Kaohsiung's famous attraction of the Lotus Pond and Dragon Tower with intricate asian designs
PAGODAS AND POP ART

Cruise to Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung is Taiwan's largest port and the second largest city after Taipei. Dating from the 17th century, this city feels modern today, with skyscrapers and the largest shopping mall in the country — topped with a Hello Kitty Ferris wheel to boot. Take a stroll down the picturesque Love River that runs through the city, or take a river cruise to see the city from the water. There's plenty of history and nature here, too: Head to Lotus Lake, surrounded by 20 different traditional temples. Cruise to Kaohsiung, Taiwan and visit Yuanheng Buddhist Temple on the edge of Shoushan National Nature Park, and walk past limestone caves on the way to the summit of Shou Mountain.
National Language Taiwanese Mandarin
Currency Accepted New Taiwan Dollar (TWD)

Things To Do in Kaohsiung

Macaque sitting on a bench in the forest of monkey mountain in Taiwan

Monkey Around

Macaque sitting on a bench in the forest of monkey mountain in Taiwan

Macaque sitting on a bench in the forest of monkey mountain in Taiwan

Monkey Around

Hike up Kaohsiung's Monkey Mountain via one of the many paths or the wooden staircase. Stop at Ya Zuo, about 45 minutes up, for views of the Straits of Taiwan. Many macaques live on the mountain. Don't bring any food with you — they've been known to swipe snacks from bags and pockets. Shy barking deer also live on Monkey Mountain, so keep your camera ready.

Street view of Kaohsiung City

River of Romance

Street view of Kaohsiung City

Street view of Kaohsiung City

River of Romance

The eight-mile-long Love River is to Kaohsiung as the Thames is to London. Take a solar-powered boat tour past architecture like the Kaohsiung Bridge and the Holy Rosary Cathedral. Stroll along the water's edge, or rent a bike and cycle to the Pier-2 art district.

A colorful dragon with two pagodas known as the Dragon Towers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
A colorful dragon with two pagodas known as the Dragon Towers in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Animals at the Temple

On Lotus Lake, visit the multicolored, cartoon-like Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, set in front of the traditional temple towers. Choose your path carefully — tradition holds that you can reverse bad luck by entering through the dragon's jaws and exiting through those of the tiger.

Grilled squid street food in Taiwan
Grilled squid street food in Taiwan

Local Cuisine

Kaohsiung is one of the best spots in Taiwan for sampling the country's unique and varied cuisine. During your Taiwan cruise, try braised duck served cold (to retain tenderness) over fragrant rice alongside stir-fried kangkong, water spinach shoots. Pick up freshly grilled local squid and prawns from a street-food vendor. Hunt down slippery danzai noodles, served in a long-simmered prawn-head broth and topped with minced pork, shrimp and bean sprouts.

A red tea set with asian designs on a wooden platform in Taiwan
A red tea set with asian designs on a wooden platform in Taiwan

Shopping

The Dream Mall, Chang Ming Street and An-Ning Street all have lots of shops, the latter two specialize in women's clothing. For a more Kaohsiung-specific souvenir, seek out some of Taiwan's high-quality loose-leaf teas or a handmade tea set. You can also find miniature versions of Taiwanese sky lanterns.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
While Kaohsiung is very walkable, pay close attention when crossing streets — drivers tend to run red lights here.

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