What’s truly amazing about the city of Kaohsiung in southwestern Taiwan is that its city landscape includes so many green spaces for strolling, jogging and cycling. This is just perfect for the elderly taking a morning walk, romantic couples taking an evening stroll, and teenagers enjoying a fun time together on their bicycles. Cycling in Kaohsiung is a popular pastime. The city’s parks, especially the popular park along the scenic Love River, have good paths, trails and greeneries. For everyone’s convenience, there are several bike rentals all over the city including at train stations.
Renting out a bike and getting on it to your destinations is not only a cool way of getting around but is also very economical and practical, especially as fuel prices continue to rise. This is why the city government of Kaohsiung promotes biking as a regular form of transport. Bike rentals and bike paths have been set up within the city center, along major tourist spots, within MRT stations, and in main city streets. Those who rent a bike at a certain MRT station may conveniently return it at any other station.
The Kaohsiung public bike system is a self-service rental system that is very simple, convenient, automated and available 24/7. Anyone aged 14 years old and above may rent a bike and ride around the city, even without a helmet. To rent a bike, use a subscription card or credit card at the renting area to activate the menu. Choose a bike of your liking among those that are offered on the screen. After making your choice, you only have 90 seconds to get your bike. Press the button and pull out your bicycle to get it. Returning it is just as easy. Simply put the bicycle back in any bike station and click it back in place. Once it is properly placed and locked, the stand will beep and flash.
Getting around and enjoying the city on a bicycle is not difficult since the city is predominantly flat. The ride is very rewarding since several attractions are not far from each other. The most important landmarks to see are the Love River and its surrounding cafés, food stalls and parks. Known as the “spine of Kaohsiung”, the 12-km long Love River cuts across the city from south to north, and its most happening area is the one along the Wufu 4th Road. From the Love River, pedal to the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and all the way to the Sun Yat-Sen University area and coastal Shoushan Mountain. It could get hilly in this area but very scenic. Nearby are Sizih Bay, Seaside Park, Coastal Garden, and the old British Consulate. In some areas, however, the bike paths are quite near passing cars, which could be very dangerous. Tourists or anyone not accustomed to biking in the city should stay away from the main traffic. Pedaling along back-alleys is much safer.
Cycling in Kaohsiung is definitely a cultural experience for tourists and an economical ride for locals. Short-distance bicycle rides also helps improve one’s health and reduce air pollution.