Mar 30, 2019

Our 4-day travel itinerary in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Being the second largest city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung (高雄) is located in the Southwestern part of the island. Historically a port city, it has that big cosmopolitan city feel but yet it is definitely more laid back than other Taiwan cities like Taipei or Taichung.

Scoot flies directly to Kaohsiung from Singapore and within the city, it is extremely easy to get around as it is served by a convenient network of metro rail. We visited Kaohsiung after our 3-night adventure in Tainan and spent a total of 4 nights in the city.

If you are planning to visit Kaohsiung with the family, you have come to the right place. Here is our 4-day Kaohsiung itinerary and I hope it serves as a useful resource for you to have the best time there!

Day 1

Check in to our HomeAway Vacation Rental Home

Fisrt things first, we checked into our vacation rental home which was located smack in the middle of the city. The home itself was not spectacular but it was functional and came with a loft bed for the monkies.

The main selling point of the minsu was its location. We were a 5-minute walk away from Formosa Boulevard Station, which is the main interchange station for the metro. In addition, shopping districts and lots of food choices were just around us... including the most important of all - Liuhe Night Market. Yup, plenty nights of stinky tofu. 😂

Shinkuchan Shopping District

Since we checked in in the afternoon, we decided to take things slow for the first day. And the definition of 'taking it slow' in the wifey's dictionary meant erm, SHOPPING!

Covering the area of Wufu 2nd Road and Renzhi Street of Kaohsiung City, Shinkuchan Shopping District is famous for its wide array of fashionable clothing and accessories as well as special designer products just like its other Ximending counterpart in Taipei.

So while the wifey goes off for her shopping spree, we had no choice but to gorge on Taiwan street food. LOL.

If you can only try one type of food in Kaohsiung, make it to be this super XXXXL chicken cutlet. Angel Fried Chicken (天使雞排) is the BEST fried chicken cutlet we have ever tasted. Period. What is amazing about the cutlet is even though it is an entire piece of chicken breast, it is so so so juicy and tender and flavourful and thick. Yes, super thick... and extremely worth it. We ate it a total of 3 times over 4 nights. Heh.

Another interesting find was this.

We sttumbled onto this dessert while waiting for the wifey to be done with her shopping. Apparently it's already a viral hit. The Sharpei doggie is made entirely of chocolate ice cream, would you believe it??? Cuteness (and sugar) overload... and made us feel kind of bad cutting its limbs and head off.

Dome of Light

The Dome of Light is a stained glass installation piece located within the Formosa Boulevard Station. It is made up entirely of 4,500 glass panels, making it the largest work of glass art in the world. Created by Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata, it has earned Formosa Boulevard Station the reputation of being one of the world’s most beautiful subway stations... and instagrammable stop.

Liuhe Night Market

Yay, more eating! Come nightfall at 6pm, the Liuhe 2nd Road will be closed and it transforms into the famous Liuhe Night Market. The night market runs for 3 blocks straight and is filled with numerous food stalls. Some quikier than others, like this stinky tofu fries!

Day 2

Kaohsiung E-Da Theme Park

I think it is pretty much a given that we are a family of theme park junkies. Wherever there is a theme park in the city we travel to, you can be sure we will be there!

E-Da World in Kaohsiung may not be largest in the world, or even Asia but it has enough rides to keep everyone entertained. There is a rollercoaster, a really terrifying 360-degree loop ride, swing rides, carousel and other kiddie rides.

Best of all, the entrance fee is extremely affordable at S$42 (adult). But you can even get it cheaper by pre-purchasing your tickets through Klook. Tickets are about 20% cheaper from Klook compared to walk-in!

I feel the theme park is worth a visit if you are looking for some theme park fun and thrills, especially if you have kids aged 10 and below because they have plenty of amusement rides catered to them... and they are all located indoors! Oh, do try out the VR blaster games that the while family can participate together - we loved them!

E-Da Outlet Shopping Mall

Love outlet shopping? Then don't miss paying the E-Da Outlet Mall a visit. Located just beside the theme park, the outlet mall boasts low prices on branded clothing and accessories. There are plenty of shops to browse, and even an ice-rink and Ferris Wheels to keep the kids happy while the parents go shopping!

Day 3

Although Kaohsiung is well connected by the subway system, there are certain attractions which are located outside the central city... which makes getting to them a little challenging. Fortunately, Klook has a ready tailor-made day tour which covers the classic attractions in Kaohsiung. The Kaohsiung Classic Attractions Day Tour by Klook consists of a full-day itinerary where we were conveniently picked up at Formosa Boulevard Station and driven to the following attractions:

Tianliao Moon World

Tianliao Moon World is a tract of barren land between Chongde Village and Gutin Village of Tianliao District. It has a dreary and desolate beauty of desert and is famous for its similarity to the landscape of the Moon surface.

This queer terrain is called "badlands" in geography an adverse landscape caused by the strong erosion of rain and streams over the years due to "rejuvenation" of the earth's crust. Typical badlands are found in dryer climates, are composed of sedimentary rocks, typically have very little vegetation, and have deep valleys or ravines. Taiwan is the only example in the whole world of badlands in a tropical climate. How is this possible?

The rocks at Moon World are composed of mudstone, sandstone, shale, and chalk. Because of high alkaline levels due to chalk in the soil, trees and grass cannot grow, and basically the only plant that can grow in the soil is spiny bamboo. The lack of vegetation as well as high rainfall gives way to quick eroding hills, or badlands.

Getting to Moon World isn't exactly that easy because it’s located in the suburban area so it was a good thing we had hired a drive through Klook. And it was worth the car trip there because it was so amazing!

I haven't been on the Moon before, but I think this is the closest thing I will ever have to stepping onto the Moon!

Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum

Located about an hour drive away from Kaohsiung, Fo Guang Shan is the biggest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.  It covers an area of over 30 hectares and is comprised of shrines, a cemetery, even a university and a 36-meter tall statue of the Buddha. The highlight has got to be the eight symmetrical pagodas leading to Fo Guang Big Buddha. It is truly an amazing view.

Do take some time to explore the main hall too as it is home to a few exhibits like the Jade Buddha and Golden Buddha Shrines which are beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Oh, and do also pop by the vegetarian restaurant on the second level of the main building at the entrance for a sumptuous vegetarian buffet! It was the first time the monkies had a vegetarian buffet and I think they pretty much enjoyed it!

Lianchi Tan Scenic Area (Lotus Pond) - Dragon and Tiger Pagodas

Lotus Pond is a picturesque lake located in Zuoying District. Known for its lotus plants and many temples surrounding its perimeter, it is most famous for the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. A twin pair of 7-story pagodas with giant dragon and tiger statues, it is believed that entering from the dragon’s mouth and exiting through the tiger’s jaws reverses your fortune and turns bad luck into good luck.

I'm not sure if it is true but we did it anyway! 😁

Pier-2 Art Center

Now this is one truly quirky and fun place!

Or in these days and age, it is one truly Instagrammable place.

Formerly a colonial-era pier of Kaohsiung harbour, this area used to be a warehouse cluster, storing fish powder and sugar supplies for the ships at the port. Now, the area has been turned into an open-air art space with interesting sculptures and installations for visitors to intepret and of course, snap photos.

My personal fave area is the huge space of green area which used to the old railway station. In fact, the old railway tracks are still around and I think kids will love running along them, imagining themselves to be a train. Us? We just take photos to post on social media. LOL.

But for younger kids, the huge draw is a functional mini replica of a vintage train that takes riders around the sprawling grounds. How cool is sitting on top of the chugging ride? Well, certainly cool enough for Ale to clamour to go on it and insist that ayd accompany her.

The area is a huge treasure trove of boutique shops and cafes too but if you do want to rest those legs, head to SunnyHills, which is one of the most famous pineapple cake shops in Taiwan. Not many people know this, but the cafe actually serves a free sample of their famous pineapple cake and green tea! All you have to do is wait to be seated, and you get to enjoy one piece (it's one full piece, not those tiny cut sample sizes) of the pineapple cake. There is no obligation to buy... but it was so good that I ended up buying 2 boxes.

The tour actually covers the Kaohsiung Love River but I read that other than it being nice to stroll along it, it doesn't offer anything much besides that. Much like our Singapore River. So we skipped it and were dropped back off at Liuhe Night Market... where the feasting continued!

Day 4

Cijin Island

Cijin or Qijin Island is a small and narrow island about 10-15 minutes away by ferry from Kaohsiung Harbor.

It is a popular day trip destination with both locals and tourists, and is famed for its liad back vibes and seafood restaurants.

To get around the island, I recommend renting a bicycle from one of the numerous shops scattered throughout the harbour exit. You can choose from single bicycles to even quad-cycles - and they come either in manual pedal or motorised versions.

Once you get your ride of choice, drive away from the main street to Cijin Seaside Park. The ride along the bicycle road is breezy and pleasant.

Be sure to stop by Rainbow Church, and continue all the way to Cijin Windmill Park. The whole journey is relatively short and should about 30 to 34 minutes.

Perosnally, I really loved the tranquility of the island. It was a nice change of pace from the bustling ciy life at Kaohsiung.

Ruifeng Night Market

The Rui Feng Night Market is one of the top night markets in the city because of its strategic location. The night market is just a 5-minute walk from the Kaohsiung Arena MRT station and the Hanshin Arena shopping mall.

It’s packed, it’s local, and there are tons of food and shopping choices. The food choices here are mind-boggling and we loved it here better than Liuhe Night Market.

So there you have it, our 4-day guide to enjoying some of the best attractions that Kaohsiung has to offer. Hope it will be helpful for you should you be planning to bring the family!

BONUS! If you are planning to book any tours or attractions through Klook, you can enjoy $5 off your first booking on Klook (min. spend $50) when you enter the promocode CHEEKIE5! Code is valid till 31 Dec 2019.

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