Kaohsiung (高雄; Ko-hiông in Minnan, Gāoxióng in Mandarin), with over 2.7 million inhabitants, is the third most populated city in Taiwan after New Taipei and Taichung. It in the south of the island on the west coast. Kaohsiung is known for its harbor, although more for commercial than tourism reasons. Hence it is also known as the Harbor Capital (港都) of Taiwan. Its year-round fine weather and the low cost of living makes Kaohsiung the place to visit.
Kaohsiung began in the 17th century as a small fishing village named "Takao" (打狗), derived from the local aboriginal name meaning "bamboo forest". The name was changed to "高雄" (meaning: "high hero") by the Japanese in 1895, also pronounced "Takao" in Japanese, as they found the original name of 打狗 ("beating the dog") to be vulgar. The modern name of "Kaohsiung" is the pronunciation of "高雄" in Mandarin.
OrientationMany visitors coming from the north will arrive by high-speed train at the Zuoying High Speed Train Station, which is far to the north of the city. The city center around the Central Train Station and the Formosa Boulevard Subway Station can be accessed via the MRT's red line.
Another common point of entry is the Kaohsiung International Airport, which is comparatively close to the city. The airport is on the MRT's red line, and the central area of town is a 20 minutes MRT ride away. There is a tourist information office on the ground floor of the international terminal.
Kaohsiung enjoys a mild tropical climate, comparatively milder and drier than northern Taiwan. The weather however remains hot and sticky in the summer, with June, July and August seeing the most rainfall. Still, the proximity of the sea makes the summer heat much more bearable than in other cities at a similar latitude, such as Hong Kong.
Kaohsiung International AirportInternational flights from Asia arrive daily, with regular connections between Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Kaohsiung. The airport is on the MRT Red Line and is also easily accessible by scooter, car or taxi.
Kaohsiung is also well-served by domestic flights from Taiwan's outlying islands. However, the popularity of Taiwan High Speed Rail has resulted in the cancellation of all flights to other cities on the island except once daily service to Hualien.
Zuoying StationThis station is served by high speed and regular TRA trains, with both the Red Line of the MRT connecting the relatively far away station to the city.
Kaohsiung StationKaohsiung's main railway station for regular TRA trains, located in the city center. Connected to THSR Zuoying Station both by regular trains and the Red Line of the MRT. Also serves trains to the East Coast cities of Taitung and Hualien.
Traveling by train is a viable option for getting to Kaohsiung, as the fastest high speed trains from Taipei cover the distance in just 90 minutes on the Taiwan High Speed Rail line (THSR). There are 3 types of tickets: Business Reserved, General Reserved, and Non-Reserved. Reserved are approx. NT$1500 and non-reserved slightly cheaper at NT$1400. Get Designated Seats if you are traveling with luggage, they are less than NT$100 more expensive.
The stations and platforms are wheelchair-friendly and all trains include a wheelchair-accessible car (wider doors, ample space, accessible bathroom). Note that the official English guide for online reservations distinguishes between "senior or disabled tickets" and "handicap-friendly seats"; while it's possible to buy a ticket for the former online ("correct passenger ID" required), a ticket for the latter has to be reserved by calling the ticketing office on the phone.
The HSR terminal is in Zuoying (左營, also Tsoying) on the northern outskirts of town, and you'll need to connect to the city center via the MRT Red Line (approximately NT$20–25), bus, ordinary train, or taxi (approximately NT$250–350). The MRT Red Line now extends to Kaohsiung Main Station (#R11) and the HSR Station (#R16) and beyond (see system map). Kaohsiung is also served by the Taiwan Railway Administration's Western Line and Pingtung Line. The city is roughly 4 to 5 hours away from Taipei by normal express train.
By busBuses run the length of the island, with stops in major towns. They feature fully reclining seats, baggage transportation and, on most, video game consoles or televisions for each seat. Prices run around NT$1000 per trip, give or take, depending on the initial and final destination.
Most major bus companies have their office and stops close to the train station. They are located on the same road as the train station, about half a block down the street.
By boatBecause Kaohsiung is also a harbor, transportation by boat will bring you directly into the city.
By footAs the sidewalks double as scooter parking areas, caution and awareness are a must when walking through unfamiliar areas off of main streets. Generally, it is best to walk between the scooter parking row and store fronts, rather than between parked scooters and the road. Pedestrians should be especially aware when crossing a road as cars and motorbikes often run red lights. Exploring Kaohsiung on foot is highly recommended, as many of the distances between sites of interest are not far.
Feeder buses are available to bridge network gaps and provide better access to the metro lines. The MRT stations are all well connected to the city bus lines for further transfers. Stations and trains are wheelchair-friendly, but note that when there are multiple exits from a single station, usually only one of these is equipped with a lift.
The K-MRT accepts two types of contactless smartcards for payment: iPass and Taipei MRT's EasyCard.
By taxiTaxis can be an easy way to get to somewhere unfamiliar, and are fairly common in the city. If you have the business card of a location, or the Chinese characters written down, they can easily get you there far faster than most other means.
It is best to get the price in advance, and, if possible, buckle up. Few taxi drivers speak English, and the majority ignore any and all rules of the road. Do not be surprised if they drive the wrong way, up a hill, through heavy traffic. Typically, going from one end of the city to the other should never be more than NT$400.
This behavior of cab-drivers is rarely seen nowadays however may still happen more often on the country side.
Do not be surprised if they open the door and spit what looks like blood. In actuality, the taxi driver is chewing betel nut (binlang). This commercially available product is a mild stimulant and is used by many taxi drivers.
Bikes are also common in Kaohsiung, and the large number of locally produced bikes (often rebranded and sold overseas) means purchasing a new bike will often be cheaper relative to its counterpart in other countries (primarily Europe and America).
As Kaohsiung is predominantly flat, a great way to see the city is by bike. There are many bicycle paths across the city, most of which are clearly marked. The city government's website has recommended paths for visitors, together with maps: Cycling in Kaohsiung. Riding along the Love River north towards the Art Museum area offers a pleasant ride and some scenery of the old Kaohsiung that is fast disappearing. Pleasant bike routes can also be found around Sun Yet-Sen university and on the coastal side of Shoushan mountain, but expect a few hills to climb. It is best to avoid this place on the weekends when hoardes of young Kaohsiung couples head to the mountain for some romantic sunset views of the city and ocean at one of the countless coffee shops. Cijin Island also offers some nice riding around the streets at the northern end of the island. However, it is not yet legally possible to bicycle to and from Cijin as the underwater Kaohsiung Harbor Tunnel to and from Cianjhen District is officially closed to bicycles around the clock, even during late nights when ferries stop running.
(Free) Kaohsiung Public BicycleThe city operates a bicycle rental service (city bikes - blue bikes). Bicycle renting stations are at MRT stations and bicycles can be dropped off at any station, regardless of where they were rented. You can also give back the bicycle and rent it again right away to extend the free period. OpenStreetMap.org , which many mobile Apps like OsmAnd and MAPS.ME, use, has most renting stations around Kaohsiung listed.
obike and V bikeDue to Kaohsiung Public Bicycle, other bicycle rental companies began to operate around the city. They use an app to find, book and unlock bikes that can be parked anywhere, though it's best to park in a designated bicycle parking spot. You load onto the app some credit via a credit or debit card.
GiantGiant, a well-built, recognized Taiwanese brand, has shops throughout the city, and some of the store managers speak English. Bikes are street legal, even without a helmet, but theft is common for any bike over NT$3,000. Also, see the country article on getting around with bicycles.
By scooterScooters are the primary means of transportation within Kaohsiung. With a dedicated two-wheel vehicle lane on most major roads, and with frequent and varied scooter shops around town, renting or purchasing a scooter is very easy; however, see the Taiwan article for legal issues including licenses.
Scooters come in several engine sizes from below 50cc to more than 250cc. Most common are the 4-stroke 100 and 125cc models, which are also suitable to explore the surroundings of the city. The larger scooters, 150cc and more, often include a greater subset of amenities for a second passenger, including a backrest, wider seat, full windshield and footholds and can rival a motorcycle overall size, weight and fuel consumption. Often, they come with larger wheels as well.
All passengers on a scooter must wear helmets by law. Helmets are sold almost everywhere, and start at NT$100. A helmet with visor is strongly suggested.
A foreigner-friendly scooter rental company is called Ken's Scooter Leasing, the owner named Ken and Elin operate the business with the language school, speaking fluent English and willing to help people to get around in the city. Rent is reasonable.
555 Scooter Rental, Sales & Repair is beside Kaohsiung railway station, has competitive prices for both short- and long-term rentals, and the staff speaks English, Chinese, Japanese and Afrikaans.
Legal issuesScooters with an engine size of 50cc require a light motorcycle license to drive, and should be insured and registered in the owner's name. If you have a Taiwanese automobile driver's license or a valid International Driving Permit you do not need an additional license for these small scooters. Motorcycles with an engine displacement of 51 to 250cc require a heavy motorcycle driving license. However, foreigners often drive scooters up to 250cc with no license, insurance or registration. Due to a loophole in Taiwanese law, scooters registered to foreigners who have left the country cannot be bought by Taiwanese citizens because the registration cannot change hands, legally. An underground market in "foreigner scooters" allows visitors to purchase scooters without insurance or registration.
City police are often more lenient on foreigners. Short of being towed for parking in a red zone (a stripe of red paint on the edge of a sidewalk or road), foreigners are usually waved through stops, or, at best, ticketed. If the scooter is not registered to you however, its hard to say what exactly happens when the ticket is sent out. Often the best idea is to speak a language other than English or Chinese, play dumb and hope the officer will get flustered and let you go - that is, if you're the type who likes to break laws in foreign countries.
Parking is scarce, but available. The city recognizes this problem, and attempts to make the city more car-friendly by building parking garages and painting designated parking spaces alongside streets. However, for travel within the city itself, or only locally, it is recommended you get a scooter.
Kaohsiung has a well-developed bus network, with services generally running frequently. Bus fares can be paid with an iPass or an EasyCard, or by cash.
If you want to get to Cijin District:
- Take bus No.1 at the Kaohsiung Train Station or take bus No. 31 at the Zhuo Iing Bus Station to the Ferry Pier.
- Take bus No. 35 at the Ciang Zhen Bus Station to Cijin Peninsula.
- Take Bus No.12 at the Kaohsiung International Airport to Shiaugang and take Bus No.14 to ChiangZhen Ferry Station.
Or, you may take a ferry:
- Gushan ferry terminal (from which one can take the ferry to Cijin island) is an easy 10 min walk from Sizihwan MRT station (you may have to ask for directions though as the route is not that straightforward, but signboards are pretty clear nowadays)
The Cijin District (旗津； Qijin) is a slender island in Kaohsiung harbor which serves as a natural breakwater for the harbor. The district is filled with seafood restaurants selling freshly caught seafood which can be prepared right after you pick it out. Cijin is connected to the rest of Kaohsiung City by underwater tunnels, but the transportation of choice is one of the many ferries that traverse the harbor. Fare for the ferry ride is NT$15 per person. Bikes and scooters can be brought aboard, but the fee is NT$30 with a scooter. There is no extra fee for bringing on a bike. The ferry is easily accessible for wheelchairs, which can share the space with scooters and bikes. The street that goes straight from the ferry has about two blocks of snack stands, as well as seafood restaurants near the end. There is also a plaza with a fountain and a beach at the end of the street. If you rent a bike (either before or after the ferry ride), there is a nice coastal path that goes south along the beach. Going a short ways north will lead you to the lighthouse and the fort, which are located on a hill with great views of the city, the harbor, and the ocean. The area is especially crowded on weekends with many visitors bringing their entire family along. The island is also projected to be an international tourism spot in southern Taiwan by the city government. However, at present it's somewhat run-down.
Cijin Coast Parkaddress: No.990 Qijin Third Road, Qijin District, Kaohsiung, TaiwanThe Cijin Seaside Park is a long area of picturesque terrain along the west coast of Cijin Island. Take a leisurely stroll past intriguing architectural designs with a constant view of the Taiwan Strait. The park incorporates a long path for walking and cycling as well as an ecological area and Cijin Beach.
ChiHou Lighthouseaddress: #34, Chi-Xia Lane, Chi-Jin District.The lighthouse was built by English technicians in Ching Dynasty (1883). In 1916, the Japanese remodeled it into Baroque stye and painted it white. This renovation was made as part of the expasion of Dagao port. The lighthouse has played a crucial role in guiding ships since 1918 during night sailing
Chihou Fortaddress: #34, Chi-Xia Lane, Chi-Jin District.Chihou Fort is a battery which was designed by an English engineer. It was after the Ching (Qing) government took over Taiwan that the fort became a military base. The fort stationed a naval commander and one hundred soldiers. The battery was also armored with four British-made Armstrong breechloaders weighing 6.5 tons each. The fort was occupied by the Japanese army in 1895. Subsequently, the cannons in the fort were dismantled and melted. Meanwhile the battery was abandoned. In 1988, Kaohsiung city government started to restore the battery and it was completed in 1992. As a result, a new Cihou battery was reborn to please the tourists.
TianHou Templeaddress: #39, Miao-Chen Road, ChiJin District.Chihou area is a place in Kaohsiung city that most fishermen live. This temple is built about three hundreds years ago, and dedicated to the Goddess of Sailors, Matzu. People believe that Matzu can protect every fisherman who put out to sea. The temple is crafted with charming yet authentic folk art. TianHou temple is also regarded as the oldest temple in Kaohsiung.
The Western districts
The area to the west of the Love River (愛河; pinyin: Ài Hé) includes the Gushan (鼓山) and Yangcheng (鹽埕) districts.
The main attractions in Gushan are:
The British consulateSitting atop a hill, the red brick building offers beautiful views over the Kaohsiung harbor and the sea. While a nice structure representative of the era in which it was built, it is now thought to have been the official residence of the British Consul, and not the consulate proper.
The Takao Railway MuseumTurned into a museum in 2010, this was Kaohsiung's first railway station. There are exhibition rooms, a railway document archive and a platform and track area.
The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine ArtsThe museum hosts a permanent collection and temporary exhibits, mainly of paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries.
While all three attractions are within Gushan, the Museum of Fine Arts is located at the Northern end of the district. The first two attractions are better visited together with the Yangcheng district.
Yangchen, once a largely sodden, marshy land, was drained in imperial times for salt production. It became part of the modern harbor front. Many of the warehouses there, long abandoned, have been renovated and refurbished as part of the Pier-2 Art Center.
The Pier-2 Art CenterThe centre occupies several warehouses that were artfully converted into exhibition space and cafes. Many contemporary art exhibitions are held there, as well as occasional live music events. It is on the bicycle path that borders the harbor front.
The Dome of LightA public artwork in the Formosa Boulevard MRT Station. Created by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata, it is the world's largest stained glass installation. The dome is divided into four sections: water, earth, light and fire. It also takes the form of a yin and yang symbol. An audio guide (available in several languages) can be borrowed from the KRTC Art Shop inside the station. It costs NT$30 and gives a half-hour narration of the key features of the artwork.
ShoushanAlso known as Monkey Mountain, is on the west coast, across the harbor from Cijin. All along the mountain, it is possible to see monkeys looking for a snack. Although there are signs posted forbidding feeding the monkeys, some of the locals don't hesitate to do so. Some monkeys are nice, but some can be nasty and attack as soon as they see some food.
Central ParkThe park has a small hedge maze in the middle, a pond with some bridges and fish, clay tennis courts, and "Urban Spotlight," a café with a stage to display local talent.
Dream MallA large mall that is a bit out of the way, but worth it to visit the Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel on the roof.
Republic of China Air Force MuseumThe overall exhibition area of the museum spans over an area of 3 hectares, which consists of various collections of artifacts, archives, weapons and airplanes.
phone: +886-7-537-2858address: No.9, Fuxing 4th Rd., Qianzhen DistrictPanoramic flying attraction in Kaohsiung Software Technology Park. The ride brings you an amazing soaring experience across the Kaohsiung skyline with immersive 4D effect.
phone: +886 7 6563033address: No. 1, Tongling Rd, Dashu, Kaohsiung 840One of Taiwan's largest Buddhist monasteries – Chan (Zen) tradition. While amount of impressive monasteries in Taiwan is rare, this place is the one must see destination, even if you are not into Buddhism. The monastery area is the manifestation of a new and modern Buddhism interpretation (Fo Guang Shan), founded in 1967. Like the Bahá'í Gardens in Haifa (Israel), this place is free and offers complementary tours. Do not miss out on this picturesque and unique monastery. Arrive early (09:00) and get some unspoilt pictures. Also try .
Pier 2 Art Centeraddress: Between Sihzihwan Metro Station and Yanchengpu Metro StationThis former warehouse district has been converted into a series of contemporary art galleries. As these are commercial galleries and not museums, admission tends to be free. Between the warehouses there are numerous outdoor sculptures. The district is near Fishermen's Wharf, which can serve as a great place to grab a meal after a day looking at art.
Fishermen's Wharf / Banana Pieraddress: Near Sihzihwan Metro StationThis tourist area features a number of restaurants with live performers and seaside seating. There is also a free exhibit within Banana Pier about Taiwan's banana industry.
Lotus Lakeaddress: Zuoying DistrictTake a walk or bike around Lotus Lake. The lake is surrounded by temples, some of which have built out onto the lake. Of note are the Dragon-Tiger Pavilion and Spring Autumn Pavilion, as well as Taiwan's largest Confucius temple. During the day the lake is surrounded with stalls selling food, drinks and trinkets. Across the street from the Dragon-Tiger Pavilion is a Taiwanese puppet shop that's worth checking out. Just south of the lake is one of the restored gates of the Old Wall of Fongshan, built in 1826. A few blocks down on Shengli Road is the North Gate, the best-preserved of the three. On the other side of the gate is a new park and the Military Dependents' Museum, which features many vintage Taiwanese household items.
Cijin (旗津； Qijin)
CycleIf you have only a brief period in Kaohsiung, skip Cijin. If you have more than a day, you will find the island to be a pleasant and relaxing place to take a break. Most of the major sites can be seen within two hours. Locals take a ferry to the island, and as a result the ferry is an affordable way to experience a brief boat ride. The elongated island is made for cycling and has a nice cycling track. You can rent a bike either before or after you take the ferry. There is a shop opposite exit 1 of Sizhiwan Station that rents out bikes for NT$59. Average price for bike rental in the area tend to be around NT$100. Once you get off the ferry you can turn right and start biking to the lighthouse and the fort, then continue south along the west coast. Alternatively, you can get off the ferry and continue straight through the market until you hit the beach at the end. From there, you can turn right to the fort and lighthouse or turn left down the bike path along the beach. While visiting, please note that the fort does not have guard rails installed, and may be dangerous for young children to visit, as there are many steep drops.
Rising Victory Bicyclesphone: +886 7-571-4513address: #84 Miao-chien Road , Cijin District, Kaohsiung City.Make your way to the end of the market from the ferry and, once past the seafood restaurants, you will see the beach. It is public access, but you will need NT$15 for the ferry ride first. There are nice facilities at the beach.
The Chijin Kiln Studiophone: +886 7-5721678address: #25 Hai-an Road, Cijin District, Kaohsiung City.
Kaohsiung Lantern FestivalAt the end of Chinese New Year, near the Kaohsiung harbour and along the Love River, the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is filled with a variety traditional lanterns and more modern light sculptures, nightly fireworks shows, Taiwanese food stands and other art programs and live concerts.
Urban SpotlightLocated at the corner of Central Park, Urban Spotlight is a cafe with a stage where local live bands perform in the evening. Take a walk around Central Park then stop at the cafe to cool off.
Night MarketsFood, games, and shopping. Try the Liuho Night Market, which is a tourist market. Ruifeng night market, at the corner of YuCheng and Nanping, heaves with locals. Closed Mondays and Wednesdays.
- Take a nighttime stroll along the promenate of the Love River and enjoy the live musice, a coffee or an ice cream in one of the cafes.
- Go to the top of the 85 Tower, the second tallest building in Taiwan.
- Hike Monkey Mountain (壽山; Shòu shān) and enjoy the view of the city and the ocean. Beware of the namesake monkeys, who have been known to steal hikers' food, drinks, and even cameras.
For foreigners, work in Kaohsiung usually falls into two branches. The majority of employment involves English as a Second Language (ESL) work in buxibans (補習班, cram schools), kindergartens and schools (public, private or university). Most of the others are businessmen and women in the employ of multinational corporations here to manage, oversee or deploy production in Taiwan for their home company abroad.
Substitute work is easily available for native English speakers and can be obtained through internet groups such as Taiwan Teaching Jobs or through local postings in expatriate hangouts. More permanent teaching work is also available, especially in the summer and around Chinese New Year. Most buxibans require teachers to sign a 1-year contract and provide a work permit and ARC (Alien Residence Card). ARC holders are also covered under national health insurance. Without the proper paperwork - including a 4-year university degree - you cannot get an ARC and will need to leave the country every 2–4 months to renew your visa. You will also be working illegally, which involves a number of other inconveniences (including lack of phone and Internet access). It is also highly illegal for foreigner to work as teachers in kindergartens few provide work permits.
There are numerous seafood restaurants dotting the main street in Cijin Island, all offering the same fresh seafood for about NT$100-200 per dish. It is a great idea to go in a small group and order a few dishes to try, probably one more dish than the number of people in your group. In the evening, a night bazaar goes into full swing. There are lots of little eats to eat as per Taiwan's night markets, BBQ squid, mochi to name a few are particularly good.
Flavor of the Sea Seafood Restaurantphone: +886 7-5711861address: #75 Miao-chien Road, Cijin District, Kaohsiung City.
Wen-Chin Seafood Restaurantphone: +886 7-5714568address: #28 Miao-chien Road , Cijin District, Kaohsiung City.
Man-San Seafood Retaurantphone: +886 7-5714191address: No.179-11, Jhongjhou 2nd Rd., Cijin District, Kaohsiung City 805, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Riverside Sea Food Restaurantphone: +886 7-5713485address: #68-16, Chong-chou Second Road, Cijin District, Kaohsiung City.
Night markets are a great place to pick up cheap local foods, including stinky tofu, barbecued squid, red bean pancakes and the like.
The Liuhe Night Market (六合夜市) is the most typical tourist night market and offers local dishes such as salty glutinous rice balls (鹹湯圓) stuffed with pork, oyster omelette (蚵仔煎) and tofu pudding (豆花). This market is very popular with Mainland Chinese tourist groups, open pretty much every day after 17:00/18:00 and convienently located at MRT Formosa Boulevard.
A more local, food-oriented night market is Rueifong Night Market (瑞豐夜市), straight outside exit 1 of MRT Kaohsiung Arena. It is open Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun, but if you are afraid of crowds you should avoid the weekends. A similar night market is 青年夜市 near MRT Da-Dong.
Lunchboxes are common throughout the city, and a choose-your-order buffet take-out are typically NT$50-100. The food is typically fried, with a mix of vegetables and meats.
The ubiquitous 7-Eleven stores have tea eggs, hot dogs, packaged beverages and junk food. Lunchbox style microwavables are also available, including dumplings, spaghetti and curry rice.
- Smokey Joes offers Tex-Mex, including fajitas, tortillas and other Western staples at affordable prices (NT$170 and up). The menu is in English and the staff usually understands some English as well. They offer a 'VIP' card for people who spend over NT$1,000 on 20 separate meals which gives the holder at 10% discount at any store operated by Amy (the owner of Smokey Joes). This includes Mama Mia's, an Italian restaurant located downtown.
- The Pantheon serves traditional Greek and Mediterranean food at good prices. They are known for their Gyro lunch (around NT$200), qne hey also offer a 20% discount on takeout.
Cosplay Cafephone: +886 7 235-0128Offers a cosplay themed restaurant. 161, ChangMing St, SanMin District. English language review
Bull Fighter Restaurantphone: +886 7 241-5530address: 79, Wu Fu 3rd Road, Cianjin DistrictIt mainly serves steaks and grilled seafoods and is suitable for most Western visitors at fair costs (NT$400-500 each, free salad bar included). Or, you can choose pastas (only NT$200, salad bar included).
- Escape 41 a little bit hard to get to without your own transportation (if you are sporty, a bicycle will do, but don't be afraid of uphill-riding, cab might drop you off there as well) though you'll be rewarded. Its located directly on the coastline behind Zhongshan University, far off the cities hustle and bustle. Great at sunsets, big terrace; western food, not cheap but ok. 41-2, CaiShan, Gushan District(07) 525-0058.
- Michino Diner, serving popular breakfast and brunch. You can choose between burgers, sandwiches, salads, omelettes and real American breakfast and brunch at NT$150-300. Tel:(07) 216-2290 Address: #79 Datong 1st Rd (高雄巿新興區大同一路79號) Hours: Tu-Su 10:00-22:00
Sushi ExpressSushi train with good variety including healthy vegetarian options. NT$30 per plate.
The Spice Shopphone: +886 7 558-5709address: 508 Mingcheng 2nd RoadAn Indian restaurant serving a-la-carte style meals, with each dish ranging from NT$120-270.
There is also a Ruth's Chris, an Outback and several steak houses in town.
Two local beer companies, Tsingtao and Taiwan Beer, are ubiquitous throughout the island and can be purchased by visitors cheaply with little hassle about age restrictions. Most major soft drinks are available, and tea stands on almost every corner offer concoctions of fruit, yogurt, green tea, the Taiwanese specialty "bubble tea," and a variety of other flavors.
While tap water is most certainly not potable, good reverse osmosis filtration will remove bacteria and heavy metals, and is considered safe for consumption. Water dispensers, which resemble gas stations, are present throughout the city. However, they, along with many of the bottled water brands, are suspect. Both have been found, in the past, to simply bottle or distribute tap water. To avoid ingesting non-potable water, only purchase bottles that are sealed with an expiration date clearly printed on the bottle. Often, it is easier to simply purchase green tea at a stand or a convenience store, or a soft drink. Restaurant water is safe, with the exception of some lunchbox eateries and stands on the street.
2 Coins Baraddress: 350 Fujian St2 Coins Bar is a small bar down the street from the Lees Hotel. The bar owner is quite nice, but doesn't speak English. Good music and decent prices are standard for this relaxing bar.
Green Creek Cafephone: +886 7-5720157address: #2, Hai-an Rd., Cijin District, Kaohsiung City.
La Mambo Cafe & Dinephone: +886 7-5721998address: 2F., #10, Hai-an Road, Cijin District, Kaohsiung City
Siang Shia Zouaddress: B1, 323 Xintian Rd
address: 51 Liwen Road, Zouying Dist
Austria Star Bed & Breakfast10 min away from the HSR (free shuttle bus every 30 min from 6:15 until 22:45)
phone: +886 952 612212address: No. 39, Lane 261, Siwei 3rd Road (苓雅區四維三路261巷39號)Pretty and clean hostel with large beds and a kitchen.
phone: +886 921-576-577address: 8F-3. No. 331, Jhonghua 4th Rd., Qianjin Dist. Kaohsiung City, TaiwanCozy Planet hostel has both dormitories (2,4 and 6 beds) and private double rooms, free WiFi, AC, hot water, fully equipped kitchen, lounge with satellite TV, guest computers, and lockers. The place is centrally located near metro station, sights and shopping area. Complimentary daily room cleaning, laundry service, bikes, and simple breakfast. Non-smoking and no pets allowed.
Hostel HamasenDorm rooms and private suites located 200 m from Sihziwan MRT and within walking distance of the Cijin Island ferry and Sun Yat Sen University. The owner, TC, is very cool and helpful. This is a budget option, with beds starting at NT$350 a night.
phone: +886 983-666-345address: No.33 Dacheng Street, Yancheng DistrictNewly furnished with a very friendly and helpful proprietor. Close to the Pier-2 Art Center.
phone: +886 73310111address: No.85-5, Lingya 2nd Rd., Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
address: 279, Liouhe 2nd Road (六合二路279號)Clean and modern tourist guest house. Around 4-star service and rooms. Staff speak English and are very forthcoming in helping you in anyway. All rooms have free highspeed WLAN-connections. Taxi drivers recognize the hotel by the Chinese hotel name "華園飯店". Close to Love River and behind hotel there is a orange-line K-MRT station.
phone: +886 7 551-8251Clean hotel near the river.
The Kingship Hotel Kaohsiungphone: +886 7-5313131address: #98, Chi-Shen 3rd Road, Yen-Chen District, Kaohsiung City.
Moon Lake Shinkuchan Modern Hoteladdress: 348 Minsheng 1st Rd
Nobel Hotelphone: +886 7-7151470address: 146 Sanduo 1st Rd
phone: +886 7 231-2141address: 177 Datong 1st Rd (高雄市新興區大同一路177號)Renovated, clean, comfortable and modern. Standard hotel room offers LCD TV, iPod docking sound system and free broadband internet connection. Extra services include laundry, bike rental service and a recreational area. Full buffet breakfast included with accommodation.
phone: +886 7 333-5111address: 311, Cing Nian 1st Road(青年一路311號). (note: website is in Traditional Chinese). Clean and affordable hotel near the city center and shopping centers (Far Eastern 21 shopping mall, night markets) and minutes from KMRT stations (between R8 and R9 stations)right across the street from Brickyard. Free breakfast is included in room rate with choice of traditional Eastern or Western style faire. The hotel offers free internet and the front staff speaks enough English to get you what you need or to get you where you need to go. Rooms from NT$880 for students; NT$1099 for everyone else.
phone: +886 7 236-2323address: 311 Chihsien 1 Road
address: No.105, Wufu 1st Road(高雄市苓雅區五福一路105號). The staff can all speak English and they are extremely helpful in every way. The hotel is well maintained and in a nice district.
phone: +886 7 566-8000address: 7-85F, No. 1 Tzu-Chiang 3rd Road
Wen Pin Hotelphone: +886 2-25178118address: No.22, Dan-Yeng Rd.
Kaohsiung's crime rate is much lower than probably any city of comparable size in the West, so tourists need not be too worried. Theft tends to be the most common form of criminal activity encountered by foreigners, and expensive bikes and scooters are frequent targets.
As a major seaport, organized crime has also become an increasing problem in the city, and a fair number of businesses are nothing more than a front for local gangs. That said, the gangs do not resort to random violence or theft.
In general, Kaohsiung offers a very safe environment as long as you mind your own business and don't get involved with local rivalries. Violent crime is very rare, and visitors should not encounter any problems - though, like any major city, it is always wise to err on the side of caution.
Also please remember: tap water is not potable.
- Tainan is to the north. It can easily be accessed by train or car. There is a regular train service from Kaohsiung Central Train Station. The journey takes around 30 minutes, which makes Tainan an attractive day-trip or even half-day destination.
- Pingtung County is to the south. All the way to its southern end is Kenting.
Taitung County is to the east. However, the Southern Cross-Island Highway (Provincial Highway Number 20) has been closed mid-way since 2009 due to the Typhoon Morakot, so you have to take a very long detour via the South-Link Highway (Provincial Highway Number 9) if going by road.
- Penghu – An outlying island archipelago, with a saturated turquoise sea around and coral sand, so pack beach wear.