Read about the city

Kaohsiung is known as Taiwan's maritime capital, and the sea is also highly visible in the city, which houses Taiwan's largest port. You can discover the harbor and thereby a great part of the city history onboard one of the interesting harbor cruise boats.

Kaohsiung is also home to several popular sights as quiet lakes and beautiful temples, where locals and tourists enjoy the lovely surroundings on lovely strolls. There are also cultural, historical and gastronomic experiences waiting Kaohsiung. You can see the architectural contrast from some of the island's tallest buildings to city temples from earlier centuries.

There nature is varied and very beautiful in many places which are easy reachable from Kaohsiung. The coastal landscapes in the south part of the island are stunning in Kenting National Park. You can also go north to the city of Tainan, it was for centuries the capital of the island with the history and sights that follow that status. You can even make a day trip to the present capital, Taipei, on a day with high speed train.

Other attractions
  • Holy Rosary Cathedral/Tianzhujiao Meiguitang/天主教 玫瑰 堂: Holy Rosary Cathedral was built in 1929 as Kaohsiung's first Christian church. Inside you can see a statue of St. Mary from 1863 and other things in the fine interior.
  • Cheng Ching Lake/Cheng Tsing Hu/澄清湖: Cheng ching means crystal clear, and the beautiful lake is also a part of Kaohsiung's drinking water supply. The lake is the area's largest.
  • Sanfeng Temple/Sanfengkung/三峰 觀: The Sanfeng Temple was built in 1672 in a typical northern style, and it is among the most beautiful in the city. In 1964, the temple was demolished due to an expropriation, and it was rebuilt in its current location in 1972.
  • Chichin Lighthouse/Tsijin Dengta/旗津 燈塔: The Chichin Lighthouse on Chihou Mountain was built in 1883. The 11 meter/36 feet high lighthouse was rebuilt in 1918.
History overview

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    Kaohsiung's history began in 1405 when migrants came here from mainland China. However, there was no real urban development in the first centuries, when the area's activity was primarily driven by the Western colonial powers, not least the Dutch.

    When Zheng Chenggong expelled the Dutch and made Taiwan completely Chinese in 1661, an administration was established with Kaohsiung as its capital. In 1664, the city changed its name to Wan Nien Chow. The city grew rapidly with many new Chinese as new citizens, and its name was changed once again, to Takao. The next centuries were marked by various forms of governance and relative stagnation in growth.

    In 1895, Taiwan became Japanese and this led to a new period of growth in which not least the city's natural harbor was developed. In 1925, Kaohsiung's status was changed to an actual city, and the city's industry grew.

    After the 1945 transition to Chinese rule, Kaohsiung quickly became Taiwan's second largest city. The focal point was the well-located natural harbor, now Taiwan's and one of Asia's largest. A very large proportion of Taiwan's many export products are shipped from here. The positive economic situation led to the construction of many skyscrapers and large parks, museums and other culture. Today, more than 1.5 million people live in the bustling metropolis.
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Kaohsiung Main Station, Jianguo 2nd Road, Sanmin-distriktet, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Top attractions
  • Shouzhan Park/Dongwuyuan/動物園: The Shouzhan Park is beautifully situated in the hills between Kaohsiung city center and the sea. Here are some lovely vantage points and you may be lucky to see some Taiwanese monkeys. The park also houses the city's zoo.
  • Tuntex 85 Sky Tower/Dong Dishi Jiantai Dalou/東 帝 士 建台 大樓: Tuntex 85 Sky Tower is Kaohsiung's tallest building and in Taiwan only surpassed by Taipei 101. The modern skyscraper is 348 meters/1,142 feet high and opened in 1997. The building is architecturally inspired by the Chinese sign 高.
  • The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas/Long Hu Ta/龍虎 塔: The pagodas of the two great seven-day pagans have a very beautiful meaning for the Chinese. The entrance to the pagodas is through the neck of the dragon, while the exit is through the tiger's mouth.
  • The Confucian Temple/King Miao/孔廟: Kaohsiung's impressive Confucian temple is the largest in Taiwan. The building style is traditional Chinese from the Sung Dynasty era.
  • Formosa Boulevard MRT/Bi Le To Cham/美麗島站: As a surprise to many, one of the great sights of Kaohsiung is underground. The MRT station is spectacular as The Dome of Light with its colorful 4,500 glass panels in the roof.
Trips in the area
  • Kenting National Park/Kending Guojia Gongyuan/墾丁國家公園: This is a national park covering the south tip of the Taiwan island. You will enjoy tropical weather, beaches, mountains and beautiful coastlines here.
  • Tainan/臺南市: Tainan City is a city with a rich history as the island's capital for centuries under Koxinga and Qing rule. Before that, the Dutch established Fort Zeelandia in the urban area. As the former capital there are great temples to be seen, i.e. the first Confucian temple and the first Taoist temple on Taiwan island.
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