Taiwan is often overlooked as a scenic tourist destination because it is more popularly known for its thriving technology and international trade. This tiny island-nation to the north of the Philippines and off the southeastern coast of mainland China has one of the fastest growing economies in the region. (Taipei capital coordinates: 25°3″ North, 121°30″ East.) The second biggest city and perhaps the most picturesque city is Kaohsiung (Coordinates: 22°38’N 120°16’E), and a truly scenic destination in Kaohsiung is Sizih Bay.
A day in Kaohsiung: Traditional and Modern Melding Beautifully
Kaohsiung is a stop you have to make if you are visiting Taiwan, it is one of the largest cities in the country but its modernization hasn’t decreased its cultural authenticity. The city has a lot to offer and one notable stop to make is the Formosa Boulevard KMRT station, a beautifully designed station with a colorful dome that reflects natural light akin to stained glass. The art depicts the vibrant culture of Kaohsiung through the 4 elements of fire, water, wind, and light.
For a dose of Chinese tradition you can head over to the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda in Lotus Pond, which is open to everybody. For luck, you have to enter the dragon’s mouth and exit through the tiger: doing it wrong is believed to cause bad luck, so be careful. Markets also flower around the spot so you can take a shopping trip for beautiful keepsakes.
You can also take a short minute ferry ride to Cijin district where you can visit lighthouses and intricate temples. The district is known for serving fresh seafood so make sure to allot some time to enjoy an authentic Taiwanese meal.
Head over to Tianliao Moon World for a different experience, Tianliao can be more accurately translated as "bad lands". It is noted for its dry terrain where soft rocks and soil have been dramatically eroded by wind and water. The result does give these "bad lands" a striking appearance, though, with a certain desolate appeal.
The Love River is easily Kaohsiung’s most famous spot. It was once just an ordinary part of the city but the local government cleaned up the waterway and did an impressive job of making improvements. If you have time you can walk alongside it or ride a ferry in the city waters.
Don’t forget to visit the Fo Guang Shan monastery, a massive destination with temples, museums and architectural wonders. It’s a pity that taking photos are prohibited in some areas but it’s definitely worth the experience if only to have something to hold in your mind for brief moments.
Shoushan Mountain in Kaohsiung is better known by some as “Monkey Mountain”. Reason? It is the natural habitat of monkeys, absolute tons of them. In the 17th Century when the Dutch first discovered this peak, they called it “Ape Hill”, pertaining to the monkeys. Not to be confused with Shoushan Mountain in Liaoning in mainland China, Shoushan in Kaohsiung, Taiwan is a well known tourist destination. You should visit this popular peak when in Taiwan, for several reasons other than for its resident primates.
First, visit Monkey Mountain to see a diversity of wildlife. Kaohsiung residents and visitors are given a rare chance to see diverse life [Read more…]
The Old City of Zuoying is a fortified city that was built during the Qing Dynasty in 1683 to 1895. Also known as the Old City of Fengshan County, it is one of the first walled cities in Taiwan. It is located in the southwestern city of Kaohsiung and managed by the Fengshan County of the Taiwan Prefecture. From 1988 to 2001, extensive excavations were conducted in this old city and they revealed relics that dated all the way from pre-historic era to the period of the Han people in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
In 1684, Taiwan became an annex of the Qing Dynasty, and the ancient rulers had a special liking of Zouying’s strategic location. It [Read more…]
Kaohsiung in Taiwan is world famous for its very progressive and highly modernized port. Millions of shipments make their way to Kaohsiung harbor, making it the 6th busiest cargo port in the world. However, despite the fact that this Taiwanese city is more popular for its trade and industry than tourism, its many tourist attractions and activities are getting much international attention. One of the city’s impressive attractions is TianHou Temple in Cijin District. Below are three reasons why you should visit this temple when in Kaohsiung.
First, the island of Cijin itself is an amazing tourist draw. It is a slender island that is conveniently situated off the shore of Kaohsiung [Read more…]
The Urban Spotlight Arcade sounds more formal and boring than what the actual tourist site looks like. The site is a hip, artistic and majestic landmark in Kaohsiung that features unique city lighting effects that transform portions on Wufu 3rd Road and Zhonghua Road into a high-tech ballet of blue, green and red neon lights. It’s like Vegas but smaller and without the gambling and hustle and bustle; a perfect place to unwind, relax and bathe in art, soft music and cool light.
Designed by nine local artists, the lights were officially opened in October 2001, covering a total street length of 150 meters adjacent to [Read more…]
With one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, Taiwan is known to have hundreds of modern high-rise structures including two of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, Taiwan 101 and Tuntex Sky Tower. However, the country’s largest stadium in terms of capacity is not in the capital city of Taipei. The Kaohsiung National Stadium is found in the southwestern city of Kaohsiung, the second largest and busiest metropolis. The stadium was completed only in 2009 and specifically for the purpose of hosting the 2009 World Games.
A few years before the World Games, the city government of Kaohsiung was granted the right to host the games and immediately the [Read more…]