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 the MRT Central Park Station and Shinkuchan Commercial District. The area covered by the urban lights is as peaceful during the day, but the real action begins as darkness falls. Local and foreign tourists come here to stroll around, hang out, sip some drinks or coffee in the line of outdoor cafés, and enjoy scheduled live musical performances on the streets.
The Urban Spotlight – its peaceful ambiance, artistry, and lights – is a very good representation of what the city of Kaohsiung stands for. The serene ambiance pervades all over the city. The city of Kaohsiung is much more serene, inviting and organized than the capital city of Taipei.
The artistry talks about the Taiwanese people who truly value the arts. One of the leading museums in Kaohsiung is the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, which highlights local art pieces and promotes the uniqueness of Taiwanese art. Another public art display is found on the Formosa Boulevard MRT Station, the Dome of Light.
The lights from the Urban Spotlight represent modern technology that is propelling this city to international significance. This southwestern Taiwanese city used to be a simple fishing village until its port became more and more high-tech. Today, it is the sixth most important international cargo port in the world, making Kaohsiung the second most progressive city in Taiwan. Other than its port and international trading, the city is also popular for its many tourist attractions. Its natural attractions include the romantic Love River, mystical Cijin Island, and beautiful Lotus Lake, while its man-made attractions in addition to the Urban Spotlight are the Tuntex Tower, Kaohsiung National Stadium, and Confucius Temple, among many more.
The three city attractions nearest to the Urban Spotlight Arcade are the Central Park and Shinkuchan Commercial District. The Central Park is so lovely it is often featured in Taiwanese TV shows. It has beautiful greeneries, recreational facilities and bike rentals. To see people biking and strolling about makes the site even lovelier. The Shinkuchan Commercial District, on the other hand, aka Ximending of Southern Taiwan, is the mecca for the latest trends in fashionable clothes and accessories. Top Power, Silver Place and Jo Jo Studio are very popular fashion stores that may only be seen in Shinkuchan. Meanwhile, Hanshin Department Store offers a wide array of products and commodities, including international boutique brands. The department store is located within a 52-storey building, along with Grand Hi-Lai Hotel, a 5-star international hotel with an amazing view of the city.
Putting all these sites together and garnishing it with the overall kindness of Kaohsiung locals make the Urban Spotlight truly a place of high art, cool ambiance, and romantic relaxation, a one-of-a-kind city light gallery that should not be missed.