Kaohsiung is Taiwan's holiday city. The second-largest city in the country is built around a picturesque harbor, which is the setting that has earned it its nickname, the ‘Harbor Capital'. Around one and a half million people live in Kaohsiung, most of them on the shores of the river with the lovely title, the Love River.
Kaohsiung is an eccentric city and its quirks are crowned by the Hello Kitty ferris wheel that spins slowly around on the rooftop of Dream Mall, which is the second biggest shopping mall in Asia. Various festivals light up the city at different times of the year, with the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival (March) literally lighting up the streets with hundreds of thousands of handcrafted lanterns and fireworks.
All travelers are well catered to here with very small budget places right through to palatial five-star outfits closer to the center of downtown. Taipei may draw the initial crowds, but visitors tend to spend a little longer than they'd planned in Kaohsiung.
This narrow island juts out into Kaohsiung Harbor. It is a natural harbor breakwater but also a thriving retail and dining strip with dozens of seafood places serving up catches that diners can see being pulled right out of the harbor. Underwater tunnels connect Cijin to the mainland.
Dream Mall is slightly out of the center of town. It is impossible to visit Kaohsiung without making at least one appearance at the Dream since it is so enormous that it can be seen from almost all parts of Kaohsiung and hosts not only hundreds of retails outlets but several extraordinary food courts. Major cultural events happen here too.
Liouho Night Market
There are many night markets in Kaohsiung but the one at Liouho is by far the most esteemed. Locals gather here soon after nightfall and the atmosphere is truly electric. Many budget hotels are located in the Liouho district also.