Things to Do in Kaohsiung
The breathtaking Fo Guang Shan Monastery is an absolute must see for anyone here on vacation. You will be struck not just by the sense of calm and gorgeous architecture, but also its hall of giant Buddhas - an experience you won't want to miss.
One of Kaohsiung's most famous landmarks is Dream Mall, opened in 2007 it is the largest shopping centre in Taiwan and even has an amusement park on the top. That's right, you can ride a ferris wheel on the roof while people go shopping. But there's also a great downtown shopping experience in Kaohsiung where market stalls and small boutiques are the places to find some great holiday souvenirs.
Although Kaohsiung is well known for its harbour and the Love River area, there are also two swimming beaches available to the public, so don't forget your bikini. The small island of Cijin, accessible by ferry, offers a lovely clean beach, but you can also visit Shitzuwan Beach which although smaller is equally lovely.
There are plenty of national parks such as Aozidi national park which is a favourite with joggers and features a metro station near by. The park highlights the beautiful area around the city, but for hiking and walking there's no better choice than the 1000 hectares of almost untouched forest right outside the city.
Tuntex Sky Tower
For the 'wow' factor you must visit the Tuntex Sky Tower, it stands at 85-story's high, (1240ft) and was the tallest building in Taiwan until recently. Completed in 1997 it boasts offices, residential space, a hotel, restaurants and a department store. But the cherry on top has to be the observation desk on the 74th floor which offers spectacular views over Kaohsiung City, cradled by the Love River and overlooking the harbour. For an extra thrill the lifts which take you to the observation deck are the fastest in the world. Travelling from the first to the 75th floor in 43 seconds at speeds of 600 meters per minutes
The Kaohsiung Lighthouse
The Kaohsiung Lighthouse is the most famous landmark the city has to offer. Steeped in history it tells of a harbour built on commercial shipping but interestingly was built in a Chinese design by the British. It has been rebuilt twice since with the base of the lighthouse now an attractive Baroque style. Open to the public, from here you can view stunning vistas of the Port and city beyond.
Shoushan - also known as the Monkey Mountain.
Originally called Ape Hill by Dutch settlers just one visit to this mountain will see why it was so aptly named. But monkey's are just one inhabitant of this nature park as its tropical climate allows diverse species to flourish. There have been 800 plant types recorded alone. It does house some rather interesting military installations, but it most known as a tourist attraction and preserved by the National Environment Preservation Unit of Taiwan. Definitely something to see!