Kaohsiung, Taiwan Jan2010

Kaohsiung Travel Blog

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Love River
Finally, we managed to visit Kaohsiung, 5 months after the deadly Typhoon Morakot. We took the High Speed Rail from Taipei to Kaohsiung which took only 1.36 hours for about US$50 per person. It was a good deal. If you take a flight down it is almost the same amount of time not including Check in, waiting, taxing, taking off, landing, custom…you know what I mean.

It was pretty easy. We first went online to book the rail tickets, went to the station. It did not take a long time to find the ticket kiosk. There are a few kiosk located right when you got of the metro in Taipei main train station.
Love River
There are sign said “tickets for online booking” in Chinese. Not to be confused by another type of train though, which is located on the right side of these machines. Those are for slow train. It will be a little difficult for people who don’t read Chinese, although the Taiwanese are very helpful and most of the young people speak English.

We book the train that departs around lunch time. We were told by our hotel staff that there will be staff selling lunch box on board. However when we saw a lot of the passengers brought their own lunch box, we were like “oh no, don’t tell me we got the wrong infos” We were so hungry! Luckily we did not need to wait for long. There is this pretty lady pushing a food cart right by us. She did not say anything, I think she expect us to ask her for food (since most of the passengers brought their own food) I ran up to her to ask if she has lunch box.
picture taken on board of Love Boat
We had Chicken rice. It was still hot and the price is cheap. God the food is good in Taiwan even if only a simple lunch box sold on the train!

We arrived Kaohsiung Zuo Ying Station ( please note that, you can’t find “Kaohsiung” station when you book online or buy ticket in person, the train arrives in “Zuo Ying” Station, which took me a while to figure out this is where you get off if you want to go to Kaohsiung)

Going to our hotel in Kaohsiung was a little tricky. We had to take a metro to Kaohsiung main train station which took about 10minutes from Zuo Ying Station. After we got off the metro, we had to walk towards “train station” the we were inside the main train station (for slow train). we were told to walk to the rare exit of the train station where our hotel is located.
Side walk cafes by Love River
We had to buy “platform ticket” cost about USD0.70 to walk through all the platforms. Then we had to return the ticket to an officer that stood by the exit. Took an escalator down and Voila - our hotel is right across the street!

As we arrived in the evening, we missed the city tour. Therefore we decided to take a cab to the famous Love River where I have heard of many times. I have heard of how romantic the ambience is with the many side walk open-air cafes along the love river. The cab driver stopped us opposite the Ambassador Hotel where there were 3 cafes by the river side. I asked the cab, this is it? Where are the rest of the cafes? Yes, this is it and these are the cafes! What?! This is so not in my imagination!

We got off, there are Annie’s Pretzels, Ice cream store and a coffee shop.
one of the cafe
I still could not believe this will be it, what about the articles and guides and stories I read about? We decided to take a “Lover River Boat Ride by Love Boat” that is so not what I would have imagined! There was not “Love” about the boat! Forgot the price because I am still mad at the whole “love and romantic” thing..Alright, we were on the so call love boat that sailed along the love river. The staff introduces what are the buildings and what are the stories about in Chinese. I did not pay any attention to him but still looking for more romantic cafes…disappointing…

Disembarked from love boat and headed for the cafes. We have a nice evening by the coffee shop and had some snack while watching the sun set. Charlie decided to have a beer at the other side of the river.
Yes, there is another open-air bar right next to the Kaohsiung Film Archives. On the way to the pub, I found that I have lost my cell phone. We walked back and forth many times, asking around but it was lost forever!

I forgot the name of the bar but it was quite nice. According to Charlie, Draft beer was good and my tea wasn’t bad at all, I just didn’t have the mood to enjoy the evening after I found out I have lost my cell phone. I don’t have to mention though, there is no washroom by the bar, and we had to go into the film archive for it. However there is a public washroom next to those three cafes, a clean one.

The next day, we planned to visit Cijin Island. According to the travel guide book, we can take a bus to Gushan Ferry Pier and then take a ferry to Cijin Island.
Cijin Beach
We waited for the bus in front of the train station. The sign boards are in Chinese and I was a little confuse which part of the station we should be waititng for the bus ( same sign but in 2 different places) We obviously looked confused, luckily one man approached us to see if he could help. Alright, now we are clear which part of the station to wait for our bus. We have been waiting for more then 15 minutes, still no sight of the bus. It’s getting late and we decided waste no more time but take a cab to the ferry pier. It was very cheap for the ferry; it took a little less the 10minutes to get to Cijin Island


There are a few things to do in Cijin Island.
1. Try the seafood. They have the freshest sea food
2. Visit the oldest Tienhou temple in Taiwan devoted to the Goddess of Sea, is 300 years old and one of the national historic scenic spot
3.
Cijin Beach
Stroll along the Cijin Beach
4. Visit the Sea Shell Museum
5. Rent a bike to go around the island
6. Visit the light house ( however it was closed on the day we arrived)
7. Visit the starry tunnel

Due to the time constrain, we only managed to do some of the above. We found a little Vietnam Café that served Vietnamese coffee right in front of the Tienhou temple. We love Vietnamese coffee therefore we picked a seat, enjoying our coffee while admiring this ancient temple. It was a relaxing easy morning.

After the coffee, we walked back to the bike rental stall. We picked a pick electrical trishaw. The rental rate was reasonable and we wanted for 2 hours. The workers are friendly and explained to us very patiently how to operate the bike and which are the place of interest.
Cijin Beach
We were told to contact them if we have any problem with the bike and they will come to fix it. I feel so “protected”

This is our first time to ride on a electrical bike, we had a lot of fun! Although it was not powerful enough when we needed to go uphill a little, the chain kept coming off and Charlie has to fix it from time to time. We went through some beautiful woods and we spent some time by the Cijin Beach. It was hot but was quite nice with the sea breeze.

We returned the bike a little less then 2 hours as it was getting close to lunch time and we couldn’t wait to taste the popular seafood! The bike rental worker was so helpful, he suggested us to a good seafood restaurant that near by. He was right, the food was yummy! After lunch, we stroll down the main road for a while, seen some nice souvenirs shops then we decided to head home.
300 years old Tienhou Temple


It was easy to take the ferry back. Before we headed back to the hotel, we decided to check out the famous Love Pier. We hail a cab heading to Love Pier; I was imagining how romantic it would be with my man by the pier, soft breezes while enjoying a cup of cappuccino by the water. Watching the sun set with my man and perhaps I will get some kisses ….To much thinking lady! I was dead wrong! No one was there, no cafes no nothing! We took some shots then walked a little. We saw a cheesy in door playground for kids and lots of bikes waiting for rental. ARRRRRR… another disappointing site! Let’s go back to the Lover River - at least there are 3 cafes by the water! Our day ended by snacking in Liu He night market, the biggest night market in Kaohsiung.

We decided to take a day rest the next day.
electrical trishaw
I suggested we visit the biggest shopping mall in Kaohsiung, not to shop but the see my favorite Hello Kittle Ferris Wheels! It located on the rood top of the mall with 120m in diameter - is going to be exciting to ride on that wheel over looking to the Kaosiung city! There were 2 types of cabin we could pick - a painted bottom or transparent cabin. We picked the painted one hopefully we get the kitty one. One minute after I got into the cabin, I regretted. I freaked out - it was so high up! I am not the type who has acrophobia but man! I couldn’t believe I suggested this. I kept talking to Charlie and tried not to look down. It was a long 15 minutes, couldn’t wait to get off.

We booked a half day tour to Fo Guang Shan Monastery (Light of Buddha) from the hotel.
my first experience on electrical bike!
Fo Guang Shan Monastery is the largest Buddha Monastery in Taiwan featuring a 120meters giant golden Buddha statue on top of the hill. This giant Buddha statute is surrounded by 480 little Buddha - very impressive. There are 4 other temples inside the monastery: Great Vow Shrine, Great Wisdom Shrine, Great Practice Shrine and Great Compassionate Shrine. Honestly, I do not know what is the difference, just a lot of “WOW, lots of Buddha statues!” The tour leader told us there are more then thousands of Buddha statutes (sorry I forgot the right number). It was very peaceful up in the hill.

After the tour, we asked our tour leader for restaurant recommendation. He stopped us at New Taiwanese Original Restaurant. What a unique restaurant, there is 60’s street scene inside the restaurant and the wait staff all wear school uniform and wear a school bag in the 60’s.
Cijin windmills
The whole thing is just funny. The food was great. They have a lot of variety of drinks. The one that we thought was pretty funny was Banana Coffee, yummy! I ordered some vinegar drink and it tasted funny and had kicks in it.

We went back to the Love River and had a nice relaxing evening watching sun set.

Tinktinkie says:
Great blog with lovely pictures! They really do tell a story!!!
Posted on: Apr 22, 2010
Vanessa_Mun_Yee says:
Harriet! Thanks for those kind words and smiles! You keep me writing. I was a little discourage lately because it seems no one like my blogs or pictures.
Posted on: Mar 30, 2010
Africancrab says:
Beautiful blog, you have taken some incredible photographs for this blog. I have enjoyed them a lot. you will find an embarrasing display of smiles from me, I could not help myself. I love it when someone takes photographs that tell stories, yours do just that.
Posted on: Mar 29, 2010
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Love River
Love River
Love River
Love River
picture taken on board of Love Boat
picture taken on board of Love Boat
Side walk cafes by Love River
Side walk cafes by Love River
one of the cafe
one of the cafe
Cijin Beach
Cijin Beach
Cijin Beach
Cijin Beach
Cijin Beach
Cijin Beach
300 years old Tienhou Temple
300 years old Tienhou Temple
electrical trishaw
electrical trishaw
my first experience on electrical …
my first experience on electrical…
Cijin windmills
Cijin windmills
Cijin windmills
Cijin windmills
Love Pier
Love Pier
Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel on roof t…
Hello Kitty Ferris Wheel on roof …
Ferris Wheel ticket counters
Ferris Wheel ticket counters
kitty car
kitty car
Freaking out in the car, see the K…
Freaking out in the car, see the …
the cars
the cars
Diameter of 102m
Diameter of 102m
Fo Guang Shan ( Light of Buddha Mo…
Fo Guang Shan ( Light of Buddha M…
Entrance to the Monastery
Entrance to the Monastery
This look scary to me
This look scary to me
another scary one
another scary one
Scary...
Scary...
Scary..
Scary..
Thousands of Buddha statues
Thousands of Buddha statues
closer look at the statues
closer look at the statues
120m high golden Buddha statue
120m high golden Buddha statue
There are 480 of these surrounding…
There are 480 of these surroundin…
Giant Buddha and little Buddhas
Giant Buddha and little Buddhas
inside New Taiwanese Original Rest…
inside New Taiwanese Original Res…
inside New Taiwanese Original Rest…
inside New Taiwanese Original Res…
The manu
The manu
Banana Coffee
Banana Coffee
Sun set at Love River
Sun set at Love River
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Kaohsiung
photo by: ys484