Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan, and probably the most underrated as well. It is located all the way in the south and boasts the biggest port and harbor in Taiwan.
So, what’s so great about Kaohsiung? We are actually not quite sure, but the relaxed vibe and pace of the city life, along with the friendly inhabitants are most likely the main contributing factors to the awesomeness of the city.
Of course, with more than 2 million inhabitants, there is quite some stuff to do, and we’ve compiled a list of top things to do and see in Kaohsiung!
1. Dragon and Tiger Pagoda
Perhaps the most iconic sight to see in Kaohsiung, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are located on the Lotus Pond in the northern part of the city. You should enter the Pagoda through the Dragons mouth and exit from the Tigers mouth, as this is supposed to bring you good fortune. From the top of the pagoda, you have a beautiful view of the Lotus Pond.
Next to the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, there are also the Spring and Autumn Pagodas, which are also really beautiful. In fact, walking around the Lotus Pond is quite relaxing (if it’s not too hot), and you can even do some wakeboarding at the Lotus WakePark!
2. Shiziwan and Cijin island
Cijin island is an island is a 5-minute ferry ride away from Kaohisung. It’s nice to stroll around there and visit the black sand beach, the lighthouse, the rainbow church and snack on some fresh seafood at the night market. You can get on the ferry from Gushan Ferry Terminal, it’s just 40 NTD.
The area Shiziwan surrounding the Ferry Terminal is also really nice (we actually lived around here!). You can find tons of nice dessert places (shaved ice and traditional Taiwanese desserts). There is also a nice cocktail bar called Arthouse cafe, be sure to check it out!
3. The Pier 2 Art Center
The Pier 2 Art Center is a really cool hipster area with loads of street art and boutiques & cafes. It’s really nice to stroll around here in the afternoon. You can even hop on the tiny high-speed train at the Hamasen Museum of Taiwan Railway, if you feel like being a kid for 10 minutes!
4. Love River
The Love river meanders all the way through Kaohsiung, and near the Qianjin district, there’s a lovely park and area where you can take a nice stroll along the river in the evening. You can watch the bridges changing color and listen to old Taiwanese ladies singing Chinese opera songs. You can bike or walk all the way along the river or you can take a river cruise in a flashing neon light boat.
5. Ruifeng Night Market
Avoid the very touristy and more expensive Liuhe Night Market, and instead go to the Ruifeng Night Market, which is more local, bigger and cheaper as well. You can try the infamous stinky tofu, papaya milk, and loads of other interesting snacks!
6. 85 Sky Tower
The 85 Sky Tower is the highest building in Kaohsiung and for 180 NTD, you can jump into the high-speed elevator and go to the top floor to view the city from high above the sky. We thought the price was slightly too expensive for what you get, nevertheless, it’s definitely a pretty cool sight.
7. Dream Mall and Ferris Wheel
The Dream Mall is a big shopping mall in the south of the city. It’s a nice place to do some shopping and at night, you can visit the colorful Ferris Wheel that is on top of the mall (that’s right, on top!) and take a ride to view the city skyline at night.