How to Spend an Exciting 4D3N in Kaohsiung
June 30, 2018
For the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing information regarding travelling in Kaohsiung on my blog and my Instagram. I’ve shortlisted all the places worth visiting, and packaged them into a 4 days 3 nights itinerary. Hope this will be useful for those who are heading to Kaohsiung soon.
Day 1 – Tianliao Moon World, Fo Guang Shan & Ruifeng Night Market
Tianliao boasts Taiwan’s largest concentration of active badlands and mud volcanoes, with its primitive yet beautifully forlorn landscape offering geology lessons in a 100% natural setting – its craggy, mercilessly barren terrain gives rise to a livestock-dominated economy, gourmet foods and other specialties, as well as a lakeside trail that meanders through tracts of land oddly reminiscent of the lunar surface where I felt as though I was being whisked away to the moon!
Before exploring the moon world, drop by the mudstone interpretive centre (tourist centre) located at the entrance of the scenic area where you’ll learn more about this unusual phenomenon through a collection of mudstone specimens and images. You can follow the lakeside trail which brings you to the Jade Pond, Moon Pond, “Ladder to Heaven”, “Crescent Viewing Deck” and various other slopes and valleys.
Tianliao Moon World
Address: No. 34-1 Yueciou Road, Tianliao District, Kaohsiung City 823
Opening Hours: 10am to 5pm daily
The Fo Guang Shan Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and there are two complexes – the new and the old. The old complex is referred to as the monastery while the new complex is usually called the Buddha Museum. The old monastery complex is constructed on a hill and houses numerous Buddha statues along the long slopes and stairs. The ambience is more spiritual and peaceful at this less touristic complex, which is why I prefer this complex to the museum complex.
Fo Guang Shan
Address: No. 153, Xingtian Road, Dashu District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 840
Ruifeng Night Market is the biggest and most diverse of the night markets in Kaohsiung, which unfortunately, makes it a very touristic place. Besides food, there are stalls selling accessories, bags, clothes, and items for your pets. You will also get to have a little fun participating in carnival games.
Expect common Taiwanese street foods such as stinky tofu, braised food, and salt & pepper chicken, just to name a few. Those with adventurous taste buds should try the one and only toast stall at the night market which sells bubble tea toast, matcha azuki toast, and a variety of many other interesting toasts. Sounds kind of weird right? But, don’t worry, the taste wasn’t that bad.
Ruifeng Night Market
Address: Yucheng Road, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804
Day 2 – Qijin Island
Escape the city for a day to a quieter place on the Qijin island. This small island is just a 5 minutes’ ferry ride away from Kaohsiung harbour. There are a number of pretty spots for photography such as the Qihou Lighthouse, the Qihou Fort, the Qijin Star Tunnel, the Qijin Beach, the Rainbow Arch, and the Qijin Windmill Park. My favourite photo spot is the Rainbow Arch which symbolizes the rainbow that stops by Qijin, making the view of the coast a spectacular one, especially after the rain. Don’t miss out on a seafood feast at one of the restaurants located near the jetty. The seafood is priced at 100 TWD and above per dish.
Address: Qijin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Day 3 – Exploring Kaohsiung City
Begin the morning with breakfast at one of the cafés at the Pier 2 Art Centre. This art district is divided into many areas showcasing different art exhibitions. The seaside location of Pier 2 Art Centre used to be a forgotten place full of abandoned warehouses. Today, this area is one of the liveliest and most crowded places in Kaohsiung city because a group of persistent artists decided to revamp the neighbourhood using their creativity and artistic talents. I was impressed by the eclectic mix of the old area with contemporary fine art, not to mention, colourful too.
Pier 2 Art Centre
Address: No.1 Dayong Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City 803, Taiwan
Contact: (07)5214899 or (07)5214881
In the afternoon, be awed by the “Dome of Light” display at the Formosa Boulevard Metro Station. It features the largest glass work in the world, designed by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata. It is 30 metres in diameter and covers an area of 2,180 square metres, made up of 4,500 glass panels. Bring a wide angle lens if you want to capture the entire display within a frame.
Dome of Light
Address: Formosa Boulevard Metro Station
The Xinjuejiang Shopping district is of walking distance from the Formosa Boulevard Metro Station. However, if the weather is too hot, just take the metro and alight at the Central Park Station. The shopping district is just a few steps away from this station.
In the evening, take the metro and alight at the Sanduo Shopping District Station. You can catch the sunset and watch the city light up atop the 378-metres high 85 Sky Tower. It is the second tallest skyscraper in Taiwan, and you have to pay a small entrance fee for access to the observation deck on the 75th floor.
85 Sky Tower
Address: No. 5 Ziqiang 3rd Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802
End your day at the Ling Ya Night Market which is frequently patronized by locals. Forget about shopping or playing arcade games as this night market solely features food stalls. Try the mouthwatering squid and eel noodles, the famous Taiwanese salt & pepper chicken, braised pork rice, Taiwanese XXL fried chicken cutlet, white sugar cake, and more.
Ling Ya Night Market
Address: No. 134 Ziqiang 3rd Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802
Day 4 – Lotus Pond & Guomao Community
The 42-hectares Lotus Pond is the largest pond in the Zuoying district in Kaohsiung. Sitting between two mountains, the pond is a famous spot for viewing sunsets. The most interesting thing about the pond is that there are more than twenty temples worshiping different deities around the lake. The four major ones are the Confucius temple, the Chunqiou hall, the Dragon and Tiger Towers, and the Pavilion of the North Pole. The Pavilion of the North Pole worships Xuanwu god. Standing at seventy-two metres, it is one of the tallest buildings on the lake in Southeast Asia.
Address: No.9 Liantan Road, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City 813, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Built in the 1970s, the Guo Mao Community is a massive housing complex consisting 13 buildings and more than 2,000 unites in total. The unique feature is that the two main buildings are shaped like half-circles. Doesn’t the image of these crammed unites resemble Hong Kong’s apartment buildings? Apart from this unique architecture, I’ve heard about a traditional local market near the area but didn’t have time to check it out. Feel free to comment below and share your experience at the market with me if you’ve been there before.
Guo Mao Community
Address: No. 92 Guofeng Street, Lane 3, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 813
With so many attractions to keep you occupied in Kaohsiung City, you’ll never find spending time there boring. Even if you have planned too many days in Kaohsiung, you can always take a day trip to Kenting. Hope you’ll have a blast!