12 Things To Do In Kaohsiung For First-Timers

My sister and I extended our trip and off to Kaohsiung we go after our parents left.

It was a 4 to 5 hours bus ride from Taipei and tickets can be purchased from Taipei Main Station.

I was quite excited to explore Kaohsiung cause it was my first time there!

Compared to Taipei, Kaohsiung is more laid back, food are relatively cheaper and the city is not as advanced. Not forgetting the weather in Kaohsiung was way warmer than than Taipei's. Sunscreen is a must if you're traveling there during midyear.

If it's your first time to Kaohsiung like me, here are 12 things you should do!

1. 莲池潭 (Lotus Pond)

Zuoying District. Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 813

One of the most top attractions in Kaohsiung, Lotus Lake is the house of more than twenty temples worshiping different deities. The representatives ones are namely, Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Chunqiou Hall, Pavilion of The North Pole and the Confucius Temple. The statues of the deities were standing at around seventy two metres tall and it is one of the tallest structures in Southeast Asia. It was definitely an eyeopening experience! 

2. 佛光山佛陀紀念館 (Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum)

84049, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Dashu District, 統嶺里統嶺路1號

Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum is Taiwan's largest Buddhist temple area. The memorial hall took 10 years long to be constructed and it is made up of 8 pagodas, the main hall in the middle and Fo Guang Big Buddha statue leaning south towards the spiritual mountain. The 7-storeys high main hall consists of multiple shrines. The sacred ground is an international tourist spot that advocates religious integration and world peace, providing visitors an educational and interesting experience. 

3. 駁二藝術特區 (The Pier-2 Art Center) 

No. 1, Dayong Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 803

Transforming old and abandoned warehouses into a quirky art hub, The Pier-2 Art Center is a well-known spot for local artists to display their work. The area are full of modern art sculptures, statues and decorated buildings. And yes, that's a huge Bumblebee statue, it used to be coated with yellow paint but I guess the paint wore off overtime. This place is great for art lovers!

4. Dome of Light 

Formosa Boulevard Station

Arguably the prettiest and most impressive train station in the world. The Dome of Light is made out of 4,500 pieces of coloured glass panels, featuring the story of human lifecycle in four themes - Water (Womb of Life), Earth (Prosperity and Growth), Water (Womb of Life), Light (Creative Spirit) and Fire (Destruction and Rebirth), making it the largest work of glass art in the world. If you're lucky, you may come across a light show in the station.

5. 六合夜市 (Liuhe Night Market)

Liuhe 2nd Road, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800

Located just outside Formosa Boulevard Station, Exit 11, Liuhe Night Market is one of most famous night market in Taiwan. Just like any night market, you can find a variety of street food. Locals' favourites will be the seafood congee from 莊記海產粥, papaya milk from 鄭老牌木瓜牛奶 and barbecue skewers especially chicken thigh from 烤肉之家 (Barbecue House).

There's a famous breakfast shop that is situated near Liuhe Night Market, and that is 老江红茶牛奶 (Lao Jiang Milk Tea).

No. 51, Nantai Road, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800

The shop is famous for their milk tea, made up of black tea and fresh milk. The beverage is a must-have among locals and tourists, everyone love how fragrant the tea is. And they sell the usual breakfast food like toast and crepe. The food is commendable as well, simple yet wholesome. 

6. 瑞豐夜市 (Ruifeng Night Market)

No. 1156, Yucheng Road, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804

Ruifeng Night Market is the largest and most diverse night market in Kaohsiung housing more than 500 booths which comprises game booths, clothes stalls and not forgetting food stalls which makes up 80% of the night market. I swear the entire Kaohsiung population was at the night market when I was there, the crowd was crazy! I had the best fried cuttlefish from 沖繩酥炸大魷魚 (Okinawa Fried Cuttlefish) it was so so so so good that I kept craving for it after I had it. There are many stalls selling fried cuttlefish but some of stalls using squid paste, so its not the real deal. Another stall that is worth mentioning will be 廚閣炭烤牛排 (Chu Ge Grilled Steak). The stall sells steak, chicken chop and pork chop served on hotplate with noodles that is priced economically. And it comes with free flow drinks and cream of corn. With so many stalls, you're able to satisfy all your Taiwanese delicacy cravings.

7. 旗津島 (Cijin Island)

Cijin Island is a small island that is a 5-minute ferry ride from Kaohsiung Harbour. If you would like to get the most local experience, rent a bicycle or scooter at Sizihwan Station (西子湾) or National Sun Yat-Sen University (國立中山大學) before heading to the harbour for a ferry ride. Cijin Island is famous for its Black Sand Beach and historical sites. 

The island is also famous its seafood that is freshly caught and prepared. There are a couple of seafood restaurants around the island and we patronised 旗后活海產 (Qi Hou Fresh Seafood). Qi Hou Fresh Seafood carries a wide range of seafood, they have got different variety of fishes and shellfishes that you can't find in Singapore.

No. 31, Miaoqian Road, Qijin District, Kaoshiung City, Taiwan 805

We were pleased with what we ordered. Even the fried rice and cabbage. Not to exaggerate but its the best fried rice and cabbage that I've ever had. 

The seafood were really fresh, and I got to say its dirt cheap! All these for less than SGD50 and it came with a complimentary plate of watermelon. I don't think there's such awesome deal in Singapore.  

Near Kaohsiung Harbour, there's popular shaved ice place, 大碗公冰品 (Big Bowl Shaved Ice). As the name suggests, Big Bowl Shaved Ice is famous for its signature big bowl shaved ice. And the bowl is as big as your soup pot. I think you need to come with a big group of friends for this.

No. 107, Binhai 1st Road, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804

Since it's only the 2 of us, we went for the normal sized mango shaved ice. Mango is a seasonal fruit in Taiwan so you don't get to enjoy this during off season period. This is especially refreshing during summer.

8. 梦时代购物中心 (Dream Mall)

No. 789, Zhonghua 5th Road, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 806

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Dream Mall is the largest shopping mall in Taiwan and one of the largest scale shopping mall in Asia. The multifunctional mall is made up of retail shops, restaurants, cinemas and amusement park. At the highest level of the iconic mall, sits a ferris wheel that oversees the city. If you're a shopaholic, you can probably spend the entire day in the mall cause there are so many activities going on. 

I had the best udon that I've tasted at Dream Mall's foodcourt. I'm not a fan of udon, but this bowl of udon that I had there changed my mind. I got myself the dry udon and it came with sliced pork, onsen egg, seaweed, bonito flakes and scallions and it was surprisingly yummy and refreshing. 

And I got a scoop of Tie Guan Yin flavoured ice-cream from Cold Stone, you can't get this elsewhere only in Taiwan! 

9. 八坂丼屋 (Yasaka Don)

813, Taiwan, Kaohsiung, Zuoying District, Gaotie Rpad, No.115

Donburi doesn't usually come cheap in Singapore. So in Kaohsiung, we had to eat till our heart content cause this Donburi shop that we patronised served really affordable donburi and we are impressed by the generous portions. Yasaka Don served a wide selection of donburi, sashimi and sides, you can definitely find something you like there!

10. 原宿玉竹商圈 (Yuansu Yuchu Shopping District)

800, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Xinxing District

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Yuansu Yuchu Shopping District is Kaohsiung's version of Bugis Street. You can find many boutiques and food stalls here. If you're a shopaholic and foodie, you're in for a treat!

These are my recommendations for food:

天使雞排 (Angel Fried Chicken)

No. 262, Renzhi Street, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800

師大冰火菠蘿油 (Shi Da Pineapple Bun With Butter)

No. 262, Wufu 2nd road, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800


No. 278 Renzhi Street, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800

11. 高雄85大樓 (Tuntex Sky Tower / 85 Sky Tower) 

No. 5, Ziqiang 3rd Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802

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Tuntex Sky Tower used to be the tallest skyscraper in Taiwan until Taipei 101 was built. Didn't plan to visit the sky tower but our flight home got delayed and the airline arranged us to stay there for a night. We were pretty lucky to get a panoramic view in our room. If you don't have the intention to stay there, you can pay to get up to the observatory deck.

12. 丹丹漢堡 (Dan Dan Burger)

No. 224七賢二路 Qianjin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 801

I love to visit every country local fast food restaurant. Originated in Kaohsiung, Dan Dan Burger is one of the famous fast food outlet that combines Western and local culture, serving porridge, noodles, sweet potato fries that the locals love and the usual chicken burger, fries and nuggets. How special! The joint that we went to was filled with locals and tourists in the morning, this clearly depicts how popular the place is. Despite being a fast food chain, the food served are comparable to the eateries with competitive prices. A burger cost less than SGD2 and you can get a meal under SGD5. Furthermore, you can't find this in Taipei, so its a must try in Kaohsiung!

Before I end this post, don't forget to satisfy your Gongcha craving in Taiwan!

And if you see 樺達奶茶 (Hua Da Milk Tea) around, try it! It's pretty good, their signature drink is a blend of black tea, green tea and oolong tea, and its surprisingly good!

See you again, Taiwan! 



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