Kaohsiung, Taiwan, holds a well-deserved place in the heart of travellers, securing the fifth spot on Lonely Planet’s list of the world’s best cities to visit in 2018. If you’re wondering what to do in Kaohsiung, we’ve got your guide to the best experiences in this captivating city.
A Diverse Metropolis with Unique Charms
Kaohsiung is a bustling metropolis, its current population reaching 2.78 million. The city boasts a unique geography that extends from the shores of the Taiwan Strait to the base of East Asia’s highest peak, Mount Jade. Unlike Taipei, Kaohsiung’s attractions are spread across the city, and public transportation may not cover them all, making a private car and guide a wise choice for exploring the city.
A Journey Through History and Culture
The history of Kaohsiung dates back to the early 17th century when Chinese migrants began settling in the area, particularly on Cijin Island. The northwestern end of Cijin combines old-world charm with modern elements, offering fantastic seafood dining options, remnants of a 19th-century fortress, and a ferry connection to the city’s mainland, providing stunning views of Kaohsiung’s vibrant harbor.
Reliving the Past at the Consular Residence
Kaohsiung’s Consular Residence is a fascinating relic from the era when Western powers opened Chinese towns to international trade. Between 1879 and 1897, this site served as the residence for British diplomats, and the waterfront offices are open to the public, making it an intriguing stop for history enthusiasts.
Lotus Pond – Where Architecture Meets Spirituality
Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung’s northern region is known for its striking religious architecture. The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, Spring and Autumn Pavilions, and the exquisite Qiming Temple surround this unique body of water. Visitors can immerse themselves in the annual Wannian Folklore Festival, which takes place in this charming part of the city.
Traditional Courtyard House in the Heart of Kaohsiung
For those venturing further inland near the Buddhist monastery of Foguangshan, the Gupoliao Jhuang Family Residence awaits discovery. This well-preserved traditional courtyard house, over a century old, is shared among numerous male descendants of the two brothers who initiated its construction.
These highlights provide just a glimpse of the wonders Kaohsiung has to offer. The city also features gems like Meinong’s Hakka township, the indigenous communities in Namasia, and the intriguing mud volcano at Wushanding. For more travel information, Kaohsiung City Government provides a helpful multilingual website.
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