Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second-biggest city, but is often outshone by its shinier, larger sibling, Taipei. However, for those who want a quieter, more in-depth experience of Taiwan, Kaohsiung is an ideal choice.
Like much of Taiwan, Kaohsiung holds its own mesmerising mix of cultures, from its Qing dynasty days, to when it was held as a major port city by the Japanese, to becoming the industrial backbone of Taiwan post-war.
Immerse yourself in the rich history of Kaohsiung by visiting the city’s interesting buildings, such as the former British Consulate. It’s built in a late Renaissance style – certainly an unusual find! Or hop over to Cijin Island where you’ll find not only the oldest lighthouse in the city, but other worthwhile sights like the old fort and breath-taking seaside views.
Want to see how the Taiwanese celebrate religious festivals? The Boat Burning Festival is a religious sacrifice to the plague gods, and only takes place once every three years. Here, you will get to witness a unique celebration of Chinese folk religion.
Kaohsiung is also home to several beautiful temples, such as Fo Guang Shan, with its enormous 108-metre-tall Buddha, the Matsu Temple which is one of the oldest shrines to be found in Taiwan, as well as the gorgeous Fengshan Taoist Temple. The latter is close to several shops which sell local religious paraphernalia and are well worth checking out!
Many people consider Taiwan to be a Chinese area, but the area has long been home to aboriginal groups too, with their own unique culture and food. Learn more about them at the nearby Taiwan Indigenous Peoples’ Culture Park. The Museum of Fine Arts is also home to art by several indigenous artists, as well as some world-famous research on Austronesian art.
If you considered Kaohsiung for some peace and quiet, you’re in luck: the city holds several natural spots. Go for a climb at Shoushan National Park, better known as Monkey Mountain, where you can spot some wildlife if you’re lucky. Those who love their nature combined with history might enjoy Tardy Hill Natural Park which is also home to several old military structures.
Plan your trip to Kaohsiung today.