The maritime city of Kaohsiung is one of Taiwan’s most exciting metropolitan destinations. Facing the Taiwan Strait and intersected by the scenic Love River, Kaohsiung has fantastic waterfront areas, a busy harbour, fresh seafood and beaches. Wind your way through traditional night markets, Shoushan Zoo and an eccentric arts district.
Enjoy breakfast at a café on the banks of the Love River. Stroll along the Aihejingguan Riverside Park and take in the city’s skyline. East of the river, stroll through wide streets and find shopping districts, large department stores and the immense Tuntex Sky Tower.
Find Kaohsiung’s busy port southwest of the river. Stop by the Pier-2 Art Center, an arts district that spills out from converted industrial warehouses. See quirky galleries, artists’ studios and cafés. Walk along the harbour and reach the Former British Consulate at Takao. This mid-19th-century building sits at the peak of Shaochuantou, overlooking Sizihwan Bay and the sprawling port.
Catch the ferry across to Cijin, a long, narrow island that protects the port. Rent a bicycle and tour the waterfront, stopping at the beach plaza, ChiHou Fort and the lighthouse. TianHou Temple, dedicated to the goddess of the sea, is also located here.
Discover Shoushan, or Monkey Mountain, on Kaohsiung’s west coast. Explore the trails and find the Shoushan Zoo, ancient ruins and wild monkeys. Don’t feed the monkeys, as they may get aggressive.
After sunset, hit the night markets downtown. Liuho Night Market offers souvenir items, while Ruifeng Night Market has authentic Taiwanese food stalls.
Venture outside the city centre and visit Lotus Pond in the Zuoying district. Walk or cycle around the lake to see remnants of the Old Wall of Fongshan and a ring of temples.
Reach Kaohsiung by plane, high-speed train or boat into the harbour. Get around the city by metro, taxi or bicycle. See the city light up with lanterns and fireworks for the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival at the end of Chinese New Year.