The best colorful places to visit in Kaohsiung
Are you looking for the most colorful places to visit in Kaohsiung? We set out the best insta-worthy spots in the city for you here. Plus handy tips to help you explore Kaohsiung with ease!
Kaohsiung (高雄) lies on Taiwan’s southwest coast and is the second largest city on the island, after Taipei. It’s home to the biggest harbor in Taiwan, great beaches, loads of hipster cafes and a booming art scene. With plenty to do and see, Kaohsiung is the perfect add-on to your Taiwan itinerary. And, if you are like me, you’ll love all the colorful places in the city!
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Getting to Kaohsiung
The easiest way to reach Kaohsiung is by HSR – Taiwan’s highly effective and affordable High-Speed Rail system. If you are coming from Taipei, the train ride will get you to Zuoying Station (the very last stop on this west coastline) in roughly 2 hours. Naturally, you could also consider driving. But even though Taiwan is really small, its roads are highly congested and traveling times are often a lot longer than expected.
When to go
Generally, the south of Taiwan is much warmer and more humid than the rest of the country. So, if you are not used to the
How long to stay
With Taiwan’s excellent transportation network, it is possible to explore the city in as little as two days. However, if you have a bit more time, I highly recommend staying longer. Spending 3-4 days here will allow you to really get a feel for the city and explore all it has on offer.
With an extra day or two, you’ll have more than enough time to check out all the touristy hot spots, get a good dose of seafood and even relax by the beach! Or better yet, explore some of the amazing attractions nearby.
Where to stay
Kaohsiung has plenty of accommodation options no matter your budget or style – from 5-star luxury hotels like Hotel Indigo to cheap hipster hostels such as With Inn Hostel. But my personal favorite is the FX Inn. The hotel is budget-friendly and only a 5-minute walk to the nearest MRT station. Not to mention, it’s near to some of the best attractions in the city. The staff can also speak English pretty well and you can even rent bikes/ electric scooters from reception. There’s a nice little coffee shop in the lobby, too. As for the rooms, they are of decent size and very clean.
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One of the things you’ll quickly grow to love about Taiwan is the WiFi. It’s extremely easy to find a free hot spot in most of the tourist areas, restaurants, hotels and even on some buses and trains. But, if you are like me and prefer to have the internet on the go, I highly recommend either purchasing a tourist SIM card or a portable WiFi device.
Getting around Kaohsiung
Luckily, it’s super easy to navigate your way around Kaohsiung. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around is by MRT (subway). Although Kaohsiung’s MRT system isn’t quite as extensive as Taipei’s, it is still very convenient and you can easily reach most places in a jiffy. (Even if there is a bit of extra walking involved).
Apart from taking a bus, a taxi or even renting a scooter (if you have a valid license), Kaohsiung recently added an amazing new transportation system to its network; Light Rail. The rail is the country’s first green rail which operates on a fully catenary-free route. Although the line only has a couple of stops thus far (construction is still underway), it is a lovely way to explore the scenic harbor area.
If you want to catch the Light Rail, head to Sizihwan Station (Orange Line) and follow the clearly marked signs to the station. A single-journey ticket costs NT$30, which might be a bit higher than the normal prices you are used to in Taipei, but the ticket is valid for 1 hour. So, you could technically get off and have a quick walk about if your timing is right. There are also easy to use ticketing machines at each stop.
insta-worthy places to visit in Kaohsiung
Lotus Pond is a huge park with an artificial lake. It’s a great place to take a stroll and snap up gorgeous pics of some of the best temples the city has to offer. Here you will find more than 20 different temples, all worshipping different deities.
Some of the most interesting and insta-worthy temples you definitely should not miss are Pei Chi Pavilion, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, and the Spring-Autumn Pavilion. You will even find Taiwan’s largest Confucius Temple here, too!
To reach Lotus Pond, you can either take a bus or the MRT. If you choose the latter, you will still need to grab another bus or walk the remaining distance. On my last visit, I simply opted to grab a taxi due to time constraints. A ride shouldn’t set you back more than NT$250-300 if you stay close to the Formosa Boulevard Station.
If you want to see the lotus flowers in bloom, the best time to visit is in summer.
Address: No.9, Liantan Rd., Zuoying Dist., Kaohsiung City 813, Taiwan.
Dome of Light
If you haven’t heard of the Dome of Light yet, you’re in for a real treat! The Dome of Light is the world’s largest public art installation made from pieces of colored glass. It was created by renowned artist, Narcissus Quagliata and a must-see for any color enthusiast. The dome tells the story of human life and represents it in four themes; water, earth, light, and fire.
Furthermore, the Dome of Light is ridiculously easy to reach, because it is actually based in the MRT station. Simply take the MRT to Formosa Boulevard Station (the transfer station for the Red and Orange Lines). Then follow the clearly marked signs and voilà!
Pier 2 Art Centre
The Pier 2 Art Centre is the best place to catch leading indoor and outdoor art exhibitions in Taiwan. These formerly abandoned harbor warehouses are today home to cool sculptures, interactive exhibitions, museums, galleries, and some pretty neat art installations. Be sure not to miss it on your hunt for the best places to visit in Kaohsiung!
The closest MRT station to the Pier 2 Art Centre is the Yanchengpu Station (Orange Line). Alternatively, you could also go to the very last stop on the Orange Line, Sizihwan Station. From there, enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Hamasen Railway Culture Park before reaching the warehouses.
Address: No. 1, Dayong Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, 803.
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You can find Urban Spotlight in one of Kaohsiung’s best parks, Central Park. Every night, the park lights up in beautiful neon colors – which really sets it apart from your average park. This is also why it is better known as Kaohsiung’s “Gallery of Lights”. When it gets dark, literally everything from the bus stops, trash cans, telephone booths, and chairs light up in bright neon colors. Added to that, the park also has tons of cool sculptures and colorful murals. Sadly, I didn’t have my camera with me when I visited! But, I promise you won’t regret making a pit stop here!
Address: Corner of Wufu 3rd Rd. and Zhongshan 1st Rd., Qianjin Dist., Kaohsiung City.
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Other places to visit near Kaohsiung
If you want to experience Taiwan’s own little slice of paradise, the sandy white beaches and turquoise waters of Kenting are a must. The small seaside town is the perfect escape from Taiwan’s bustling cities. Here you can relax at the beach, get your adrenaline fix from an array of adventure sports and feast on amazing local treats. If you do visit Kenting, don’t forget to catch one of the best sunsets in Taiwan at Maobitou Park! Look here for other things to do in Kenting.
History buffs shouldn’t miss the opportunity to head on over to Tainan – Taiwan’s oldest city. Here you can explore centuries-old fortresses, dive into colorful temples, soak in a hot spring or snack your way through Anping Old Street. Of course, there are loads of other amazing things to do in Tainan, so you might want to consider spending more than just a day here.
To reach Tainan, simply hop on any Northbound HSR train departing from Zouying station. The ride won’t take longer than 30 minutes.
Fo Guang Shan Monastery
Culture seekers should not miss the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan – Fo Guang Shan. It is a bit of a mission to reach the monastery on your own. So, if you are pressed for time, I strongly suggest booking a day trip instead.
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Cijin Island is just a short ferry ride from Kaohsiung and definitely worth your time. You can rent bicycles right next to Gushan Harbor or even at the Pier 2 Art Centre if you want to get a bit more ‘bike time’. From there, simply take the Cijin Ferry. The ferry ride only costs NT$40 and takes less than 10 minutes to reach the island. (Btw, you can take your bike with you on the ferry, too).
Once you get to Cijin Island, relax at the beach and head to the fort for amazing views (and a killer sunset). Afterward, feast your way through the many vendors and eateries dishing up fresh seafood and local Taiwanese favorites. For more awesome ideas, also check out this Cijin Island guide.
Have you visited Kaohsiung yet? Do you have any suggestions to add to this list on The Most Colorful Places to Visit in Kaohsiung? Let us know in the comments below.
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