Going To Kaohsiung, Taiwan? In this installment of our Taiwan Travel Guide Series, we bring you the top things to do when you are in Kaohsiung.
Top Things to do in Kaohsiung
1. Kenting National Park (垦丁)
Most visitors to Kaohsiung will overlook this, but Kenting National Park is one of the best things to do in Kaohsiung. Kenting National Park occupies the southen-most tip of Taiwan and is akin to surf-city to the locals. The waters are clear and mostly safe for water sports. What’s more, the scenery is amazing. You can rent a scooter or vehicle and take a few days to explore Kenting National Park thoroughly. Alternatively, if you do not have time, make Kenting National Park a day trip from Kaohsiung city.
The best sites to visit in Kenting are Heng Chun (恆春古城), Hengchun Chuhuo Special Scenic Area (出火奇景), Jialeshui Scenic Area (佳樂水), Wind Blowing Sand (風吹沙), Longpan Park (龍磐公園), Eluanbi Park (鵝鸞鼻公園), Shadao (砂島), Chuanfan Rock (船帆石), and Maobitou (貓鼻頭). Stay till the evening and watch one of the best sunsets in the world at Guan Shan (關山).
Read More: Discover Enchanting Kenting in one day
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If you need transport to visit the sites in Kenting, check out KKday Private Chartered Day Tour from Kaohsiung to Kenting for more details. If you are already based in Kenting, you can check out KKday 8-hour Chartered Kenting Day Tour which departs from Kenting itself.
2. Fo Guang Shan (佛光山)
Home to the largest bronze buddha statue in the world, Fo Guang Shan is a majestic sight to behold even if you do not subscribe to the religion. The premises are massive and there are lots of programmes and activities for visitors. Choose to stay a day here to experience Fo Guang Shan completely, or make it a quick stop to see the major sights.
Planning a trip to Kaohsiung? Check out our Kaohsiung-Taipei itinerary.
3. Lotus Pond and Dragon Tiger Pagoda (蓮池潭、龍虎塔)
The Lotus Pond and Tiger-Dragon Pagoda are synonymous with the image of Kaohsiung. This Chinese-style Pagoda in located in the Zuoying District of Kaohsiung. It is not just a great site for photography, but also promises to reverse your fortunes. Enter through the Dragon’s mouth and exit through the Tiger’s leaving your ill luck behind. Climb to the top of the pagoda to have a bird’s eye view of Kaohsiung.
4. Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋閣)
The Spring and Autumn Pavilions are a short walking distance from the Dragon Tiger Pagoda. It houses a massive statue of Kuan Yin, an important figure in Buddhism. Opposite to the Spring and Autumn Pavillims are the Chi Ming temple, another great photography site.
Take a chartered tour to the suburbs of Kaohsiung
Although most of the sights in the suburbs of Kaohsiung are accessible by public transport, it is inconvenient to travel and complete these sights within a day. We were able to cover attractions 2 to 10 (from Fo Guang Shan to Pier 2 Art District) within a day with a chartered tour.
5. Pei Chi Pavilion (北極亭)
Pei Chi Pavilion is just next to the Spring and Autumn Pavillions and is easily recognisable with its massive statue of the Taoist deity Xuan Wu. Make a wish at the shrine, or simply admire the beautiful cityscape at the opposite bank.
6. Kaohsiung Martyrs’ Shrine (忠烈祠)
There are lots of Martyrs’ Shrine（忠烈祠) in Taiwan, and this is Kaohsiung’s version of it. Kaohsiung Martyrs’ Shrine is located on top of Shoushan (壽山), so you’ll have to take a long hike up if you do not have private transport.
7. Love Observatory
The rewards for climbing up Shoushan is amazing. Besides the Martyrs’ Shrine, the Love Observatory at the same site offers the best view of Kaohsiung city. As the name suggests, it is a romantic spot for lovers.
8. Sizihwan (西子灣)
Facing the Pacific Ocean, Sizihwan is said to be one of the best places to view the sunset in Kaohsiung. It is located at the foot of Shoushan and it makes it an easy trip if you are visiting the Martyrs’ Shrine and Love Observatory.
9. Cijin Island (旗津)
Take a ferry ride to Cijin Island (旗津) and indulge in seafood at this little seaside town. You can also rent a bicycle to explore the island. The best things to see in Cijin Island are Cihou Fort (旗后炮台), the Star Tunnel (星空隧道) and the Cihou Lighthouse.
10. Pier 2 Art District (駁二藝術特區)
Even if you are not a fan of art, Pier 2 Art District is still worth a visit for its quirkiness. This is the place where youngsters and hipsters hang out at Kaohsiung.
11. Kaohsiung Love River (愛河)
The locals will tell you this is the place to go to for hard-core romantics. Cheesy as it sounds, the Love River is actually a great place for an evening stroll. Drop by one of the many cafes along the river for some great coffee or take a slow cruise along the river.
12. Ruifeng Night Market (瑞豐夜市)
There are many night markets in Kaohsiung, but the locals will advise you to go to Ruifeng Night Market. Ruifeng Night Market is easily accessible by Kaohsiung MRT. There’s plenty to eat here, and the grid-like layout of the market makes it easy to navigate.
13. Formosa Boulevard (美麗島)
The Formosa Boulevard is the name of one of the MRT stations in Kaohsiung. It is also recognized as one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world. The massive Dome of Light at the entrance to this MRT station is simply amazing and stops you right in the track to gaze at this phenomenal structure.
14. Liuhe Night Market (六合夜市)
If you are already at Formosa Boulevard, why not visit Liuhe Night Market which is located at the same MRT station. The locals will recommend Ruifeng Night Market over Liuhe Night Market and having experienced both, we just have to agree. Nevertheless, Liuhe Night Market is still worth a look if you are in the vicinity. Marvel at the rich collection of sea food and the masses of tourists wandering about.
15. 85 Sky Tower
At Kaohsiung, the best place to dine with a view is at 85 Sky Tower, the equivalent of Taipei 101. Those celebrating a birthday or anniversary will do well at one of the many restaurants at 85 Sky Tower.
Who is to say that Taipei is only great city in Taiwan for shopping. At Kaohsiung, you can find great things at good prices. The main shopping districts in Kaohsiung are Sanduo Shopping District and Shinkuchan Commercial District.
Read More: Kaohsiung Shopping Guide 101
Read More: Enjoy a meal at Wu Lao Guo Hotpot (無老鍋)
18. Make a trip to Taipei
Taipei is connected to Kaohsiung by High Speed Rail (HSR). You will just need to depart from Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung. The journey is only 2.5 hours.
Save 20% Anytime when you purchase your HSR Ticket from KKday
The price of a standard full fare HSR ticket from Kaohsiung (Zuoying) to Taipei is NT$1490. Discounts are available for senior citizens and children. Although you can get cheaper early bird tickets if you buy your tickets 28 days before your date of travel, these tickets are limited in quantity and are snapped up very fast once they are released online.
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We are pleased to inform our readers of the best HSR ticket promotion that you can get online from our Travel partner Kkday. This offer allows you to save 20% off the price of the standard ticket at any time (Booking need to be at least before 18:00 if you plan on departing the next day after your order date).
We hope you find this article useful in your trip planning. We love to hear from you. Please drop us your comments in the comments box below.