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.
Situated between Shou Shan and Cijin Island, Sizih Bay, aka Sizihwan Bay, is not difficult to find since the National Sun Yat-sen University, the most important university in the city, is located here. People visit the bay to swim, sunbathe, play volleyball, engage in different forms of water sports (especially surfing and windsurfing), leisurely walk on its fine sandy beach, watch spectacular sunsets, and relax under the row of palm trees.
Taiwan may not be popularly known as a beach paradise destination, but Sizih Bay’s beach is jam-packed in summer. Residents of Kaohsiung and neighboring towns hit the beach to cool off, bathe and beat the searing summer heat. This is one of only two beaches in Kaohsiung; the other is Cijin Beach in Cijin Island. Sizih Bay’s beach boasts of clear azure waters, natural coral reefs and soft white sand. Tourists lie on the sand for hours, waiting for the sun to paint one of the best sunsets in the world. The sight is simply stunning as the sun’s red, golden rays flood both water and sky. But the romance doesn’t stop after the sun has set. The romantic sound of the roaring waves gets more pronounced and the dark waters get filled with lights coming from distant fishing boats. Lights from Kaohsiung Harbor are also visible near the bay entrance.
Just in case people get enough of the sand and beach, which is unlikely to happen, there are other attractions in the area to enjoy, such as the Seaside Park, Coastal Garden, President Chiang’s Memorial Hall, a saltwater aquarium and historical museum. The museum is housed in a century-old building that used to be the British Consulate. It displays old photographs, building plans, maps, artifacts, and other documents that interestingly reveal Taiwan’s colorful history. The British Consulate building was built in 1865 during the Qing Dynasty.
There are other equally interesting sites elsewhere in Kaohsiung. Leading tourist attractions are Tuntex Sky Tower (second tallest building in Taiwan), Kaohsiung National Stadium (largest sports stadium in Taiwan), TianHou Temple (oldest temple in Kaohsiung), Holy Rosary Cathedral (seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Taiwan), Love River, Lotus Lake, and within the lake, Confucius Temple (one of the most majestic temples in Taiwan).
Sizih Bay is one of the more distinguished sites. To get there, simply take the Orange Line. It goes directly to Sizihwan area. As you get off, walk towards the Sun Yat-sen University for about 15 minutes. Walk a little past the university, and before you know it, you’ll be walking on soft fine sands.