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Things to see in Kaohsiung – Taiwan (part 1)

In the first part of this series of articles, you can find some things to see in Kaohsiung and why it’s my favorite city in Taiwan.

things to see in kaohsiung

Kaohsiung: You probably don’t hear about this city in Taiwan often. Compared to other Asian cities, Kaohsiung is a little more than a small town. Taipei (the capital of Taiwan) has about 7 million people, Bangkok has almost 9 million, the urban area of Seoul has 25 million, and Tokyo (here is my guide) has 35 million.

Taiwan is not a very touristy destination for Westerners despite being very interesting with a lot to offer: modern cities, incredible history, beautiful landscapes, great food, a warm climate, nice people, and a very cheap destination. In short, you have no excuse for not visiting this country!

In this article, I discussed what to see in Taiwan but didn’t write much about Kaohsiung. Since I have lived in this city and know it well enough, I decided to write two articles. In this first post, I explain some of the reasons why it is worth visiting Kaohsiung, and in the next one, I will focus on what to see.

The people

market kaohsiung

If you, like me, love to visit places off the beaten path, then this city is the right place. Not many people speak English, but they are very kind and always ready to help.

An example of how kind the Taiwanese are: I once was having lunch in a restaurant with some friends, and after dinner, the gentleman in front of the table began talking to us. He paid for our dinner simply because we were foreigners. We had never seen that man before. Similar experiences happened to me quite often while I lived there.

In simple words, Kaohsiung is the right mix between a modern city and Taiwanese traditions. In this respect, it’s much better than Taipei.

The weather

kenting taiwan

Maybe you will be surprised to know that even if it’s only about 350 km from Taipei, the weather in Kaohsiung is quite different. Winter in Taipei is much colder (sometimes around 10°, but with the humidity, it feels much colder), and it rains almost daily.

In Kaohsiung (but generally in the southern part of Taiwan), it rarely rains in winter, and the minimum temperature hardly drops below 18 degrees; the maximum can reach around 25 degrees. Being accustomed to the weather in northern Italy, where it is always gray and rainy, the Winters in Kaohsiung are quite amazing…

Summer in Kaohsiung is usually warmer than in Taipei but slightly less rainy. If you are not accustomed to the tropical climate, I strongly advise you to avoid the months from April to October for a visit to Kaohsiung.

When I was living in Taiwan, on some days, the real feel temperature almost reached 50°C!

The food

I really love the food in Asia, and in Taiwan, you can find some of the best street food on the continent. A characteristic of Kaohsiung is that tropical fruits are delicious and cheap. Every season has its fruit: Mango, Pineapple, Lychee, Dragon Fruit, Custard Apple, Wax Apple, and Guava are just some of them. Often, for less than a euro, you can buy fresh smoothies.

Night markets are also very popular. I wrote an article about the Ruifeng night market. You can read it here.

In Kaohsiung, there is also one of Asia’s biggest harbors, which means you can find excellent seafood from all around Asia.

The architecture

exibition center of kaohsiung in taiwan

Visiting Taiwan can be shocking if you’ve never been to Asia: everything is different and uglier, especially compared to European cities. Then you gradually get used to the mess, and you can start to see why so many people love this country.

Although the buildings are mostly old, Kaohsiung and Taiwan generally have seen incredible development in recent years. The result is that you can see some really old houses alongside modern skyscrapers in many cities.

If you are passionate about architecture, Kaohsiung won’t disappoint you. Here’s a good example: the Formosa Boulevard Subway Station.

These are just some of the reasons why it is worth visiting Kaohsiung. Don’t miss my next post, where I explain what to see in Kaohsiung.

Here are some of the pictures I took in Taiwan. Here is an article about Shoushan Monkey Mountain in Kaohsiung.

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