shopping malls both located in the centre of the city. If you wish to explore more rural parts of the island, Kaohsiung is also a great place for planning different side-trips too.
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Both Yancheng and Gushan are the downtown districts of Kaohsiung. Stroll along the famous Love River for the stunning view of the city’s skyline. Pay a visit to the Pier-2 Art Center where you can find some big scale exhibitions at the once abandoned industrial warehouses. There are also huge murals and public artworks in the area, providing the best instagrammable spots. Shoushan, the “Longevity Mountain '' is located in Gushan District, and it is also home to the famous Formosan Macaque. You will be able to meet them at the Shoushan National Nature Park. At the north lies the Sizihwan Scenic Area, with a popular black-sand beach. The Kaohsiung Fisherman’s Wharf in Gushan is also a great place to enjoy the lively atmosphere at the Banana Pier and grab some local snacks at the food stalls.
Weiwuying, also known as the National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts, is a performance arts centre in Fengshan District. As the world’s largest performing arts centre, it has an extraordinary architectural style. Sitting next to the performing arts centre is the Weiwuying Metropolitan Park, which consists of the South Lake, a play park for the kids, and a scenic lookout. Be sure to walk through the streets in Weiyuying Street Art Village where you can find many buildings covered with murals and street arts.
Taroko Park is a multifunctional theme park in Cianjhen District. You could find a shopping centre, movie theatre, roller-skating rink, a softball and baseball ground, and even amusement rides there. In the area there is also the Dream Mall, the largest shopping mall in the city with a rooftop amusement park. Take a ride at the Kaohsiung Eye Ferris Wheel for the scenic landscape of the city, Sizihwan area and the Kaohsiung Harbour. At night, the neon lights will turn the Kaohsiung Eye into a bright pearl shining on the city. Other famous landmarks in Cianjhen include Kaohsiung Exhibition Centre and Cianjhen Fishing Port.
Meinung is a small area rich in Hakka culture. The Meinung Folk Village has well preserved the Hakka cultural traditions for a unique Hakka experience. Take a class to make your own oil-paper umbrella or pottery, or try some Hakka snacks and specialty food. The Lovers’ Valley in Maolin is a popular attraction famous for its breathtaking view of the five-level waterfalls in Lovers’ Gorge and also other natural scenery such as hot springs and creeks. Other attractions in the suburbs include E-Da Theme Park, which is the first and only Greek Aegean Sea inspired theme park in Taiwan China.
Spend a fun day exploring the small yet beautiful Cijin Island. It is just a short 5-minute ferry ride from Kaohsiung's harbour. Similar to many other places on the island, there are temples scattered across. In Cijin, the Cihou Tianhou Temple is the first temple in the area dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu, showing its historical significance to the island. Remember to snap a few pictures at the Rainbow Church, a colorful outdoor art installation that is on every Instagrammer’s checklist. You may also chill out at the Windmill Park to enjoy some nice sea breeze at the coastline. Head to the Old Street for some delicious and fresh seafood if you are feeling hungry too!
In Kaohsiung, some of the famous night markets including Liuhe Night Market and Ruifeng Night Market are both located in the downtown area. Some of the must-try street foods are papaya milk and oyster omelette served from over 200 food stalls in the markets. You can also hunt for some nice bargains too.
Situated in Zuoying which is the main cultural and historical area of the city, there lies some iconic landmarks such as the Lotus Pond, with many lotus flowers floating in the pond surrounded by pagodas, pavilions and markets along the bank. Know about the Chinese traditions and mythology at the Dragon Tiger Tower nearby. Remember to walk through the mouth of the Dragon walkway and exit from the mouth of the tiger as it symbolises turning bad luck into good fortune. The Siaogangshan Skywalk Park in Gangshan district features a violin shaped sky bridge with steel cables that look like violin strings and spiral staircases that represent a harmonica. You can easily view the Agongdian Reservoir and Forest Park standing at the bridge, or even as far as the 85 Sky Tower and Shoushan when the sky is clear.
If you are a nature lover, then you must include a hiking trip at the Shoushan National Nature Park. Take on an adventure into the woods to meet the monkeys. Along the hiking trail there are many sightseeing spots such as the Zoo, temples and limestone caves where you can witness the wonders of nature. Resembling the Moon surface, Tianliao Moon World has a unique geography known as “badlands” and there are also many mud volcanoes in the area. If you wish to know more about the area’s formation, there is a Mudstone Geography Center that could fulfill part of your curiosity.
The history and cultures in Kaohsiung are well preserved for an in-depth cultural tour around the city. Previously served as a basin of Kaohsiung Port, the Pier-2 Art Center is now an open art space for all kinds of art activities, from exhibitions to plenty of colourful murals. You could also bike along the former Western railway line and view all the art installations in the outdoor public space. If time allows, you may also pay a visit to the Ten Drum Culture Village in Tainan area, a century-old sugar factory renovated into a drumming-themed international art village. The Dome of Light at the Formosa Boulevard MRT station is an art piece created by a renowned artist. Being the world’s largest public art installation, it is made of individual pieces of coloured glass, adding dynamic vibes to the city. The former British Consulate at Takow which overlooks the Sizihwan Bay and the Port of Kaohsiung, is also a historic site worth visiting to admire the antique Western architecture.
There are many commercial complexes in the city that have both shopping malls and amusement parks in the same location, such as the Eda Theme Park and E Sky Land. The Taroko Park has many exciting rides including “SUZUKA CIRCUIT” – the first ever driving theme park licensed by Suzuka outside Japan. In the same complex there are also retail outlets, sports and entertainment facilities available, covering every need of your family. Another spot is the Neiweipi Cultural Park by the Love River. The park is also home to the Children’s Art Museum, a Sculpture Park, Ecology Park and the Austronesian Cultural Area.
The accommodation options in Kaohsiung vary from hostels, boutique hotels to luxury hotels. If you want to quickly access different areas of the city by MRT, then stay at one of the hotels in Formosa Boulevard Station. Find a place in the Central Park area if you plan to stay up all night for the bustling nightlife in Kaohsiung. The hotels near Kaohsiung Arena will enable you to shop from day till night as most of the large shopping malls are nearby. If you wish to be surrounded by the cultural and historic spots, consider staying in the Sizihwan and Yancheng District.
Average: 16°C - 24°C
Warm during the day yet it could be quite chilly at nights. Remember to bring extra clothes to stay warm.
Average: 22°C - 31°C
Quite hot during the day when the Sun’s out. Light chances of rain showers due to the plum rain season.
Average: 26°C - 32°C
Bring an umbrella as there are chances of heavy rainfall as the typhoon season approaches.
Average: 20°C - 28°C
Still hot in September but begins to cool off in October. Great time to visit Kaohsiung.