By Shahida Sakeri on February 24, 2016
Ask most people where they want to go in Taiwan and they will likely reply without hesitation: Taipei. Well, what’s not to love about the city – it is rich in heritage, embraces diverse traditions, has vibrant shopping scene and convenient transportation system, besides populated by welcoming and easy-going people. It’s very compelling. However, so is Kaohsiung.
Little do people know that this second largest city in Taiwan has a lot to offer in terms of tourism products, other than being the country’s Harbour Capital. It has a fair share of interesting places with a slightly less traffic congestion. Join us as we walk through Kaohsiung’s best bits in the following; who knows, it might just end up as your next favourite destination in the future…
Situated within the E-DA World comprising a university, hotels, a hospital and a golf club, is a theme park with a Greek-style ambience featuring three main areas called Acropolis, Santorini and Trojan Castle. Highlights include the Haunted House, Flume Ride and Ship of Soul; but we recommend visitors experience the Taiwan Formosa, which is the first panoramic four-dimensional flying simulator in the country. Since baseball is a national pride in Taiwan, it is also good to know that E-DA Theme Park holds the world record for winning the most Little League titles. Be sure to help yourself to a cute E-DA Theme Park baseball merchandise while you are here.
Opening hours: 9.00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (Sunday to Friday) and 9:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Admission fees: NT$899/adult and NT$580/child.
This small island is unbeatable for its diverse and quality sea products. Besides fresh seafood, locals and visitors alike are also drawn to the island’s laidback atmosphere, making it crowded during weekends and holidays. Some of the attractions within the island include Tianhou Temple, Cihou Lighthouse, Cihou Fort, Cijin Seashore Park, Cijin Tunnel of Stars, Windpower Park and the YM Museum of Maritime Exploration.
Takao is the old name for Kaohsiung. Back then during British occupation, the city received many British diplomatic envoys and guests, thus a building was eventually built to accommodate them with the intention of drawing more Britons to the area. However, after Taiwan was handed to Japan, the Japanese converted the building into an observatory before a bomb in World War II and a forceful typhoon in 1977 caused major destruction to the building. Today, many locals come here to watch the sunset as they can have a 270-degree spectacular panoramic view facing Sizihwan Bay and Kaohsiung City Port from the building.
It is a public artwork in the Formosa Boulevard MRT Station, created by a renowned Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata. It features four sections of stained glass installation comprising elements such as water, earth, light and fire. It also takes the form of a yin and yang symbol. A 30-minute audio guide (NT$30) in several languages can be loaned from the KRTC Art Shop inside the station should travellers are keen to understand the key features of the artwork.
Formerly a train station and shipping pier, this space has now been converted into an experimental art space full of outdoor public art like murals on the walls and creative sculptures. Apart from displaying art, this place also invites travellers to experience the experimental theatre, small-scale popular music performance and art workshops. Coffee and ice cream shops are all over the area should visitors need to cool themselves down during a hot day.
Being one of the city’s attractions, Love River Cruise is well-loved by the locals, especially young couples. Travellers will get to see the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Kaohsiung Bridge and Kaohsiung District Court, among others, while enjoying the romantic cruise along a 12-kilometre river with love songs playing in the background. It is open for business from 3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. for NT$120 per person. We suggest that travellers opt for the night rounds to truly admire Kaohsiung’s romantic city lights reflected upon the calm river.
It is a hiking jewel in Kaohsiung jungle forest inhabited by Formosan Rock macaques, which are a rare species of monkeys found in Taiwan. The network of trails in the mountain is fairly massive and hikers can find themselves hiking for hours. It reaches a maximum elevation at around 365 meters above sea level, where hikers can see views of the Taiwan Strait and Kaohsiung city when arriving at its peak.
The Shopping Scene
An outlet shopping centre boasting discounted prices for over 300 well-known brands like Coach, TOD’s, Tommy Hilfiger and Armani Exchange.
Dubbed as the ‘Shinjuku’ of Taiwan, Jyuejiang is a busy fashion district mainly targeting young fashionistas on a tight budget.
This is the largest shopping mall in Taiwan with a massive Ferris wheel on its rooftop overlooking the city.
A halal-certified bakery specialising in traditional Taiwanese cakes and pastries. Its best-selling products also happen to be Taiwan’s top selling souvenirs such as pineapple and chestnut cakes, costing around NT$25 and NT$35 each.
Arriving & Departing
AirAsia now flies to Kaohsiung 3x weekly (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays) on Airbus A320 with the capacity for 180 passengers.