Welcome to Kaohsiung, Taiwan!
A modern metropolis teeming with life and culture, Kaohsiung oozes the charm of an exhilarating Asian city. From imposing skyscrapers to charming temples, from highly-rated restaurants to the Kaohsiung port, this city is a fusion of contrast and provides an exciting expedition for worldwide locals to sink their teeth into. Expertly navigate its busy streets with this insider's guide to Kaohsiung.
The Fengshan Taoist Temple offers a wonderful insight into one of Taiwan’s most prominent religions. Hidden between the narrow streets of the Fengshan district, the temple possesses impressive designs and decorations, making it one of Kaohsiung’s most ornate temples. With intricately designed golden ceilings and elegant traditional sculptures, you can easily lose hours just immersing yourself in Taoism. Many locals still worship at the shrine on the first floor, and the open space on the second floor is used for traditional performances and shows.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best time to visit Kaohsiung is from September to January. It allows you to escape the excessive heat of the summer Kaohsiung weather, and precipitation is at its lowest during these months. It is the perfect time to head out and explore the city without an umbrella or the need to hide in an air-conditioned building!
Shopping in Kaohsiung
Night markets in Kaohsiung are local institutions that offer a stimulating scene with vivid sights, boisterous crowds, and savory fragrances sweeping across the street. The Rui Feng night market is by far the most popular one, spanning over two streets and packed with shopping stalls and food carts. Due to its popularity, the aisles are often overcrowded with tourists jostling to get the best spot at the stalls. Alternatively, head to Ling Ya night market. A more intimate market offering a collection of food stands that are just as good as the ones you see in Rui Feng. An alternate market in Kaohsiung, city locals avoid the huge crowds of Rui Feng and head to Ling Ya instead.
Worldwide Local Tip: If you’re feeling unlucky in Kaohsiung--time to head to Lotus Lake. Whether you are superstitious or not, join the locals in getting rid of the evil spirits by traversing through the zigzag pathways of the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda at Lotus Lake. In local Chinese culture, evil spirits travel in straight lines, so by walking through the crooked path, you can remove bad luck. You can also gain good fortunes by entering the two towering pagodas and gazing at the fascinating artwork inside. Climb up the steep stairways to gain magnificent views of the city.
Be Amazed by the Dome of Light
One of the joys of travel is seeing the simplest things that mesmerize you. The Dome of Light at the Formosa MRT Station is just that--one of the simplest things to do in Kaohsiung, but also one of the most beautiful. A ceiling made of stained glass forming a fascinating display signifying the unity of the elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Designed by an Italian artist, it consists of around 4500 panels split into different colors and stops even the rushing locals in their tracks to gaze at the vivid colors. If you are lucky, you can catch a light show, forming a crowd within the busy station.
Worldwide Local Tip: Gain a personal view of the city by exploring Kaohsiung on two wheels--grab a bike. You can easily rent one at many MRT stations and, once you are done, you can drop it off at any other station that has a rental facility. Ride around with the locals to see a side of the city that is often overlooked.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Worldwide locals can fall in love in an instant with Kaohsiung, an absorbing city full of unforgettable sights. With a compelling local culture enriched by its friendly and forward-thinking community, Kaohsiung is a true hidden gem in East Asia.