Kaohsiung Information

Travel and Local Information Guide

    Kaohsiung is one of the most important cities of Taiwan, with its 11 districts, a dense population and strategic location in southwest Taiwan. It became even more prominent after hosting 4,800 athletes from 105 countries attending the 2009 World Games. The city, sunny and beautiful throughout the day, comes alive at night with its innumerable food stalls and night markets.

    The Port of Kaohsiung, locally known as the ‘Harbour Capital’ of Taiwan, is the 6th largest container port in the world and is obviously the largest in Taiwan. Kaohsiung International Airport, the 2nd largest airport in Taiwan, handles many major international flights.

    1

    The best time to visit Kaohsiung

    The weather in Kaohsiung is tropical. As it’s located south of the Tropic of Cancer, the average temperature is about 25°C during the day and nights become very pleasant. Rainfall is concentrated mainly in the months of June, July and August.

    The month which sees the most visitors from overseas is December, with New Year’s celebrations being a major draw. You should book your tickets well in advance if you plan to visit Kaohsiung during this time to make sure that you get a good deal. There is no ‘best’ time to visit as the weather is pleasant all through the year.

    The weather does affect conditions on the nearby beaches. Hsitzuwan Beach and Cijn Island Beach are the most popular beaches which are easily accessible using a public bus. Swimming at the beaches is a very popular activity and though the beaches are open all year round, bathing is permitted only from May to October.

    2

    Getting around Kaohsiung

    Getting to and around Kaohsiung is extremely easy. With extremely frequent flights to Taipei from Kaohsiung International Airport, getting a seat will never be a problem. High-speed trains run between Kaohsiung and Taipei very frequently throughout the day and take about 2 hours.

    The city’s metro rail system, known as the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit (KMRT), has 2 lines (3, if you count the associated light rail line) which have 45 stations spread out through Kaohsiung with more stations planned. It’s a very economical way to travel and offers the option of a prepaid card if you plan to use the trains a lot. The KMRT has announcements in English as well as Mandarin for the convenience of foreign tourists.

    photo by Ken Marshall (CC BY 2.0) modified

    3

    Bike around

    Kaohsiung is known as a manufacturing centre of bicycles and the city has many bike rental services. You can rent a bike from most metro stations and drop it off at any other, making the whole process of biking really convenient.

    You can also ride a bike to nearby places and the old district. The landscape out here is primarily flat and riding along the banks of the Love River is a great way to rejuvenate and exercise. There are some good green spots in and around Kaohsiung and exploring these on a bicycle is a great way of watching nature from up close.

    photo by Nagono (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Take a walk

    Taking a walk down the streets of Kaohsiung is not only the best way to see the town in small spurts, but it also gives you more time to appreciate the beauty and the very nature of the town. The distances between sites of similar interest are not too far and getting around and exploring the place on foot can actually help you discover details about the city that would otherwise have gone unnoticed by you.

    5

    Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

    If you happen to arrive in Kaohsiung in the middle of the Chinese New Year celebrations (around mid-February to mid-March) then you can join in the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival that is held along the banks of the Love River. The festival is not only about traditional lanterns but also features great Taiwanese food, cultural shows, live music and cultural concerts.

    photo by Chi-Hung Lin (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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