13 July 2014

Taiwan Travel Itinerary for Kaohsiung 高雄市 and Cijin Island 旗津島

The second largest city in Taiwan, transportation within Kaohsiung is very convenient with its own metro system KRTC (click here for KRTC metro guide map). To reach Kaohsiung from Taipei, you can choose to take a local flight or the High Speed Rail HSR.

We were at Kaohsiung only once for 2 days 1 night in the summer of 2012, the trip where we explored the Taiwanese peninsular from the northern most tip to the south (we were supposed to visit Pingtung and Kenting too, but the flood waters and damage had not cleared then). Here is our itinerary, with half a day at Cijin Island 旗津島:

After exploring several cities and Alishan, we arrived in Kaohsiung in the evening by a local train under Taiwan Railways Administration TRA within an hour

西子灣大飯店站前館 Shihzuwan Hotel 

241 建國二路
10 min walk from Kaohsiung TRA Station
10 min walk from Liouhe Tourist Night Market
We booked our hotel conveniently through Agoda where you can select your local currency and local language at the website (which is good, because most local Taiwanese hotel websites are in Traditional Chinese!!)

Kaohsiung Love River Cruise

We managed to get discounted tickets for the night cruise from the hotel reception, so remember to check with your hotel :)

(we walked for a while to a shopping mall area, can't recall the name)

美丽岛Formosa Boulevard KRT Station

 光之穹頂The Dome of Light
largest stained glass installation in the world
beautiful place to take some photos

六合夜市Liouhe Tourist Night Market

11 min walk from Shihzuwan Hotel
stretches from Zili 2nd Road to Liouhe 2nd Road
open 6pm-2am daily
food to try: grilled squid, fried pepper crab leg, Wang’s Tofu Pudding, Zheng’s Papaya Milk, Kao Rou Zhi Jia (BBQ House), Cantonese porridge

the next day...

Half-day at 

Cijin Island 旗津島

鼓山輪渡站 Gushan Ferry Station to 旗津輪渡站 Cijin Ferry Station

Take bus back to KRT Sizihwan, Exit 1, walk to Gushan Harbour/Ferry Station
Ferry operates daily 5am-2am / 10 min ferry ride / TW$15 per pax per way

Arriving at Cijin Ferry Station

I was surprised to find KOI bubble tea shop near the Cijin Ferry Station when we arrived. We had to had a large ice cold cup of bubble tea, thanks to the scorching summer heat. Nonetheless, we made our way uphill towards the Cihou Lighthouse and Cihou Fort after we took photos of the exterior of the oldest Mazu Temple. As we return downhill, we found the starry tunnel which ceiling was supposed to glow-in-the-dark with images of star constellations. At the end of the tunnel, we were greeted with the beautiful cliff. We ended the excursion in Cijin with a scrumptious seafood lunch, and a Boston cheesecake. More info below:

媽祖廟 Mazu Temple / Tianhou Temple / Goddess of the Sea

The temple is there since Qing Dynasty
wide range of stalls selling souvenirs, fresh seafood dishes and snacks along Cijin Street near the temple

my favorite photo! note our matching attire too haha!

if you have rented a tricylce to get around Cijin Island, this is the location where you have to abandon your vehicle for a while as you climb the slopes and stairs to the lighthouse to the right, and the fort to the left. Both are worth climbing (other than the darn hot summer weather), the bird's eye view from both places are amazing!

旗後燈塔 Cihou Lighthouse

open 9am-4pm
inside the lighthouse, there are some historical items like a mini-museum
cannot enter military base at back of lighthouse

旗後砲臺 Cihou Fort

Follow path from lighthouse to fort
top of fort is open, good place to view scenery of the bay

Beach / Cijin Tunnel of Stars

As you descend from the slopes and walk towards the beach, go to the Cijin Tunnel of Stars and you would be amazed by the view at the other end of the tunnel

this photo was taken from the fort


The beach connects you from the tunnel of stars to the street of seafood restaurants

Seafood Lunch at Cijin Seafood Street

Many seafood restaurants clusted along Maoqian Street by Cijin Ferry Station, as well as the beach area

most folks know that i don't eat shell items other then prawns and crabs hehe.. so you can probably guessed how much Andy had to eat then!

this is the famous Boston Cakeshop in the Seafood Street too... we bought a slice to try, and realised it's nothing to rave about

Take ferry back to 鼓山輪渡站 Gushan Ferry Station

There's a famous shaved ice store 海之冰 near the ferry station, but we skipped that as it was very crowded. Address: 高雄市鼓山區濱海一路76號

安寧街 Anning Street 

the street behind Kaohsiung Main Station
wholesaler market, similar to Wufenpu
mainly teenage women & children clothings

瑞豐夜市Ruifeng Night Market

exit at Kaohsiung Arena Station at Exit 1, walk for 5 minutes straight
Food to try: Wanguo Steak Tempinyaki (萬國鐵板燒牛排), Mongolian Barbecue (蒙古烤肉), Satay Barbecue(沙嗲烤肉), Brown Sugar Bubble Tea (黑糖珍珠奶茶), Crispy Fried Chicken (炸香酥雞), Traditional Herb Tea (古早味青草茶), Japanese Style Spicy and Hot Golden Fishball(日式麻辣黄金鱼蛋)、Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐), Traditional Almond Tea with Pearls (傳統杏仁茶加粉圓), and Papaya Milk (木瓜牛奶)

This is quite innovative.. deep fried chicken cutlet with cheese in between, and the stall owners gave us a sachet of grape-flavored jam to to squeeze onto the cutlet... 

And we went back to Taipei late that night on the High Speed Rail HSR.

Some places we missed out:
(as we were getting a bit lazy in our last bit of travels hehe..)

Former British Consulate at Takao 

good view of Kaohsiung City & Sizihwan
Free Admission / 9am-9pm / 15mins journey from 西子灣 捷運站 KRT Sizihwan, Exit 2, take Bus 99 (7am-6pm) towards 慈德堂, alight 6 stops later at 海水浴場, head south on 蓮海路 Lian Hai Road, walk about 60 meters

Kaohsiung Observation Deck @ 75F

TW$150 per adult (TW$50 redeemable at 74F) / Open 9am-12am daily
三多商圈站(R8) KRT Sanduo Shopping District Station, Exit 2, walk towards新光路 to高雄85大樓 Turntex Sky Tower @
1 Ziqiang 3rd Road (20 min total). Shuttle bus may be available at KRT station

Mutton Hot Pot dinner @ 大新羊肉創始店 Da Shin Mutton

岡山Gangshan South MRT, 158壽華路 (岡山農工側門旁、壽華路與河華路口)
 (we didn't manage to visit here, as Gangshan South MRT was not operating yet back in summer of 2012, and the travel would be too long and rushed if we went by a TRA train)

Also found this awesome online guide to Kaohsiung Night Markets