Kaohsiung (高雄) is the second largest city in Taiwan. Following our visit to Fo Guang Shan, we proceeded on to Kaohsiung city for a 4 days 3 nights adventure. Thanks to 小a who gave us a lift to Kaohsiung and Fo Guang Shan's Nan Ping Bie Yuan (南屏别院) where we stayed over for 3 nights. For photos of our ride to Kaohsiung and our stay at Nan Ping Bie Yuan, please check out the Zuo Ying (左营) entry.
After arriving in Kaohsiung, we took the subway directly to Sizihwan (西子湾) station. Upon arriving out from the station, we were pleasantly surprised there is a free shuttle service (orange bus) from the station to Sizihwan. We came out from the station's exit 2.
It is a fast 10mins journey by bus and we arrived at the entrance to the National Sun Yat Sen University (国立中山大学). YS is interested in checking out their teaching facilities.
The university is indeed beautiful. Heard that it is only about 30 years old. It's great being a student here. The university is just next to the sea! On the right hand side of the photo below is the university Sports Centre.
We walked towards the main administration office. The buildings are mainly designed using the red-brick architecture, so it has a traditional European university feel to it.
This is the center quadrangle of the university. There is a statue of Sun Yat Sen in the central canopy with the library at the background.
We went to the entrance of Sizihwan Beach but decided to give it a skip as visitors to the private beach have to pay NT100 for entry. I have seen better beaches anyway. We took the tunnel connecting the university to the Kaohsiung Harbour. Our destination is the Kushan Ferry Station (鼓山轮渡站). It is a 5mins walk through the long and dark tunnel. There are absolutely no lights in there. People travelling by bicycle normally turn on their lights to manoeuvre their way through. And we have to abide by the correct direction of travel in the tunnel. Failing to follow the right direction will see frequent collision.
Yachts, boats and smaller ships are docked at the pier before the Kushan Ferry Station.
We arrived at the Kushan Ferry Terminal and a long queue is already forming. Now is the weekend holiday season, so there is quite a considerable crowd. It cost NT15 for the 10minutes ride across to Cijin Ferry Station (旗津轮渡站).
The first stop in Cijin is the Tianhou Temple (天后宫).
Cijin is famous for its seafood.
After squeezing through the crowd, we finally arrived at the Seaside Park.
We scaled a short tower and were rewarded with a bird's eye view of the beaches. Here is the north-westernly hilly ranges.
And the south-eastern beaches.
The sparkling sea against the evening sun. It is only 3.30pm and sunset is at 6pm.
We continued walking and there is a beautiful roman arch along a section of the beach.
Before leaving we decided to grab a bite of their BBQ Tako. It is quite cheap, NT50 for 2 packs. While walking back to the Harbor, YS saw a green tea shop called Presotea and we just hopped in for a drink. It serves really fresh green tea.
Love River (爱河)
There are actually two ferry routes from the Cijin Ferry Station. One goes back to Hsitzuwan, where we came from. The other goes to the Love Pier just next to Kaohsiung Bridge. We joined in the first queue we saw and found that it actually goes to the Love Pier. It is perfect as that is where we are going next. It cost NT20 and 15mins for the ride. We enjoyed the sea breeze and the view, here we have the tallest building in Kaohsiung - the Kaohsiung Sky Tower (高雄88大楼).
Here I am hanging around the Love Pier, playing with my iPhone.
We rendezvous with 小a. Here is a group photo.
We walked along the Love Pier towards Zhong Zheng bridge. There are many large tents showcasing the lantern works of students.
The beautiful Love River (爱河).
At the other side of the river, there are many stalls selling local products. Heard from 小a that this one is pretty famous, so I bought Pineapple cakes from them.
The Kaohsiung Pedestrian Bridge is lighted up. Rows of photographers are getting ready for the night-time fireworks.
The Kaohsiung Harbor twilight view. There are many stalls selling foods along the river, so visitors are indeed spoilt for choice.
Kaohsiung Lantern Festival 2010 (高雄灯会)
Today is the first day of the Lantern Festival in Kaohsiung (高雄灯会). There is a series of events line up over 2 weeks. First we have the fireworks performance which starts at 7pm and lasts 15minutes.
We have fireworks coming out from the Harbor and from one of the buildings. It is a pretty impressive sight.
Check out the video recording below.
Next we have performances by artistes, they are 超夯三太子台客舞、王心凌、強辯、品冠、魔幻力量及各國姊妹市團隊演出.
At 8pm, there is a musical fountain display from the Harbor. I can't believe I have to pay for this in Singapore's Sentosa (I'm not going for it ever again).
Tzu Chi and Kaohsiung Medical University
While walking around where we stay, we came upon an impressive looking building. It is Tzu Chi Kaohsiung. We explored the interiors.
We came upon the Kaohsiung Medical University while searching for a triple-stupa building. We visited their student union building and have a break there. And also bought some snacks from the convenience shop. Thereafter we zipped towards Zuo Ying by taxi (refer to the Zuo Ying entry).
Shopping from Sanduo to Nanhua Tourist Night Market (高雄购物)
We decided to explore the shopping district of Kaohsiung during our final night there. We started with Sanduo where the Mitsukoshi and Sogo shopping malls are located. All shopping malls are pretty much the same, so we just walked past it.
Directly opposite Mitsukoshi shopping mall is a fascinating shop - Kwang Nan. The shop goes up to 5 storeys high and sell a great variety of stuffs. I settled all the shopping I have to do in Taiwan in this shop (bought SDHC card and SDHC reader). There are only two of these shops in Kaohsiung. One is in Sanduo, the other is in front of the train station along Zhong San 1 Road. Be sure to visit this shop if you are in Taiwan. There is a Singapore BBQ Pork shop just 2 shops away from this shop.
Next we visit the Hanshin Shopping Mall along Cheng Gong Road. It is a 20minutes walk away. There is an interesting shop in there which YS is searching for.
The shop is below. It is Black as Chocolate, opened by a Singapore singer Stella Ng. Anyway, it cost around S$40 for a 6-inch size cake.
We walked back to the Central Park station and alighted at the Formosa Boulevard station. There is beautiful glass display in the Formosa Boulevard station.
We exited from the station and saw the famous transparent glass structure protruding out from the ground at four sides of the traffic light junction. Two of the glass structures are shown below.
Liuhe Tourist Night Market (六合观光夜市)
The Liuhe Tourist Night Market is next to one of the Formosa Boulevard station's exit. It is quite a large night market.
It sells a great variety of food.
And my favourite mushrooms.
I ordered the large white mushroom which cost NT80. The taste is amazing!
And also Fried Chicken.
And of course, drinks is a must. Got Papaya milk for NT50.
Here is our group photo. Noticed that we were sun-burnt (due to a sunny trip to Kenting yesterday).
Kaohsiung Cultural Center (高雄市文化中心)
We decided to check out the Kaohsiung Cultural Center during our final day morning. There is nothing much in there.
The spacious entrance.
We also visited the National Kaohsiung Normal University which is the NIE of Singapore.
We hopped on the taxi next to the Kaohsiung Sky Tower (高雄85大楼). Before scaling the tower, we visited the Family Mart convenience stall and grabbed some food from there. I got my favourite oden. It is my second try in two days. When I was in Japan, I always wanted to have oden, but do not have much opportunity. This time round I can enjoy it to the fullest.
Kaohsiung Sky Tower (高雄85大楼)
After our 'brunch', we left the store and looked towards the sky. It is a tall building indeed.
We have to enter from the hotel side of the building. While walking along, we saw beautiful lotuses being grown from large pots.
It cost NT100 for the trip up to the 75th floor. The maximum speed achievable is 600 metres per minute.
From the top, we can see that Kaohsiung City is actually very well planned.
Here is the view towards Kaohsiung Harbour.
Kaohsiung International Airport (小港国际机场)
We took a cab back to Nan Ping Bie Yuan to take our bags and bid farewell to our hosts. The 25mins taxi ride from Aozihdi to the airport (11 stations away) cost NT300. There seems to be some filming going on in the Arrival Terminal of the airport. We visited the 1st floor cafe at the Arrival Hall for lunch.
We cleared the customs and is into the waiting area. We walked through this beautifully designed interior.
Here is the plane going to Singapore.