Getting To & Getting Around Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung International Airport has multiple flights each day to/from Hong Kong and other cities in mainland China, plus services to/from Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines. Domestic transfers are straightforward as flights leave from the same airport for the Penghu and Kinmen islands.
With the exception of those bound for Kenting, air travellers headed to destinations on the main island of Taiwan should go into the city centre by taxi or mass rapid transit (MRT) train. There, they can transfer to a high-speed train, a conventional train or a long-distance bus. There are also lots of local bus services useful for those planning to visit places like Meinong.
The easiest way to get around central Kaohsiung is by MRT, a system similar to the London Underground. All but the longest one-way fares are under U$2; signs and maps are bilingual (Chinese and English). Very soon, the MRT system will be integrated with a brand-new above-ground light-rail route. Taxi pricing in Kaohsiung is very similar to that in other Taiwanese cities, meaning few urban destinations cost more than US$5 to reach.
Kaohsiung Main Railway Station, located in the heart of Taiwan’s second-largest city, is the long-distance travel hub. Conventional rail services include frequent departures to Tainan (journey time an hour or less; US$3 one way), Taipei (around five hours; up to US$27) and Taitung (three hours; up to US$15) on the east coast. Buses are sometimes quicker and often cheaper.
Anyone heading to Hsinchu, Taoyuan or Taipei will save time by instead catching a bullet train at Kaohsiung Zuoying HSR Station (served by Zuoying MRT Station). Kaohsiung to Taipei takes two hours or less, and costs US$54 one way.