Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city (after Taipei), but Kaohsiung seems to be the most famous tourist city in the world of Taiwan. Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s largest port city, and also one of the largest ports in the world. Compared to Taipei, the weather in Kaohsiung is more pleasant, milder and less rainy. Also compared to Taipei, the streets of Kaohsiung are more modern, more spacious and less crowded. Life in Kaohsiung is quite peaceful, people are happy, friendly, pleasant. However, the people here are not so active and internationalized, which means that English is rarely used when coming to Kaohsiung. What to do in Kaohsiung? Let’s check it out our Kaohsiung blog (Kaohsiung travel blog) — The fullest Kaohsiung travel guide for a budget trip to Kaohsiung city from how to get to Kaohsiung to explore best places to visit, top and best things to do, what and where to eat, best places for shopping in Kaohsiung with Living Nomads below.
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When is the best time to visit Kaohsiung, Taiwan?
You can travel to Kaohsiung, Taiwan at any time of the year depending on free your time. Every season in Taiwan has its own charms. However, the period from September to January of the following year is the best time to visit to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Because this period the weather was no rain and cool, the temperature is not too high, suitable for exploring sightseeing and activities. You should not traveling here in the summer because the climate of Taiwan is characterized by the tropical climate hot summer and heavy rain. Sudden heavy rains, tropical storms and days of high temperatures will hinder your travel.
Kaohsiung travel blog: Transportation — Getting to and out from Kaohsiung
Public transport in Kaohsiung includes bus, subway and taxi. From Kaohsiung to other cities / provinces, there are more Train and High Speed Train (HSR). For traveling around the city you should choose the bus or subway is the most reasonable, the bus is very punctual and cheap, but to learn more about the routes will be quite complex for anyone who does not know Chinese so we recommend taking the subway (or taxi).
From Kaohsiung Airport to the central city
From the airport, you can get to the city center by main 2 ways
+ Taxi: (about 15-20 minutes), price 300-350 NT$ ($9.81-$11.44).
+ Subway (MRT): Subway station place right at the airport, exit the airport door turn left about 100m to reach the subway station. At the counter at the subway station, buy a Easy Card for 200NT$ (deposit 100NT$, use 100NT$) to swipe into the two doors (entrance doors) of the subway station. Very fast and clean, unless if you bring the bulky suitcase is not convenient. We attach the Kaohsiung subway map for you locate for clarity.
From Taipei / Taichung / Tainan to Kaohsiung
HSR: The fastest way is to take the High Rapid Train HSR. From Taipei to Kaohsiung it only takes about one and a half hours. Buy HSR tickets at the ticket counter in Taipei Main Station. Note that you choose the arrival station is Zouying (this is the station in Kaohsiung City). See more: HSR Taiwan travel guide — Everything you need to know about Taiwan High Speed Rail HSR.
Bus: Or you can take the bus of the bus companies as UBUS (If in Taipei, to Taipei Bus Station, Taichung to Taichung Station, Tainan to Tainan station), the bus price is only 1/2 of HSR, however, traveling time may be three times longer.
Kaohsiung blog: Where to stay?
Hotels and guest houses in Kaohsiung are equipped with the most basic facilities, some luxury hotels also have swimming pools, bars, restaurants, cinemas, entertainment areas …. The middle class hotels and affordable motels also have bicycle rent services, private kitchens and offers extra beds if you go group of 4-5 people together and want to stay in the same room.
You should be stay in areas near MRT R14 station (Kaohsiung Arena), R12 (Hongyi), R10 (Fomosa Boulevard) or R9 (Central Park). These are the central areas, very convenient shopping and moving. Reservations should be made in advance. The room rates are denpend on luxury or normal range from 9,348.95 NT$ – 13,355.64 NT$ / per night for high-class hotels; 4,006.69 NT$ – 6,677.82 NT$ / per night for mid-range hotels and 1,068.45 NT$ – 2,003.35 NT$ / per night for budget hotels.
Kaohsiung blog: Where to go in Kaohsiung? Top and best places to visit in Kaohsiung
85 Storey Tower (85 Sky Tower)
This is the economic icon of Kaohsiung. When you come here, you can not only see the unique and elegant design of the building, you can buy the tickets to the 85th floor to see the beautiful scenery of Kaohsiung, the price is 150NT$.
Getting there: From MRT R9, you can take a taxi to the 85-story building.
Formosa Boulevard MRT Station – Siziwan
This is the most beautiful MRT station in Kaohsiung (R10 Fomosa Boulevard), which is also the center of the city. The dome of the station is designed with a panoramic sky that describe the history of human evolution by images. From here you can take the train to Sizihwan is the coast of Kaohsiung. From Sizihwan, take the ferry to Cijin Island.
Address: 800, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Xinxing District, 中山一路115號
Opened: September 14, 2008.
Line(s): Red Line (R10); Orange Line (O5).
Structure type: Rapid transit.
Platforms: 2 side platforms (upper level); 1 island platform (lower level)
Sizih Bay (Sizihwan)
Sizih Bay (Sizihwan) is located in the western part of Kaohsiung City, on one side is Shaochuantou Mountain, on the other is the small Cijing Island in the south, blue sea with black sand beach (the natural feature of this sea). In Sizihwan you can rent bicycles to getting around, or rent small boats for sightseeing, eat fresh seafood, visit Sun Yat Sen University, and head to the peak of mount Shaochuantou nearby school to watch sunset. Sizihwan is also famous for its vertical stone-cut breakwater, standing here you immerse in the sea breeze, feeling very comfortable.
Coming to Sizihwan you can also eat ice cream with fruits or beans like this. The ice cream shop is located along the road to the ferry. Delicious, price about 40-50-60NT$.
From Sizihwan, go to the ferry station (follow the directions on the road or google map, not far) you use coins, or Easy Card to pay the ferry to the island of Cijin.
The sea in Cijin Island is not ideal for bathing. The streets are quite old and not as clean as in the city. Visit Cijin to view sea, buy souvenirs or eat fresh seafood, prices are also moderate and are recorded on the menu or on the table sign. There is also a cream shop of a Turkish man, truly Turkish style. In addition, his skill to get ice cream very unique so people are often curious to watch it.
This is a large lake located in Zuoying, there is a zig zag road on the lake. The lake water is turquoise, floating on the surface of the lake is the blue-pink houses. In the middle of the lake is the Dragon Tiger Tower, according to legend, whoever comes here will go through the entrance to the dragon jaw and exit the mouth of the tiger, this symbolizes the idea for turning risk to lucky. Beside the lake is a temple, the campus is very quiet.
Getting there: Go to the HSR Zouying station, take Taxi to 蓮池 潭
Fo Guang Shan
This complex temple area is one of the must visit places in Kaohsiung, where the highest Buddha statue in the world. From the entrance, you will be overwhelmed by the ‘monumental’ of this 100-hectare Buddhist monastery, in the middle is the bronze Budda statue 108m high, the two sides are eight stupas. Fo Guang Shan is home to many gilding-gold Buddha statues and hundreds of hundreds of copies of Heart Sutra by hundreds of people copy hand from many places. In additional, visitors can also admire the rare Buddha’s teeth of the temple. Especially, although there are many people to visit, but here absolutely still not noisy, calm, very peaceful.
Some notes when coming to Fo Guang Shan
Admission is free, but you must adhere to the rules of the place (no smoking, no eating, no loud speaking, some indoor areas not photographed). Because this place is very wide and few trees, you should bring umbrellas.
Getting There: MRT ZuoYing-R16, Exit 1, walk a short distance you will see the bus station. Take bus No.8501 to Fo Guang Shan (the ticket price 80NT$, time about 1h30 minutes).
The EDA World Complex, which includes a golf course, hotel, university, hospital, shopping center, shopping mall, dining area, entertainment area, ice skating rink, theme parks with games similar in Everland … When come here, people often like to sit on the giant Ferris wheel to see the entire kingdom of EDA. You can spend all day at here to play and still not see enough.
Getting There: MRT ZuoYing-R16, Exit 1, walking a short distance you will see the bus station. Take bus No.8501 to Eda World (about 40 minutes).
Ticket price: Ferris wheel: 200NT$
EDA World Theme Park: 650 ~ 899NT$, you can play all the games until the closing hours.
Sun Yat Sen University
This is one of the top universities in Taiwan. In addition to being a prestigious school, the school is also known for its superb location, with one side is the sea, one side are the high mountains, scenic harmony, students also play water sports such as surf sailing boat on the sea. The most interesting point is the Monkey Island, which is located on central of campus, and is good conserved so it is easy to see monkeys dancing like crowded places in the middle of the school grounds, or sometimes they climb into the student dormitory. Visitors can still visit the school, just keep silent for the school.
Pier-2 Art Center
One of the most popular tourist spots in Kaohsiung is Pier-2 Art Center. Coming here you will discover many works of art by many famous artists in Taiwan and you can bring your camera, the phone to captures some memorial photos.
In Kaohsiung, there are two large night markets: Xin Jue Jiang (Xinjuejiang) (selling a lot of clothes, cosmetics, fashion accessories from cheap fashion to famous brand for youth) and Rui Feng Night Market (Mainly selling famous snacks in Kaohsiung).
Xin Jue Jiang Night Market
Xin Jue Jiang is a busy night market in Kaohsiung, located at R9 MRT Station (Central Park). The Central Park is also a good point for taking pictures. Here there is an artificial waterfall shining like stars sky, above is the central park with wide green lawns.
Exit the MRT station, cross the road you can reach the night market Xin Jue Jiang. This place sells all kinds of cosmetics, made in Taiwan and Korea. It’s hard to bargain at the market but you can try it.
Access: MRT Centrel Park, Exit 2, cross the road.
Lemongrass hot pot near the night market Xin Jue Jiang
This hot pot restaurant from the broth to the drink water is made from fresh lemongrass so the taste is very special. Just entered the restaurant you can smell light lemming, very relaxing, pleasant. Fresh food, lots of vegetables, delicious and clean. 200NT$ and up.
Address: No.283 Zhonghua 4th Road, Kaohsiung 801, Taiwan
Ruifeng Night Market
This is a snack market, which is quite full of Taiwanese snacks, especially there is a stinky tofu shop in this market, the smell is very stinky but eaten very good. The surrounding streets also sell fashionable clothes but not as much as in Xin Jue Jiang.
Mo Shou bubble tea (魔 手 茶館)
In Kaohsiung, this bubble tea shop is very popular (which in Taipei does not see, green tea is very fresh, the smell light of tea, pearl seeds are large, soft , sweet. In addition to 50 嵐 shop, this is also a prestigious tea you can rest assured.
See more: Top places to visit in Kaohsiung.
Kaohsiung blog: What and where to eat in Kaohsiung?
If you want to enjoy all the delicious food, is considered elite of Kaohsiung cuisine, you can go to the famous night markets in Kaohsiung such as Rueifeng, Xin Jue Jiang, Feng Chia, Liouhe night market … When you come here, you not only enjoy the delicious foods, the most famous specialties of Kaohsiung but also save a lot of food costs. The price of the food here is quite cheap but still quality.
In additional, you can go to any eating places in Kaohsiung, day or night. Fuguo Street, east of Boai (boulevard of Aozihdi Station) is full of popular restaurants, Thai, Italian, with full grilled foods and seafood restaurants. Arena area complex is also a food paradise in Kaohsiung. You can also eat traditional food at the Lotus Lake area or around the Gushan ferry.
Some delicious and interesting dishes in Kaohsiung you definitely must to try such as: Bamboo shoots grill, fried pork, fried seafood, stinky tofu, hot pot, snake meat, banana milk, Oyster omelette, … Here are some specialties of Kaohsiung that visitors should try.
Sounds simple, but beef noodles are one of the must-have dishes that can not be missed while traveling in Kaohsiung. Its taste and processing make the diners have to spend the full praise once you taste it. The dish consists of tendon noodles made from wheat, special sauce made from soybeans, broth make from bones and of course indispensable tender beef with some tomatoes, aniseed, ginger chili and vinegar.
Oyster omelette is a dish that always on the menu serving foreign visitors of the restaurant because this is a popular dish of Taiwan as well as a delicious food to satisfy all visitors when enjoy it. Oysters omelette are combined from the fresh seafood of oysters with the fatty taste of chicken eggs added sweet sweet potato powder creates an unforgettable taste.
If you just look through, you will find this dish less eye-catching, not appetite because they are black. But when you enjoy it you will change the look of this dish. In fact, they are made from eggs (chicken, goose, pigeon) and stew for about a week until the egg yolk is dark green, while the whites are brown. You will find many iron eggs are sold on the street when traveling to Kaohsiung.
Enjoying Daifuku will be a memorable Kaohsiung travel experience for diners. Daifuku is also known as mochi – a dessert originated from Japan, and now is a popular dish in Taiwanese cuisine. The cakes are made of sticky rice (white, blue, or pinkish), and the cakes are usually ground red beans, or fresh fruits and fresh cream.
This is also the dish that you should try while traveling Taiwan. The cake is made from flour, the cake is onion or radish, as the name suggests. The top of the cake is sprinkled a little more sesame.
Stinky tofu is originate from China and is called Stinky Tofu or Chou Dofu. This is a snack that is hard to smell in Asia, especially in Taiwan. Stinky tofu is also considered one of Taiwan’s elite cuisine can not be ignored when traveling here.
Taiwan is known as a bubble tea paradise, where it is also the “source” birth pearl buble tea is the young people around the world love. And when you come to Kaohsiung you should definitely enjoy bubble tea. There are many famous bubble brands tea in here such as 50 Lan, Lattea, Comebuy, Ten Ren, Chun Shui Tang, TenRen’s Tea …
Wu Chun Bakery
This is a famous French bakery of Kaohsiung, there is always a queue of people to get into the bread made here. The owner of this bakery, Wu Pao Chun, is a baker who has won many awards in France with his sour bread. Coming to this bakery, visitors will enjoy innovative sour bread to match the taste of the Chinese.
Gao Xiong Po Po Shaved Ice
Gao Xiong Po Po Shaved Ice is a famous sweet shop of Kaohsiung with long history. Come here, visitors will enjoy shaved ice covered with mango syrup, fresh mango and mango ice cream. This is the best-selling dish of this shop. In addition, visitors can also enjoy other shaved ice, such as strawberry, red beans, or even many types of mixed together.
One of the most famous Taiwanese desserts. With the simple ingredients pineapple and egg yolks, this combination creates passionate fragrant cakes, making you eat forever without being bored.
Kaohsiung blog: What to buy in Kaohsiung?
Kaohsiung is known for its many splendid shopping centers, malls, shopping squares, markets, and night markets as the city is a haven for shopping. Is a market for all types of goods and products inexpensive and of good quality. Here are some of the best shopping locations in Kaohsiung.
Night markets: Chiayi Wenhua, Cingnian Street, Liuhe, Ruifeng, Xin Jue Jiang
Jade market: If you are looking to buy jade jewelry, or simply come to visit, admire the exquisite carvings from jade, go to Jade Market. However, you should bargain to buy the item you love.
Bamboo street: In bamboo street you can find a lot of kitchen tools, toys, household items, souvenirs, jewelry, hat, raincoat, decorations, … made of bamboo here.
Shopping malls: Hanshin Department Store, Dream Mall
Are you looking more some best souvenirs when travelling in Taiwan. Let’s read more: Must buy souvenir in Taiwan — Top 17 most famous, cheap & best things to buy in Taiwan.
Are you finding more top things to do in Kaohsiung: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out at here.