This museum is formerly a train station built in 1900, and was still operational until Dec 2008. At the back of the depot, one can see a few old trains on display. Inside the depot one can see the old office setup and the old documents and forms that were used then. This isn't a big place, a one to two hour visit would suffice.
Located in the Shiziwan area of Kaohsiung, this is a very popular temple amongst the locals.... and of course you can see a lot of tourists here too. Legend has it that in the 17th century - during the reign of Kangxi emperor - 18 sailors sail pass this area when their ship sank. These 18 sailors swam ashore and settle down in Shiziwan, helping and doing a lot of good deeds for the locals here. Unfortunately the local government mistook them for rebels and killed all of them. The local residents then built this temple to honor these 18 heroes and named this temple "18 Prince Temple".
This old building was formerly the British Consulate and was built in 1865 but was converted to a museum in 1986. It is located on a hill overlooking the South China Sea. Inside this museum are banners telling the history of this area. There are specimens of the spice and minerals that were traded during the olden days, and very old maps used by the seafarers are also displayed.
This is a much photographed MRT (mass rapid transit) station in Kaohsiung, touted as the most beautiful train station in Taiwan, and you can see why from the photograph. This station is the transfer station between the Red and Orange lines. The 'Dome of Light' - which is really a huge stained glass display - is designed by renown Italian designer/artist Narcissus Quagliata.
This is one of the more popular night markets in Kaohsiung, however, so do a lot of tourists. So besides the usual food, snacks, drinks, souvenirs, clothes and games (just like any other night markets), one also sees a lot tourists, walking around in large groups, snapping their cameras, some talking and gesturing very loudly. The prices here seems to be a little higher than those night markets that are not frequented by loads of tourists.
Just like most of Taiwan, Kaohsiung city has many night markets, and Reifeng Night Market is one of the bigger ones here. The good thing about this night market is that the patrons are mainly locals. Not many tourists would come here.
The Lotus Lake is one of the more popular and often photographed places in Kaohsiung. The lake is filled with pagodas and tourists. The very beautiful Dragon Tiger twin Pagodas are often found in postcards. There's also the Spring And Autumn Pavilions, and the huge Heavenly Emperor statue that gets lit up very majestically at night. The beauty of this lake is not easy to describe, especially if one sees the sunset. The only downside of this site is that you can swarmed by tourists.
To get here take the metro to Kaisyuan Station; then take the free shuttle to the shopping centre.
You can see this shopping centre all over Kaohsiung due to the huge ferris wheel on its roof. The Dream Mall comprises two buildings. One of them is shaped like a giant fish. The other has the ferris wheel. The building with the ferris wheel has a large Japanese department store inside as well as an amusement arcade and a cinema. We had a lovely barbeque meal on Japanese food street. There were many other restaurants, too. We visited on a Tuesday and were surprised at how quiet the shopping mall was - guess I've been in Hong Kong too long where every shopping mall is mobbed all the time.
To get to Gushan Harbour take the metro to Sizihwan Station and exit through exit one. Gushan Harbour is a pretty harbour in its own right and it has several good restaurants. It is also the place to catch the ferry to Cijin Island.
From Gushan Harbour you can walk to the former British Consulate Building. Exit Sizihwan metro exit one and walk to Gushan Harbour. Go to the far side of the water and walk towards the sea. You will see a signpost for a landscaped walkway to the consulate building. It is an uphill walk - fairly steep. The consulate was not really what I expected. For a start it was full of tour groups. The building was attractive red brick with lots of archways. It had a fairly non-descript exhibition about the Beatles inside. The consulate building is now a restaurant. We had a pleasant meal there with lovely views over the harbour.
The most likely way you will get to this island is by taking the metro to Sizihwan Station on the orange line, exiting exit one and walking to Gushan Ferry Terminal where you can catch one of the very frequent ferries to Cijin. We did not do this because we discovered that a ferry went to Cijin Island directly from Love Pier on Love River. This ferry only runs at weekends and public holidays and runs every 40 minutes.
Going from Love Pier gives you quite a good view of Kaohsiung Harbour on the way. going from Gushan is fun because when the ferry unloads it is an unbelievable mess of motorbikes, bikes and people all exiting simultaneously from the same exit.
Cijin is a popular day trip for a number of reasons. It has a beautiful Tin Hau Temple - temple to the goddess of the sea. It has a street with lots of fish restaurants. It has a black sand beach. It is also possible to visit the remains of Cijin Fort and to visit Cijin Lighthouse (this closes at 4 and was closed by the time we got there). You can climb up to the fort then follow the path from the fort to the lighthouse.
We spent a lot of time walking from Cijin's main town to the windpower park. It took around 30 minutes and we got rather sunstruck on route. The park has seven wind powered mills and various models of sea creatures. These were not that interesting. More interesting, in my opinion was the sea which was really shooting up massive waves next to this site on the day of our visit, the myriads of kites being flown next to the site and the very colourful kite/windmill shops at the entrance to the site.
Just before you reach the windpower park you will come to the Cijin Peace Park which remembers Taiwanese soldiers killed overseas and overseas soldiers killed in Taiwan. There was a monument commemorating the American sailors killed on Japanese hellships during World War Two. These ships held prisoners of war in appalling conditions. The walk to the Wind Power Park is long and hot. It is probably better to cycle here or go when it is a bit cooler in the morning or evening. Part of the walk goes through the Cijin forested coastal walk. Pleasant shady areas with seats. A good spot for a picnic.
Cijin also had an indoor market selling lots of fish among other things, several beautiful temples and a good atmosphere on a Sunday when crowds flock there from Kaohsiung. On the Sunday we visited we heard live music and watched kids play in the dancing fountains and generally enjoyed the liveliness of the area.
The old names "Tabai Lake", "Tapi Lake" has been changed into "Chengching Lake" because of its crystal-clear water, as its new name means, and has the good reputation of "Taiwan West Lake". The lake water is limpid as a mirror and whenever the winter's end close to spring, the migrant in-groups fly here to escape cold, which is an increase of the landscape for the lake.
The droopy willows beside the lake and the flowering lotuses in the lake give it the name. On the lake there are many pagodas and pavilions such as Confucius Temple, Chiming Hall, Dragon Tiger Pagodas, Spring Autumn Pavillions and so on. These places are all linked with the Nine-Cornered Bridges, forming a quiet and peaceful landscape.
Fogwangshan Temple, is a famous scenic spot of Buddhism all over the world. Fogwangshan is devoted to publicize and exalt Buddhism, and to further education and charity work. It becomes a scenic spot combining the religion and touring; which achieves the effectiveness of purifying human heart by the leisure. The buildings of Fogwangshan with vast territory are imposing; the most magnificent one is Dasyung Baudyan (precious palace). Tourists often make pilgrimage to this place and for a sightseeing on holidays.
To get to this night market take the metro to Formosa Boulevard Station and follow the exits for the night market. Don't forget to have a look at the Dome of Light on your way out of the metro.
The night market has lots of stalls and several places to buy foods. Several tour groups passed through on our visit. There is a second night market nearby plus a street specializing in wedding cakes and another specializing in wedding dresses nearby. Quite an interesting area. Worth a look.
This shrine is in the Shoushan area. We got to it by taking the metro to Sizihwan Station, exiting via exit one, walking straight towards the harbour, but then turning right when we saw a sign for the Wude Martial Arts Centre. We walked along the road then climbed some steep steps up to a main road. The Wude Martial Arts Centre was across the road. Facing the Wude martial Arts Centre you will see more steep stairs on the right hand side climb these. You will reach a pavillion beyond which is a road, cross the road walk through the tori, temple gateway and you will come to the Martyr's Shrine. There are lovely views over the harbour from here.
The shrine was build by the Japanese when they occupied Taiwan during the war. It is in typical Japanese temple style. After the war the shrine became a peace shrine to remember those lost in the conflict. There are photos commemorating historical events from China's past around the walls. The shrine was very quiet and peaceful during our visit.