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Travel in Taiwan

Kaohsiung (gāo xióng 高雄) is the southern port city and the biggest center of industry in Taiwan. It also encompasses a number of historic sites which, whether you are interested in traditional architecture or Western buildings from the colonial era, are well worth a visit.

The city is also a vital transportation hub. Shipping and commerce developed here at an early age, and quite a few sites are left from those times: city walls from the Qing Dynasty period, the old British Consulate (dǎ gǒu yīng guó lǐng shì guǎn 打狗英国领事馆), the Qihou Fortress and Lighthouse, and other relics rich in historical significance. The old British Consulate, for example, was built during the Qing Dynasty as the first official foreign consulate in Taiwan and might be called the premier Western building on the island. A part of Taiwan’s architectural history it is well worth studying. Precious historical materials, pictures, artifacts, and models from the Kaohsiung area are displayed inside the consulate building, which is also known as the Kaohsiung Historical Museum.


KaohsiungKaohsiung is the 2nd largest Taiwan city that is also commonly known as “Gangdu (gǎng dū 港都)”, meaning harbor city. Kaohsiung is a prosperous city, which is highly industrialized and commercialized. Visitors may explore this beautiful southern Taiwan city in short KRT (Kaohsiung Rapid Transit) rides, including the Dome of Light (guāng zhī qióng dǐng 光之穹顶) at the KRT Formosa Boulevard Station, Sizih Bay (or Sizhiwan, xī zǐ wān 西子湾) at the KRT Sizihwan Station (xī zǐ wān chē zhàn 西子湾车站), Kaohsiung Arena (gāo xióng jù dàn 高雄巨蛋) at the KRT Kaohsiung Arena Station (měi lì dǎo zhàn 美丽岛站), Urban Spotlight (chéng shì guāng láng 城市光廊) at KRT Central Park Station (zhōng yāng gōng yuán zhàn 中央公园站), Heart of Love River at KRT Houyi Station, and Love River at the KRT City Council Station (shì yì huì zhàn 市议会站). Travelers may also take KRT to KRT Kaohsiung International Airport Station (gāo xióng guó jì jī chǎng zhàn 高雄国际机场站) to connect to other Taiwan cities and countries, KRT Zuoying Station (zuǒ yíng zhàn 左营站) for high speed rail and KRT Formosa Boulevard for entrain to other Taiwan destinations.


Founded near the end of the 17th century, the village was known as Takau (打狗, literally “beat the dog”) in the Hoklo (hè lǎo rén 鹤佬人) language spoken by most of the early immigrants. The name originates from the Makatao (mǎ kǎ dào zú 马卡道族) language of the local aboriginal tribe and translates as “bamboo forest”. The Dutch established Fort Zeelandia (ān píng gǔ bǎo 安平古堡) in 1624 and defeated the local tribes in 1635. They called the place Tancoia. The Dutch were later expelled by the Kingdom of Tungning government founded by Ming Dynasty loyalists of Koxinga (zhèng chéng gōng 郑成功) in 1662. Zheng Jing (zhèng  jīng 郑经), the son of Koxinga, renamed the village Wannian Zhou (wàn nián zhōu 万Fort Zeelandia 年洲, literally “region of ten thousand years”) in 1664. The name was restored to Takau in the late 1670s, when the town expanded dramatically with immigrants from mainland China. In 1684 the Qing Dynasty annexed Taiwan and renamed the town Fengshan County (fèng shān xiàn 凤山县, literally “phoenix mountain”), considering it a part of Taiwan Prefecture. It was first opened as a port during the 1680s.

In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. It was during this period that the city's name was changed from 打狗 to 高雄. While the sound remained more or less the same when pronounced in Japanese, the literal meaning of the name changed from “Beating Dog” to “High Hero”. The Japanese developed Takao, especially the harbor. An important military base and industry center, the city was heavily bombed by Task Force 38 and FEAF during 1944–1945.


Kaohsiung is located within a degree to the south of the Tropic of Cancer. The climate is tropical, specifically a tropical wet and dry climate, with monthly mean temperatures in the range of 19.3 to 29.2 °C (67 to 85 °F), and relative humidity between 71 and 81%. Average annual rainfall is 1,885 millimeters (74.2 in), focused primarily from June to August. At more than 2210 hours of bright sunshine, the city is one of the sunniest areas in Taiwan.


The city sits on the southwestern coast of Taiwan facing the Taiwan Strait. The downtown areas are centered around Kaohsiung Harbor with the island of Qijin on the other side of the harbor acting as a natural breakwater. The Love River (or Ai River) flows into the harbor through the Old City and downtown. Zuoying Military Harbor (zuǒ yíng jūn gǎng 左营军港) lies to the north of Kaohsiung Harbor and the city center. Kaohsiung’s natural landmarks include the coral mountains Ape Hill, Shoushan (shòu shān 寿山) and Banpingshan (bàn ping shān 半屏山).


Cheng Ching Lake

Cheng Ching LakeCheng Ching, meaning “crystal clear”, is the largest and most visited of Kaohsiung’s lakes. A boat trip on the water here is a must, as is a walk to the seventh storey of the 140-foot-high Chunghsing Pagoda (zhōng xīng tǎ 中兴塔) with its winding staircase and observation platform. Apart from the Cheng Ching Lake (chéng qīng hú 澄清湖) and leisure activities associated with the region including boating, fishing and hiking, there are also several towers, pavilions and bridges to look at, as well as freshwater and saltwater aquariums near the lake. Some beautiful and rare fish can be seen in the aquariums.

It is situated in seven-km northeast of Kaohsiung City.
Tel: +886-7-370-0821
1. Take Kaohsiung City Bus No. 30, 60, 70, 79, or 217 to Cheng Ching Lake.
2. Take Kaohsiung Bus No. 111, 603, 701, 702, or 703 from Fenshan (凤山) to Cheng Ching Lake.

Love River

Flowing through Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, the Love River (ài hé 爱河) is a twelve-kilometer long river that features beautiful river sceneries and coffee shops along the riverbanks. With great efforts of eliminating pollutions and smells, the river has restored its beauty thus become a popular Kaohsiung tourist spot. Due to the picturesque sceneries and romantic ambience of Love River, various coffee shops and restaurants are established along the riverside for the enjoyments of all visitors. Visitors may sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while appreciating the delightful sceneries at this area.

Love RiverAt night, lights sparkle on Love River. Everyday from 4:00-11:00, visitors can take the boats on the east and west coast to look at the romantic and charming sights of Love River. Then, you might like to enjoy drinking coffee at cafes of different moods, such as cafe literary and art squares over River Mambo and olden Love River. It is nice to enjoy the aromatic coffee and listen to the music with different moods and tempos, allowing the leisure of the harbor city to relax your body and soul.

Location: Zhongzheng Bridge, the end of Zhongzheng 4th Rd., Kaohsiung City
Tel: +886-7-521-2463
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: Free
1. THSR Zuoying Station → Kaohsiung MRT Yanchengpu Station
2. TRA Kaohsiungn Station → Kaohsiung MRT Yanchengpu Station

Urban Spotlight

The Urban Spotlight (chéng shì guāng láng 城市光廊) spans from the roundabout of Wu-Fu 3rd Road and Chung-Hua Road to the intersection of Wu-Fu 3rd Road and Chung-Shan Road, with Central Park as a northern neighbor, and Kaohsiung MRT Central Park Station and the extremely popular New Jyuejiang Shopping Area (xīn kū jiāng shāng quān 新堀江商圈) in close proximity. The Shopping Mecca (gòu wù tiān tang 购物天堂) P262 is nearby too. The Urban Spotlight was only inaugurated in October 2001, one of the newest hot spots of the city.
       Urban Spotlight
Themed on lights, the City Light Gallery located in the Central Park radiates blue neon lights, adding to the beauty of the night. Adding an artistic touch to the public facilities like bus stops, telephone booths, trashcans, bulletin boards, chairs and streetlamps, Kaohsiung City Government boldly broke away from the stereotyped decorations of public facilities to bring more visual beauty and aesthetic taste to the cityscape. 2001 Kaohsiung citizens and Mayor Hsieh contributed photos of their smiley faces for the refreshing artistic creation of "SMILE 2001-the Wall of Hope" that shines a ray of hope on the city.

Location: Intersection of Wufu Rd. and Zhongshan Rd., Kaohsiung City
Tel: +886-7-282-1567
Opening Hours: The whole day
Admission Fee: Free
Take the THSR to Zuoying Station, transfer to the bus.
2. MRT
Take the MRT to Central Park Station; then exit by Exit No.1 to Urban Spotlight.
3. Bus
Take City Bus No.12, 15, 25, 33, 52, 69, 72, 76, 77, 92, 100, 218, Red 25, Wufu Line, Coast Bus(run on Holidays), Zhonghua Line, THSR Gushan Ferry Bus to Urban Spotlight.

Sizih Bay

Sizih BaySizih Bay
(xī zǐ wān 西子湾) is perched on the sea at the western edge of Kaohsiung City, just southwest of Mt. Longevity, with the Qijin Peninsuna (qí jīn dǎo 旗津岛) stretching southward. Its main feature is a swimming beach known for its clear blue water, the beauty of its sunsets, and its natural reef. The atmosphere and the scenery here change from morning to night; each time of the day has its special attraction, but the brilliant colors of the sunset are unparalleled in their beauty. The long breakwater here is the landmark of Sizih Bay, and basking in the sea breeze on the breakwater gives the most pleasant and comfortable sensation imaginable. The vessels both large and small scattered like stars on the surface of the sea are entertained by the intermittent sound of foghorns; and as the day darkens and the air of romance deepens, pairs of lovers stroll along the breakwater listening to the waves and watching the lights of fishing boats on the sea.

Location: It is located in the west of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.
Transportation: Take bus no. 1 or 3 to Sizihwan.
Admission Fee: TWD 70

Lotus Lake

Lotus LakeLotus Lake (lián chí tán 莲池潭) has been a popular destination since the Qing dynasty and is well known for the 20 or so temples dotting the shoreline and nearby area. Two long sections of the impressive Old Wall of Fengshan, built in 1826, lie to the southeast of the lake. The best section is along Chenfong Rd about 100m up Shengli Rd from the train station. Its famous scenic area on the northern outskirts of Kaohsiung City is noted for its profusion of temples, with the Confucius Temple at its northern edge and, in the south, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龙虎塔) and the Spring and Autumn Pavilions (chūn qiū gé 春秋阁). The lake is most beautiful in the late afternoon, when the setting sun is reflected in the water. Nearby are the ruins of the Fengshan County walls and gates, which have been designated a first-grade historic.

Location: No. 1435, Cuihua Rd., Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City
Tel: +886-7-581-6216
Take the THSR to Zuoying Station, walk about 10 min.
2. Train
Take a train to Zuoying Railway Station.
3. MRT
Take MRT Red Line and get off at Ecological District Station. From Ecological District Station Exit No. 2, then take the Bus Red 51 to Lotus Lake stop.
4. Bus
1). Take the Bus No. 301 to Lotus Lake Stop.
2). Take the Bus No. 6, 17, 29, 31, 38, or 219 to Zuoying North Stop.
3). Take the Green 38 to Confucius Temple Stop.


Location: It is situated in southwestern Taiwan.
Tel: +886-7-215-5100
Recommended Golden Season: September through November