Facing the Taiwan Strait on the west and Bashi Channel on the south, Kaohsiung is a beautiful and modern metropolis located in southern Taiwan as well as the second largest city of the island. Looking down from an airplane, one will see the abundant landscapes of Kaohsiung: Mt. Chai and Banping mountains, the clear and serene Lotus Pond, and Love River flowing through the city. This subtropical city boasts its brilliant sunshine and gentle breeze from the passion of the sea.
Sitting between Cijin Island and downtown, the Port of Kaohsiung is the first world-class port in Taiwan and a hub for international trade. The ceaseless come and go of ships and containers from around the world represent the energy and vitality of the business in Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung, a city of glamour, not only has unique features of mountain, sea, river, and port, but also possesses a rich culture and beautiful cityscape. The city sincerely welcomes your visit.
An International Metropolis: On December 25, 2010, Kaohsiung City merged with Kaohsiung County to become Greater Kaohsiung, a metropolis occupying an area of 2,946 Square kilometre extending from the Central Mountains to the Taiwan Strait. The total population is approximately 2.77 million. Possessing all kinds of natural landscapes and living facilities, this metropolis is developing to be a new international city.
Kaohsiung City is an important international hub for Taiwan. It has a complete air/marine transportation network and centers for logistics, finance, insurance, and services as well as pools of talent incubation, technology research and development. Kaohsiung County is strong with abundant agricultural resources and industrial and high-technology parks.
In this new Kaohsiung, immediate services and more comprehensive social welfare for all of its citizens will be ensured as the merger has optimized the deployment of resources and streamlined the district administration. With these features and advantages, Greater Kaohsiung’s competitiveness has been greatly enhanced.
Kaohsiung is enjoying a new starting point in communication with the world.
Kaisyuan or Jin-Zuan? Which one is the biggest? It’s been the hottest debate in Kaohsiung for decades! The rivalry between these two adjacent night markets -- began from the week they opened, only three days apart. Both claim to be the biggest market in Southeast Asia. Each has hundreds of night market stalls. Both are gigantic -- walking through either takes at least an hour. Kaisyuan boasts a 30,000-square-meter space with 300 stalls.
Gangshan District's lamb hotpot, Moon World's free-range chicken and Shin-Da Harbor and Cijin Island's seafood -- these are just the beginning of a long list of local Kaohsiung foods. Locals love Meinong for authentic Hakka cuisine, such as sticky rice with pork wrapped in leaves and Hakka noodles called Ban tiao. Taro and pork dumplings, aboriginal sausage and rice wine are aboriginal dishes which are graded must-tries when visiting various tribes. And if you have sweet teeth, a Duchuantou’s big bowl of shaved Ice, with seasonal mixed fruit and strawberry syrup is the best place to go.
The Formosa Boulevard Station in Kaohsiung is the most beautiful metro station in Taiwan, if not the world. The three-story station was designed by Japanese architect Takamatsu Shin. The above-ground glass entrance is designed to resemble a pair of hands clasped in prayer. The real treasure is underground -- the 2,180m2 Dome of Light, a glass mural built into the ceiling of the station. The colorful ceiling was created by American-Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata. It's the largest such glass installation in the world. Quagliata also built the Dome of Light for Rome's Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs.
Kaohsiung’s temples may not be the oldest but definitely are the biggest in Taiwan. Fo Guang Shan, literally "Buddha's Light Mountain, founded in 1967 by Master Sinyun, it is the largest Buddhist temple complex in Taiwan. Fo Guang Shan is famous for its 36 metre high (132 ft) statue of Amitabha Buddha. It has over 200 branch temples all over the world. Zuoying Confucius Temple, which was constructed in 1976, is the biggest Confucius temple in Taiwan. The elegant structure with sections such as Dacheng Hall, Chongsheng Shrine, Minglun Hall and Shuyuan (Academy) accompanied by the willows along the lotus pond, arch bridges and garden paths, present a profound scholarly ambiance.
Enter the dragon's mouth for good fortune, exit from the tiger's mouth to banish bad luck. After the dozens temples you may have visited in Asia, you may not be excited about another Buddhist/Taoist destination. However, Lotus Pond is a real attraction. Officially opened in 1951 (some temples in the park are more than two centuries old), the Lotus Pond consists a man-made lake with many temples, pavilions and pagodas. The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are two seven-floor pagodas guarded by crouching tiger and dragon statues. Visitors enter through the dragon'’s mouth into a tunnel (inside the dragon's body) with walls embellished with carvings. Visitors exit via the mouth of the tiger for good luck.
In addition to the efforts built by the Dutch, the old city Zuoying is the first Chinese style city in Taiwan. Built from lao-gu stone, it was also the first city built of stone in Taiwan. The current remaining ruins include: the East Gate, the South Gate, the North Gate, about 500 meters of city wall, the moat, the Jhengfu Shrine and Gongchen Well outside the North Gate. The site has been designated a National Historic Monument.
One can see this mysterious landscape on the side of the road. The unique geology rises up from the surface of the earth and reminds one of a sawtooth wave, or maybe even of a stock market share price graph! Salt crystals glisten under the sun. The barren badland is geologically known as the mudstone, which is badly washed out. It is originally the sedimentary clay on the seabed and brought to the earth’s surface through orogenesis. Since the unique landscape resembles people’s image of the surface of the moon, the place is named Moon World.
Covering an area of 12.6 hectares, a winner of the 2012 prestigious FIABCI Prix d'Excellence Award in the Environmental (Rehabilitation/ Conservation) Category, the Kaohsiung Jhongdou Wetlands Park has consolidated local tourism resources and built a complete rainforest restoration and river-shore ecological operation system that is perfect for the rest of migratory birds. It has become an eminent landscape to highlight the position of Taiwan as a tropical paradise.
From the Cijin Ferry Station, go straight to the end of Miaocian Road. Cijin Beach has soft sand and blue waters. There is a park right next to the Beach. Lifeguards and lifesaving facilities are available, making it the best choice for swimming and fun in the water during the hot summer months. Beach facilities include a seaside walkway, a nature trail and an ecological zone. Even when the beach is not officially open, many people still enjoy visiting the area. It provides excellent views of ships out at sea as well as the massive Cihou Mountain.
It was once an abandoned and forgotten warehouse buried in history due to the move from an industrial based segment to the service sector. However, with a group of persistent artist who injected waves of creativity and inspiration into the area, the Pier-2 area was released and re-born making the region a place where tourist and locals can come together to enjoy fine art. With the collision of an old area and new fine art, Pier-2 becomes an area of new vitality and liveliness. Located at the sides of the pier are various artistic warehouse clusters. Not only are there unlimited flows of cars, boats, sea breeze and people coming and going every day but also when looking at the vast ocean and sky, one is relaxed, stress-free with limitless thoughts.
1.CNN: World''s most impressive metro stations
2.Kaohsiung Travel Online
3.Pier-2 Art Center