Justins World

The other city Kaohsiung

I’m not sure why I planned to come to Kaohsiung, but I’m so glad I did visit here. Kaohsiung seems to be best known for where the high speed rail from Taipei ends. Its the third biggest city in Taiwan and has an international airport. When I researched where to go on this trip thats all I really knew about the city. So why I decided to stop here was still a mystery to me, but it was a convenient 4 hr train trip from Hualien and as I said its where the HSR starts. Additionally, many people visit Kaohsiung on a day trip from Taipei which is less than 2 hours away on HSR.

Kaohsiung has a harbour with entry guarded by two headlands. On one sits a lighthouse in the district of Cijin and on the mainland side the old British Consulate occupies the Takow headland. I visited the British consulate and was confronted with an impressive set of steps to climb up to the consulate. After climbing the steps and on the way upsetting some Formosan Macaques by simply looking at them, I reached the top and the consulate is not as grand as I expected. A few rooms have some photo, exhibits and information in them, but essentially its a place to have tea, much like the British would have done in the 1800’s, when the british empire was still expanding and trading. So I sat on the balcony of the British consulate on a very warm 30C day and drank an Iced tea while looking out to sea.

I took the other set of stairs down from the consulate and wandered the streets near the harbour. From here you can catch a ferry over to Cijin and check out the lighthouse, but I slowly made my way back to the MRT and took a quick look at the Takow Railway museum (spoiler: wasn’t much there). There was also a Light rail stop here that was only just completed this year, it now does a full loop around the city and connects to the cities two metro lines. The public transport here was just as efficient and useful as it was in Taipei. The main difference was the city felt less busy, more chill. Maybe its because it sits in the tropics, it was certainly much warmer here.

Kaohsiung also has night markets to go and peruse and the Liouhe night markets here were on a much wider street, which allowed me a lot more room to move, but also meant scooters would zip along the streety, especially FoodPanda scooters, the local version of UberEats. I wish I could order food from FoodPanda to pick up from a street market and drive it to my door back home! That said something I ate didn’t agree with me that night and I was a bit sick. I did have plans to meet up with some ex-pats at a bar, but cancelled and spent the night wondering what I ate…. still not sure.

Luckily the next day I was feeling a bit better and met up with an American ex-pat english teacher Carolanna. I made contact with her through the facebook group for the podcast I sometimes “star” on and the facebookl group is an actual nice group of people on the internet, so no surprise Carolanna lived up that! We had lunch at a pizza shop and chatted about all things travel and life in Taiwan, I tried my best to avoid politics, but it always comes up. She also took me too a great little coffee shop at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts. After a very good coffee, the best in Taiwan so far, we went for a walk through the nearby park and pond looking for the colourful Taiwanese Barbet, a bird only endemic to Taiwan. I did see one and it was indeed a stunning bird and they make an interesting bubbling sounding call. It was great having a “local” person to spend a few hours with and certainly made my trip to Kaohsiung worthwhile. To top the day off I captured this amazing sunset as I headed out for dinner. So now I know why I wanted to come here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.