Whether you’re a seasoned Kaohsiung expert, or you’re new to the Kaohsiung scene, one thing is for sure: there is so much to do around here!
The mountains aren’t far away, and the beach isn’t too far of a stretch either.
Here are 5 places you can go at the weekend to escape the city for a bit…
1. Fo Guang Shan
Fo Guang Shan is a pretty epic place. Regardless of your religious beliefs, it’s a very interesting place. There is the old FGS and the new FGS, both of which are worth going to so make sure you set aside a good portion of the day to do this!
The Old FGS also has a cafeteria where you can eat alongside the monks, which is open to the public. It’s a very fun experience and you pay ‘what you feel the meal is worth’ rather than a set price. The old FGS is still very well preserved and is quite fun to walk around. Around every corner there’s a different shrine or cave to explore, really quite fabulous. Once you’ve taken in the sights there, then you can head over to the new FGS. It’s recommended to try and get a tour guide or something, because there is so much mystique around the buildings, it’s quite interesting to find out about the Four Noble Truth towers, etc. Also, there’s a handy little 10 minute video explaining why the new FGS was built– check it out, it’s in Pavilion 8. Ask the lady at the front desk for the English version 🙂
2. Cijin Island
Cijin Island has become quite a popular attraction, so if you go at the weekend,expect to queue for the ferry on the way back! There’s a lovely black sand beach looking out onto the Taiwan Strait- see if you can keep track of all the boats coming into the harbor! Then there’s also the Cihou Fort you can explore. The island isn’t big, but on a hot day, it can feel that way. Definitely consider hiring bikes to get around the small island! For sunset, walk through Cijin Xingkong tunnel to find yourself looking out over the sea. Very beautiful! Oh, and they’ve got great seafood to boot!
3. Anping Area, Tainan
Kaohsiungers don’t nearly appreciate Tainan enough. Steeped in history and full to the brim with famous small-eats, there’s just so much to do around here! One of our favourite places is at the Anping Fort. Once belonging to the Dutch when they settled way back when, the entire area has been revamped for touristy purposes. There’s the famous Anping Treehouse where the old Dutch embassy used to be, the old British consulate, and a fantastic day-market lining the pedestrianized streets around the area. Great for strolling along and seeing all the different sights and sounds they have to offer!
4. Meinong Area
Meinong is a great little place to visit. Hugging the mountains, it’s really the break from the city that you need every once in a while. Meinong is famous for its paper umbrellas, Hakka food, and well…more Hakka food. There are plenty of museums to get around if you like, or head over to Butterfly Valley in late Spring. It’s the perfect time to catch gorgeous sights of thousands upon thousands of butterflies!
5. Ten Drum Culture Village Tainan
There are actually 2 Ten-Drum Sugar Refineries within about an hour of Kaohsiung. One is in Ciaotou (at the end of the red line on the MRT, accessible by MRT), and the other one is in Rende, just south of Tainan. The one in Tainan is a lot bigger than the one in Ciaotou. It has a few forest paths for you to enjoy as well. It’s a gorgeous area where you can while away an afternoon. And of course, you have to make sure you’re there during one of the Ten Drum performances! It’s an absolute highlight.
Is there anywhere we’ve missed out? Have you been to any of these places? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!