Find out some of the things to see and to do in Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan.
On my previous article explained why Kaohsiung should be on your bucket list. People, climate, food, and architecture are just some of the reasons why I think it is worth spending a few days in this city in southern Taiwan.
In this travel guide, you can find some more info about what you can see and do in Kaohsiung.
Kaohsiung in two days: the first day
If you want to visit Kaohsiung I recommend you to spend at least two days in this city Most people who arrive in Taiwan land in Taipei. From Taipei to Kaohsiung you can either take the bus (it takes at least 4 hours) or the HSR train, the high-speed train that uses the same technology as the Japanese Shinkansen. It will take you from Taipei to Kaohsiung in about an hour and a half.
You’ll arrive at the Zuoying station, which is not located in the center of the city. If you want to reach the main station (Kaohsiung Main Station) you can take a taxi or the subway that in Taiwan is called MRT. Don’t forget to visit the station that connects the two metro lines: Formosa Boulevard.
It’s one of the most beautiful metro stations in Asia. The Formosa Boulevard Station it’s in the center of the city, the ideal location to find a hotel. Here you can find some discounts on Booking.com. Another good option is Agoda.
In the afternoon you can hike the Monkey Mountain, where you can have a great view of the city and the ocean.
Monkey Mountain is a hill in the western area of Kaohsiung famous for the many Taiwanese macaques that roam free in the small forest.
Taiwanese macaques are a species of endangered monkeys and Kaohsiung it’s one of the few places where you can see them. It takes about an hour to get to the top (if you walk slowly) and a little less to go down. When you go down it will be dinner time. A perfect chance to visit one of the several night markets.
Here I talked about the Ruifeng night market, one of the most famous in Kaohsiung. If you are not afraid of trying new things, don’t miss the stinky tofu, but remember that it smells really bad!
Kaohsiung in two days: the second day
On the second day take the bus from the Zuoying station to Fo Guang Shan, the largest Buddhist temple in Taiwan, and one of the most important in the world.
It’s the ideal place to see some Buddhist architecture and the way monks live. Fo Guang Shan is a new Buddhist religious movement founded in 1967 by Hsing Yun with the aim of uniting all eight schools of Chinese Buddhism.
To visit the huge complex takes almost a day so keep it in mind if you are not interested in this type of activity.
If you left in the morning you will finish visiting Fo Guang Shan in the afternoon. At this point, if you still have some time you can go to Cijin Island, an island right in front of Kaohsiung. To get there take the ferry from Gushan, it costs 15 NTD. It’s a short ride: no more than 5 minutes. Cijin is famous for restaurants selling seafood for a few Taiwanese dollars. In the Northern part of the island, at the top of a small hill, there is a lighthouse from which you have a beautiful view of the island and the city.
Two days should be enough to see Kaohsiung. If you are not planning to visit Fo Guang Shan but love shopping, then Sanduo it’s the place to go. Kaohsiung is also home to one of Asia’s largest malls: the Dream Mall.
If you prefer to discover the origins of Taiwan, you can spend the second day at Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultural Park in Pingtung, about an hour’s drive from Kaohsiung. You’ll see how the aboriginal people lived and you can learn a lot about their culture. You will certainly not regret it.
Kaohsiung has a lot to offer! You will have plenty of choices. Try spending some time walking around in the streets of this warm and welcoming city of Taiwan!
Here you will find some of the pictures I took in Taiwan. If you still have time you might want to check also the Lotus Pond. More info here. If you are thinking about visiting China here you can find my complete travel guide.