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Located in southern-western Taiwan and facing the Taiwan Strait, Kaohsiung City is one of the five special municipalities in Taiwan It is the largest municipality in area with second most population of approximately 2.77 million. Since its start at 17th century, Kaohsiung has grown from a small trading village, into the political, economic, transportation, manufacturing, refining, shipbuilding, and industrial center of southern Taiwan.
In recent years the city has made great strides in transforming itself from a primarily industrial city into a modern Asian metropolis and successfully turned itself into a popular travel destination. Kaohsiung is a planned city with wide streets and slightly less traffic congestion than the capital. Several areas of the city, such as along the banks of the Love River have benefited from major beautification projects under the tenure of former mayor Frank Hsieh and attracted tourists’ attention. Main landmarks of Kaohsiung city include the ferries wheel of the Kaohsiung Dream Mall, the Kaohsiung Arena and the Kaohsiung Harbor.
Climate and weather
Kaohsiung has a tropical monsoon climate and its warm climate is because of its low latitude and its location with a year-round warm sea temperature. Thus, the city has a noticeably warmer climate than nearby cities located at similar latitudes such as Hong Kong and Guangzhou. The average temperature is 24.4C. July is the warmest month and January is the coldest. There is little difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures. The average annual rainfall is 1750mm. The rainy season lasts from May to October.
Kaohsiung MRT opened in 2008, with two lines. The Metro Line is very clean and offers a convenient way to quickly move within the city. The MRT stations are all well connected to the city bus lines for further transfers.
As Kaohsiung is predominantly flat, a great way to see the city is by bike. The city operates a comprehensive rental service around the city provides you with a map of where all the stations are, and an up to date counter of how many bikes are in each location. Riding along the Love River north towards the Art Museum area offers a pleasant ride and some scenery of the old Kaohsiung that is fast disappearing.
Gangshan District's lamb hotpot, Moon World's free-range chicken and Shin-Da Harbor and Cijin Island's seafood -- these are just the beginning of a long list of local Kaohsiung foods. Locals love Meinong for authentic Hakka cuisine, such as sticky rice with pork wrapped in leaves.
Most tourists are curious about what the night market can offer. Night markets are not only a good place to shop but also the best place to pick up cheap local foods, including stinky tofu, barbecued squid, red bean pancakes and the like. In the most typical tourist night market like the Liouho Night Market, offers local dishes such as salty glutinous rice balls stuffed with pork, pig’s blood cake, oyster omelets and tofu pudding. One of the most popular dishes in the night markets is stinky tofu. You will definitely smell it before you see it, but don’t let the smell put you off. Made from a brine of fermented milk, vegetables and meat, stinky tofu comes in many forms including deep fried, spicy, soft and stinky tofu.
The Love River flows 12 kilometers through Kaohsiung to Kaohsiung Harbor. It is of great cultural significance to the people of Kaohsiung and plays an important role in its economy and tourism. The famous Love River was once heavily polluted. Due to the recent efforts by the city government to treat the water in Cijin District has resulted in significantly improved water quality. The scenery is enhanced by attractive city structures near the river, such as the Holy Rosary Cathedral, Kaohsiung Bridge, and the Kaohsiung District Court. Cultural events such as concerts and the Lantern Festival are often held by the river.
After the dozens temples you may have visited in Asia, you may not be excited about another Buddhist destination. However, Lotus Pond and Tian Hou Temple are real attractions. Opened in 1951, the Lotus Pond consists a man-made lake with more than a dozen temples, pavilions and pagodas. The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are two seven-story pagodas guarded by crouching tiger and dragon statues. Visitors enter and exit via the mouth of the tiger for good luck. Tian Hou Temple is a place in Kaohsiung city that most fishermen live. This temple is built about three hundred years ago, and dedicated to the Goddess of Sailors, Matzu. People believe that Matzu can protect every fisherman who put out to sea. The temple is crafted with charming yet authentic folk art. TianHou temple is also regarded as the oldest temple in Kaohsiung.
Visitors travelling by MTR should not miss the Formosa Boulevard Station which is the most beautiful metro station in Taiwan, if not the world. The three-story station was designed by Japanese architect Takamatsu Shin. The above-ground glass entrance is designed to resemble a pair of hands clasped in prayer, but, the real treasure is underground. The colorful glass mural built into the ceiling was created by American-Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata. It's the largest such glass installation in the world. Quagliata also built the Dome of Light for Rome's Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs.
Cheap hotel recommendations
It is walking distance between Kaohsiung train station, Kaohsiung metro stations and Hotel New Image, the transport network allows you visit all the spots in Kaohsiung. Legend Hotel, which near Liouhe Night Market, is a trendy and warm hotel choice for your stay in Kaohsiung.
Starhaus Hotel provides you a delicate and elegant environment to rest. You will feel like entering a European garden once you step into Chateau de Chine Hotel Kaohsiung!
Toong Mao Evergreen Hotel Kaohsiung is next to O7 Cultural Centre Station, you should never miss Love River, Liouhe Night Market and numerous shopping malls nearby!