It took us around 2 hours to travel from Taichung to Kaohsiung in the rapid train. Once we arrived to our destiny we left our packages at the hostel and we started to explore this amazing taiwanese city.
What to visit in Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung 85 building
This dramatic 378 meters high building, called «Tuntex Sky Tower» was constructed from 1994 to 1997 and it had the honor to be the tallest skyscraper in Taiwan until the building of Taipei 101. Its elevator is one of the world´s fastest elevators reaching the 75th floor in only 43 seconds, at 600 meters per minute.
From 75 View Deck, the observation deck, visitors can enjoy spectacular panoramic views over the entire city and harbor. A good idea is to go there in the late evening to enjoy the sunset of Shou Mountain (promised we tried to do it, but we didn´t mange to arrive on time…) or to go early in the morning to admire the vitality of this incredible city.
Known as Dagou River in Qing Dynasty, this beautiful river gained the title of «Love River» due to its developed green park areas, which makes Kaohsiung Canal one of the most romantic places for lovers to date. At night, visitors can take boats on the east or the west coast to enjoy the charming views among the river.
Good news for bicycle lovers: A very long bicycle way was constructed, to wander on the pathways while admiring the beautiful landscape.
One of my favorite parts of the city is the well-known «Lotus Lake«.
Located in the old section of Zuoying district, this lake is surrounded by buildings close related to the ancient Chinese culture.
How is this possible? Easily. Lotus Lake is, as I previously mentioned, located in Zuoying district. This section has always been a historical one because it was established as a military fortress during the Qing Dynasty, to later on become a community of nationalist Chinese who fled to Taiwan when the Communist took over of China.
The lake is surrounded by a 3km path. There is also a road for tour buses, since this place is becoming very popular among tourists. Here it is easy to find visitors enjoying the pretty views of the lake and walking along the different temples in the area.
Starting at the southwest part of the lake, visitors encounter the beautiful Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. Following locals traditions, the dragon’s throat is the entrance and the tiger’s mouth is the exit. It is said that entering a dragon’s throat and coming out a tiger’s mouth symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune. From the top of the pagodas visitors can enjoy beautiful views of the lake.
A little further down you can visit the Spring and Autumn Pavilions and the Wuli Arbor, which welcomes the visitor with a nice, ancient foot bridge. Spring and Autumn Pavillions, built in 1951, are dedicated to Kuan Kung (the God of War).
Wandering along the path you will find the beautiful Confucius Temple. This is not 100% the original temple, since the original one was built in 1648 in a different location of the city. In 1960 the government decided to renovated and reopened some old temples around the country (abandoned during Japanese siege). The mayor of Kaohsiung mandated to build the temple next to the beautiful Lotus Lake.
To be honest, the mayor had a great idea! This place is seldom busy – most of the touristic buses do not arrive until here – and it is a great place to sit, relax and enjoy the view.
This church was established during the Qing Dynasty, when Spanish missionaries arrived to Taiwan. It suffered a reformation in 1860, when it got its current name «Rosa Basilica». Again in 1928, the basilica was reformed into a Renaissance-style architecture. The current Rose Basilica is the result of another reformation which took place around 1931.
Liuhe is the most touristic night market located in Xinxing District. In fact, this market is one of the most popular ones in the country.
During the day, Liuhe 2nd Road looks like any normal road with tons of traffic, however, after 18.00pm things change a bit there…
The whole street turns into a crowded pedestrian market full of stands selling crab, shrimp, octopus and squids. Although this market is know due to the quality of its seafood, here you can also find other traditional dishes such as beef, papaya juice or snake meat.
It takes around 30 minutes to visit the whole market (always depending on how hungry you are and how many stands you want to visit 😉 We spent almost one hour there).
Located on GuangHua Road, this local night market is around 60 years old. At that time, street vendors gathered in from of GuangHua theater, where people went to the movies. After years of prospering, this night market expanded and it became the local night market of nowadays.
Over hundred vendors and shops are located here. Known for its cheap price and quality food, this night market is the favorite of locals.
Doubtlessly the most popular and busiest night market in Kaohsiung. Located in the north part of the city, this night market is the ideal place to find all kind of food and shoppings choices.
Take the subway!
Does the name «The Dome Of Light» sound familiar to you?
This public art is the largest glass work in the world. Its vivid colors and unique design are located at the Kaohsiung MRT transfer station for the Red and the Orange lines (Formosa Boulevard Station). The renowned artist Narcissus Quagliata took four years to complete this piece of art, which tells the story of human life in four themes: Water, Earth, Light and Fire.
The immensity of this design cause tourists and locals to simply stop and to admire this unique monument.
Of course,it is becoming the «selfie place» of Kaohsiung by far.
Have you ever been to Kaohsiung?
This city is a charming place with a lot to offer. Discovering dramatic skyscrapers, cycling/wandering around Lotus Lake or trying taiwanese food at the local markets is an experience I highly recommend. Kaohsiung and its citizens are amazing!