Thursday, December 20, 2018

3D2N Itinerary in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Located in the southern island of Taiwan, Kaohsiung is the second largest city of the nation after Taipei. Despite being less popular and always overlook by most of the visitors, but its all year-round fine weather and the low cost of living making you no excuse to visit Kaohsiung. To date, I've been to Kaohsiung twice and hence, I would like to share information based on my personal experience and my handpicked list of Kaohsiung's attractions to see and do.

3D2N Itinerary Kaohsiung Taiwan

HOW TO GET TO KAOHSIUNG
By Plane
From Malaysia, so far AirAsia is the only carrier flying directly from Kuala Lumpur to Kaohsiung daily. The airport is easily accessible to the city center on the Kaohsiung MRT Red Line. 

By Train
When I went Kaohsiung few years back, there is no any direct flight yet. So, I chosen to travel on Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR) as it is a viable option for getting to Kaohsiung from Taipei. Although the cost of travelling via HSR is higher than taking the bus, but the journey takes just 90 minutes than 4 to 5 hours under the bus ride. Through the online booking, you can get an early bird discount up to 35% from the normal ticket fare. Normally this online booking is available up to 28 days from the departure date. Please take note the HSR station for Kaohsiung is Zuoying (左營).

Website: www.thsrc.com.tw/irs.html 

HSR Taipei to Zouying-Kaohsiung
#1: Travel to Kaohsiung (Zouying) from Taipei by Taiwan High Speed Rail (HSR)

PLACES TO SEE & DO IN KAOHSIUNG
Also known as Harbour City of Taiwan, Kaohsiung has many great things to offer, ranging from the bustling and hustling night markets to stunning and amazing train stations.

1) Dome of Light - Located at Formosa Boulevard Station, Dome of Light is the world's largest public art installation created from individual pieces of coloured glass. The glass work not only adds to the beauty of the station, but also adds a whole new dimension to the art life of Kaohsiung city and making this station to be part of top tourist attraction in the city. Ranked as one of the top 10 most beautiful train stations in the world, the dome is arranged and installed into four different themes: water, earth, light and fire.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Dome of Light 1
#2: Mesmerising Dome of Light in Formosa Boulevard Station

Taiwan Kaohsiung Dome of Light 2
#3: One of my personal favourite shot of all-time. I set this photo as my wallpaper.

How To Get To Dome Of Light:
Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Kaohsiung Arena Station. Proceed to B1 level and you will instantly see this beautiful art glass installation.

2) Ruifeng Night Market - It's hard to miss out the night market in Taiwan cause it's generally everywhere, regardless in which city or district you are. Sames goes to Kaohsiung and I visited at least two night markets when I was there. One of it is the Ruifeng Night Market which claimed to be the largest and greatest night market in the city. Believed to have nearly 20-years of history, this night market not only holds more than thousand stalls selling food and small eateries, but also surrounding with businesses of selling non-food items such as accessories or trendy fashion apparel. One also can experience the traditional carnival games such as balloon shooting, net fish, shooting marbles, and a collection of mini games.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Ruifeng Night Market 1
#4: Ruifeng Night Market - claimed to be the largest and greatest night market in the city.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Ruifeng Night Market 2
#5: Variety of "xiaochi" (small eateries) available here

Taiwan Kaohsiung Ruifeng Night Market 3
#6: A collection of mini games can be experienced in this night market

How To Get To Ruifeng Night Market:
Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Kaohsiung Arena Station. Get off from Exit 1 and walk for about 5 minutes.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 12 am daily

3) Liuhe Night Market - Another Kaohsiung's most attractive tourist night market I've been to and this is the one I went not only once but twice. When night's curtain falls, a wave of people washed over Liuhe Night Market which spans over hundred stalls selling variety of delicious food, specialties, cold drinks, ice shaved and seafood at reasonable prices - you will definitely be spoiled for choices. Just remember not to miss out the opportunity to try the popular papaya milk here.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Liouhe Night Market 1
#7: Liuhe Night Market, the oldest night market of Kaohsiung

Taiwan Kaohsiung Liouhe Night Market 2
#8: Abundant of delicious food and snack selling at reasonable price

How To Get To Liuhe Night Market:
Take either the red line or orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Formosa Boulevard Station. Get out from Exit 11.
Opening Hours: 6 pm to 11 pm daily

4) Cijin Island - The perk of being a port city is that there is an abundance of little and small islands nearby waiting to be discovered. One of the local most beloved short getaway is Cijin Island, just a short 10 to 15-minutes ferry ride to escape the atmosphere of Kaohsiung's city. Whether it's weekday or weekend, you can spontaneously do a day trip there when you feel like you want to. And because there are so many things to do and see in Cijin Island, I spent almost half of my day there.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Cijin Island Ferry Pier
#9: Gushan Ferry Pier

From Sizihwan Station under the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT, head over to Gushan Ferry Terminal. Get out from Exit 1, then turn left and walk to the end of the street. After that, turn right and you will see the ferry pier. One way ferry ride cost NT$15 and it's free seating. Once we reach Cijin Island, we decided to rent electric bike to explore the island itself cause it is unexpectedly consider to be huge in size. We're totally underestimated this island.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Cijin Island 4
#10: Ferry ride from Gushan Ferry Pier and we rented electric bike for the price of NT$200 per hour

So, what to discover in Cijin Island?
  1. Cihou Fort
  2. Cihou Lighthouse - Opens 9 am to 5pm. Closed on every Monday 
  3. Cijin Star Tunnel
  4. Cijin Windmill Park 
  5. Sea Shell Museum - Opens 9 am to 5pm. Closed on every Monday
Taiwan Kaohsiung Cijin Island 1
#11: A great view of Cijin Island from Cihou Fort

Taiwan Kaohsiung Cijin Island 3
#12: Cijin Island's attractions; Cihou Fort, Cihou Lighthouse (left), Cijin Star Tunnel (top) and Sea Shell Museum (bottom)

5) Love River - Besides night markets, Kaohsiung has much more to offer when the day turns into night. You can leisurely stroll along Love River or even take a boat cruise to enjoy the happening nightlife of this city. I went and experienced this river on both day and night time and I personally think, it's better to come here at night so that you can enjoy watching the beautiful and colourful neon lights and live music performed along the river bank after a long day.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Love River 1
#13: Stunning and peaceful of Love River

Taiwan Kaohsiung Love River 4
#14: Perfect place for couple to "paktoh" (dating) here. Hence, that's where the name derived from

Taiwan Kaohsiung Love River 3
#15

How To Get To Love River:
Take the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Yanchengpu Station. Take the exit for Wufu road and walk east up Wufu Road toward Love River.

6) 85 Sky Tower - If skyscraper is your thing, then don't miss out the chance to visit the tallest building in Kaohsiung city and the second largest in Taiwan. Unfortunately for me, I decided to skip this cause I still prefer Taipei 101, the nation's largest building and pride iconic.

Taiwan Kaohsiung 85 Sky Tower
#16

How To Get To 85 Sky Tower:
Take the red line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Sanduo Shopping District Station.
Opening Hours: 10 am to 10 pm daily
Admission Fee: NT$250

All the above tourists attractions I shared are part of the places we managed to cover within our 3 days and 2 nights free and easy trip around Kaohsiung. If possible, try to allocate at least 4 days cause there are more things you can do and see eventually. Like I mentioned earlier, I've been to Kaohsiung twice; my first visit was with the organised tour company and from there, I went few top tourist attractions which you can include as part of your itinerary too:

7) Former British Consulate - Built by the British Government, it is the earliest existing western style architecture in Taiwan. This red-bricked building is located at the peak of the hill of the National Sun Yat-Sen University's sourthern side and so in order to visit this, you need to climb up hundred of staircases.

Former British Consulate Residence at Dagou 02
#17

How To Get To Former British Consulate:
Take the orange line of Kaohsiung MRT and alight at Sizihwan Station.
Opening Hours: 9 am to 9 pm daily
Admission Fee: NT$66

8) Dragon & Tiger Pavilion at Lotus Lake - Located on the northern outskirts of Kaohsiung, Lotus Lake is noted for its famous scenic area and beautiful view. One of the main reasons many visitors come to Lotus Lake is for the iconic Dragon & Tiger Pavilion. According to the local tour guide, entering the dragon's mouth which is the entrance and exit from the tiger's mouth symbolises turning bad luck to good fortune.

LRM_EXPORT_1122200836095952_20181219_091826720
#18

How To Get To Lotus Lake: 
From Zouying MRT station, get out from Exit 2 and from there, take bus no. R301 from the bus stop on the right side. Align at Lotus Lake bus stop.

9) Fo Guang Shan Monastery - Being the headquarter of international Chinese Buddhist monastic order and new religious movement in Taiwan, Fo Guang Shan Monastery is judged to be the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. Apart from monastery, it also consists of a memorial center, shrines, cemetery and even university buildings. But of course, you shouldn't miss out the most popular landmark - the gigantic Buddha statue which stands at 108 meters tall.

LRM_EXPORT_1122168718911061_20181219_091754602
#19

How To Get To Fo Guang Shan Monastery: 
From Zouying MRT station, get out from Exit 1 and from there, take bus #8501 from the bus stop besides MRT station. Align at Fo Guang Shan Monastery stop.

10) Dream Mall - Not only being the largest shopping mall in Taiwan, Dream Mall is also consider to be the largest shopping mall in East Asia. It even houses amusement park on the rooftop with a giant Ferris wheel to be known as Kaohsiung Eye. 

Dream Mall, Kaohsiung 01
#20

How To Get To Dream Mall: 
From Kaisyuan MRT station, take shuttle bus to Dream Mall.

GET AROUND KAOHSIUNG
To date, Kaohsiung has two KRT lines which are the red and orange. The city even has light-rail transits which makes a convenient transport system not only for the locals but for visitors too. If you have Easy Card which is commonly used in Taipei, then it can be applied in Kaohsiung as well. If you don't own one, don't worry cause there is KRT one-day pass can be purchased at each station's service counter for the price of NT$150. As for a single journey ride, it starts from NT$20 to NT$65, depending on the distance.
Taiwan EasyCard
#21: EasyCard can be used in Kaohsiung too

THE ACCOMMODATION I STAYED IN KAOHSIUNG
I settled my two good nights in Jia's Inn mainly for one reason - the location is very close to Liuhe Night Market. Guess another pretty obvious reason I chosen to stay is because for its beautiful decor elements.

Taiwan Kaohsiung Jia's Inn 1
#22: I picked to stay in Jia's Inn due to its excellent location which very close to night market

Taiwan Kaohsiung Jia's Inn 2
#23

Date Stayed: 8 March to 10 March 2015 (2 nights)
Room Rate: RM193 per night for a double-bed room with breakfast (Booked via Agoda)

How To Get To Jia's Inn:
6-minute walk from MRT City Council Station or 10-minute walk from MRT Formosa Boulevard Station. 

So in case you are planning your trip to Taiwan, don't just include Taipei as part of your itinerary but make sure do include Kaohsiung too in your bucket list cause Kaohsiung is definitely a hidden gem that is worth to be discover and explore. Since there is a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Kaohsiung recently, hence you have no any reason to overlook this harbour city of Taiwan anymore.

Taiwan Kaohsiung MRT Station 1
#24

Taiwan Kaohsiung MRT Station 2
#25

4 comments:

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  2. I am really happy to read this weblog posts which includes tons of useful data, thanks for providing such statistics.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I visited Kaoshiung like 10 years ago on business trip. I had no idea that it is so fun and colourful like your photos. It has definitely changed a lot for the better now. Thanks for sharing this.

    ReplyDelete

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