If London has the Thames River and Vietnam the Mekong River, Kaohsiung in Taiwan boasts of the scenic and multi-functioning Kaohsiung Love River. If you have been to Kaohsiung, you would know how much regard the city has for this river and its surrounding areas, and for very good reasons. If you have yet to book a flight to Kaohsiung, make sure to schedule a visit to this lovely canal; and if you don’t, you are sure to see it anyway since all roads lead to the Love River. Below are reasons why the Love River is called the “Spine of Kaohsiung”.
The Love River, also called Ai He by locals, represents the city’s success as a leading destination in Asia. It used to be heavily polluted with industrial wastes and sewage, but the city decided to clean it up by diverting waste water to a treatment plant. It was an ambitious and costly project, but it paid off big time. Today, the Love River is a beautiful symbol of Taiwan’s harbor city.
Taiwan today has a very stable and progressive economy, thanks to many things, but primarily to its maritime activities. As a harbor city, its trade and tourism rely largely on surrounding bodies of water. Kaohsiung is located in southwestern Taiwan facing the Taiwan Strait. It is extremely popular in the world of maritime business since it runs one of the busiest, most modern, and highly automated ports in the world. Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s Harbor Capital. Yet, although this lovely harbor city is more widely known for its port activities, it is steadily being recognized as a major tourist hub in Asia as well. Visitors are now pouring in for the primary purpose of seeing the place, enjoying its blissful tropical weather, and experiencing its leading tourist attractions.
A few of the city attractions other than the Love River and its surrounding areas are several historic landmarks (ChiHou Fort, ChiHou Lighthouse), museums (Kaohsiung Astronomical Museum, Kaohsiung Hakka Cultural Museum), temples (Confucius Temple, TianHou Temple), mountains (Bang Ping Mountain, Chai Mountain), shopping malls (Star Place, Dream Mall), and traditional markets (Liuhe Night Market, Hsinhsing Market); while the most exciting activities are biking, hiking, swimming, dining, and shopping.
The focal point of all these destinations and of the city itself is clearly the Love River. Running from Renwu District all the way to Kaohsiung Harbor, this 12-km canal is surrounded by interesting facilities and attractions, so that you won’t need to bother going to other areas if pressed by time. Along the river are long stretches of walkways and bike paths, with many side cafés, restaurants and bars. Water skiing on the river is allowed. You might also want to stroll to the Kaohsiung Film Archive, Central Park or Wufu 4th Road, or be mesmerized at the stunning Holy Rosary Cathedral, which is a Gothic and Romanesque type of building constructed in 1860. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Taiwan located on the east side of the river.
Getting to Kaohsiung Love River is easy. It can be accessed from about everywhere since it cuts through the city from south to north. The most happening and scenic part of the river is along the Wufu 4th Road area. Take the Orange Line, get off at Yanchengpu, and simply walk for 10 minutes to Wufu.