About Kaohsiung City
Kaohsiung City, occupying an area of 2,952 square kilometers, is located in southern Taiwan. With a population of about 2.8 million, the city is Taiwan’s third most populous and, as it is a coastal city, is the country’s largest port city. From its beginnings as a small trading village way back in the 17th century, Kaohsiung is now recognized as a thriving economic center well-known for its manufacturing companies ranging from steel and shipbuilding to oil refineries. Throughout history, the city came under Dutch rule, as well as Chinese and Japanese. Kaohsiung City today is a center for tourism and culture with major landmarks ranging from Kaohsiung Harbor, 85 Sky Tower, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts, Pier-2 Art Center, and Dream Mall Ferris Wheel, to name a few. Blessed with warm summers and pleasantly cool winters, tourists will have a nice time hopping from one shopping street to another, checking out its festive night markets, and relaxing in its many leisure parks. Plus, it’s very easy to reach other cities in Taiwan as the city is accessible via high-speed railways and national roads.
The Charm of Kaohsiung City
1. It’s a Blend of Traditional & Modern VibeKaohsiung City is a well-maintained balance of the old and the new, of the traditional and the modern ways of living. A quick look at Kaohsiung’s cityscape will reveal contemporary structures including one of the world’s tallest skyscrapers, as well as Taiwan’s biggest shopping mall, Dream Mall. Add to that is its sophisticated infrastructures that enable visitors to easily go to any attractions they fancy with ease. The city is also a treasure trove for its traditions and culture, as can be seen from the well-preserved historic monuments with Chinese-style wooden carvings, centers dedicated to various forms of Buddha, and a lighthouse with a characteristic baroque architectural design that dates back to the late 19th century. Other attractions include age-old pagodas, pavilions, temples, and old city walls.
2. It Offers a Variety and Vibrant NightlifeBesides the city staple of nightclubs and bars, of which Kaohsiung City is full of, tourists out for a productive evening experience will take delight in what Kaohsiung has to offer. One of the most popular pastime at sundown is the city’s selection of night markets, all distinct in their own rights. These outdoor markets are teeming with all kinds of interesting merchandise, ranging from clothes to fashion accessories, to shoes and, of course, what is considered to be one of the world’s best street food offerings, especially at Ruifeng and Liuhe night markets. Bestsellers in street food choices are fried noodles, crispy fried chicken, bubble tea, and the ‘controversial’ but well-loved stinky tofu. For some quiet time, tourists can have a relaxing stroll along the banks of the Love River, or Takao River, where the city’s magical twinkling lights are reflected on the waters.
3. A Nature Lover’s ParadiseKaohsiung City, with all its cosmopolitan flair, is replete with so many nature trails, whether it’s for hiking, forest trekking, or just a walk through amazing scenery. A day tour of its popular national parks will reveal a variety of activities, such as meditation in a mountain temple and Buddhist monastery, or walking along some nature footpaths towards a series of limestone caves where visitors can marvel at an impressive array of stalactites and stalagmites. For the less adventurous, the city has a popular and beautiful lotus pond where people can practice their nature photography skills or just take some selfies against a breathtaking backdrop. They can also hop on a boat for a leisurely and romantic sunset cruise of the Love River, or, if they are the active types, can go for a jog, cycle, or take a laidback stroll along the Love River Park banks.
Kaohsiung City Tourist Spots
1. Taipei 101: Towering Over the Kaohsiung CityscapeTaipei 101, a 101-floor, 1,667 feet (508 meters) skyscraper, has a lot to offer to local and international visitors. Built to withstand earthquakes, the structure is tenth in terms of the tallest buildings worldwide and has a Guinness World Record for having 3,139 steps. Taipei 101 is also dubbed the tallest “green” building in the world, and has a high-speed lift that takes guests up the Observatory in only 37 seconds traveling 1,010 meters per minute. Visitors flock to its Observatory, which is open from 9 a.m. to 10 .m. daily, which offers a spectacular daytime and nighttime view of the city. The Observatory, spanning four floors, features a bar, photography and image services, souvenir shops, and pre-recorded audio tour guides available in seven languages.
2. Pier 2 Art Center: Where Creativity and History MeetWhat was once an abandoned warehouse area constructed by the waterside is now an artistic, hip hotspot for residents and tourists alike named as Pier 2 Art Center. These days, after it was transformed by a group of artists into a space for creative expression and imagination, the area is now fully alive and teeming with crowds out to admire its imaginative artworks. Visitors can go through any of the area’s 25 repainted warehouses and converted into art galleries, cafes, and shops. Kids will love the mini-train that takes people around the area. Apart from colorful wall murals, popular for selfie shots are gigantic figures of a suitcase and trumpet made of iron. The Takao Railway Museum, declared a historical building by the city government, is a must-visit and is located nearby.
3. Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center: Southern Taiwan’s Center of BuddhismWhether you’re a Buddhist or not, a visit to the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center is quite a memorable experience. This popular tourist spot is both an experience and a place of learning about Buddhism, set amidst a breathtaking scenery and beautiful architecture. The sprawling temple complex spans 30 hectares and spreads through give hills, featuring educational facilities, a burial site, a variety of temples and shrines, and a Buddha Museum. Constructed in 1967, the Center is considered the biggest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and also its spiritual center. The highlight of the visit for any guest is walking through the so-called Buddha Avenue flanked on both sides by gigantic pagodas to reach the Memorial Hall and, beyond it, the huge 108-meter Fo Guang Buddha. Buddhist monks and nuns are available on hand to entertain questions in the English language.