Kaohsiung is one of the biggest cities right after Taipei. Located on the southern edge of Taiwan, not many people have been there, but it is definitely worth checking out.
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Taipei to Kaohsiung – Travelling there:
There are 3 ways you can get to Kaohsiung from Taipei. Firstly, you can take the cheapest option, by bus. The journey costs about 400 to 700 TWD and it takes about 6 hours. The next option will be by local TRA train, which lasts about 5 to 6 hours and cost about 800 to 900 TWD. If you need to get there fast, you can pay 1500 TWD for the High-Speed Railway (HSR) which only requires about 2 hours of travel time. Obviously, you can take the domestic flight but it is not recommended as it takes longer and costs more than the HSR.
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Short Note About Kaohsiung’s Accommodation:
Hotel prices in Kaohsiung are not cheap. The rates near the city start from around 40 SGD per night and Airbnb listings also hover around the same price.
Time-worthy Things to do in Kaohsiung:
One of the highlights of Kaohsiung is a day trip to Kenting, which can reach by taking a bus from the Kaohsiung HSR station. Kenting is the southernmost part of Taiwan and offers many scenic views. There is also a Deer Park where you get to feed deers.
Apart from that, what most tourists love to do in Kenting is scootering. You will be able to rent an electric scooter even if you don’t have a license. After renting a scooter, you can start your journey all the way south. Following the route along the western coast of Kenting National Park, you can stop at various locations. Some of the most popular locations are Eluanbi Lighthouse, Chuanfan, Maobitou, Longpan and of course the southernmost point of Taiwan. You can also head over to the nearby Baishawan Beach and visit Gongshan to view the sunset, which is rated as one of the best in the world.
Going back to Kaohsiung, Cijin Island is a place you must check out. To get there, you will have to take a ferry at Gushan Terminal. The ferry ride there takes less than 5 minutes.
Easy Lifehack: There is a separate queue for motorcycles and bicycle. If the regular queue for people on foot is too long, rent a bicycle and take the “express” queue instead. You will be cycling later on anyway.
Before heading over to the terminal, you can also choose to visit Pier 2 Art District, where there are many murals and many arts booths that are definitely insta-worthy!
After taking the ferry to Cijin Island, you can cycle along the path to visit various places of interest. Some of the more notable ones are Cihou Lighthouse, Cihou, Cihou Star Tunnel, Cijin Wind Turbine Park and Rainbow Church (which is not a church). This “church” is a popular place for wedding photoshoots. Before leaving, you can head over to the seafood street to get your dinner. Be warned, the prices here will be higher considering this is a tourist attraction.
Even in Kaohsiung mainland, there are still tons of things you can do.
You can take a stroll along Love River and enjoy the skyline of Kaohsiung. Another alternative to see the skyline is the Tuntex Sky Tower. Those yearning for a hike can visit Shoushan. If you are into culture, Fo Guan Shan and Lotus Pond (where the Tiger and Dragon pagodas are) are some of the places you can visit.
Shopping & Entertainment in Kaohsiung – Underrated Paradise
As a major city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung also offers tons of shopping options. Let’s start with the night markets. The two main ones are Ruifeng and Xinjuejiang night markets. Ruifeng is more food-focused while Xinjuejiang is a place where you can find cheap merchandise for your shopping hauls.
For higher SES shopping, Kaohsiung has an FE21 Mega department store, Dream Mall and Taroko Park. For Dream Mall, it is the biggest mall in Taiwan and there is even an indoor amusement park. Taroko Park also offers something similar – a “learning car” amusement park. For people looking to try Go Kart, you can find it at Taroko Park too!
If you are into outlet mall shopping, E-DA Outlet Mall is an excellent choice. Like the previous 2, there is also an E-DA Theme Park.
So should you visit Kaohsiung? Definitely! While it is still a city, it offers a different vibe as compared to Taipei. Kaohsiung Taiwan strikes a good balance between nature and its bustling city life.
Who knows, maybe it has even more to offer than mainstreams destinations in Taiwan!
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