Taiwan's subtropical port
Taiwan's biggest port in the tropical Southwest faces the Taiwan Strait. Kaohsiung is the island's third biggest city, home to 2. 5 million people. Also known as the Harbor City or 'Gangdu', the Maritime Capital and the Waterfront City - with its natural harbor, the Love river and lakes.
Founded in the 17th century as Takao, Kaohsiung is now a center for eco-tourism, manufacturing, refining and shipbuilding. It was the host city for the World Games in 2009, for which a new metro with stylish stations, parks and stadiums were built.
Well outside the city the Fo Guang Shan monastery with its sprawling collection of a thousand Buddhas, impressive pagodas and religious art draws many visitors.
The Taiwan High Speed Rail links the South and North of Taiwan. You can travel in 96 or 120 minutes between the HSR Kaohsiung Zuoying Station and Taipei Main Station.
Kaohsiung's subtropical weather is the opposite of Taipei; in the South the Southeastern trade winds bring rain in Summer.
The metro system is a convenient way to get around town, so we'll be seeing the artful designs by European architects and artists at Formosa Boulevard and Central Park stations. The Zuoying station area is dominated by the Dragon and Tiger tower and Spring and Autumn pagodas around the Lotus lake.
If you have arrived by ship then a quick visit to the redesigned former banana pier at the Fisherman's Wharf is a nice way to get an impression of the waterfront activity around the old Kaohsiung port while enjoying a refreshment.
Guarding the port is the Qihou fort and lighthouse built in 1883 on Cijin island, the location of one of the oldest Mazu temples in Taiwan. A short 10 minute ferry ride will show you the views from both sides of the harbor entrance, such as from the 19th century former British Consulate at Takao.
Returning to the city, you can enjoy a solar powered canal boat ride and visit the Kaohsiung Museum of History near the Love river, and the Liouhe tourist night market starting after 6:30 pm.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: your hotel, cruise ship, High Speed Rail station or Taiwan Taoyuan / Kaohsiung international airport.
End location: your hotel, cruise ship, High Speed Rail station or any international airport - or any place convenient for you.
Duration: 8 hours
If you're taking this tour from or to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE), Taipei Sungshan Airport (TSA) or Taipei city, we can travel by High Speed Rail together. All domestic or connecting flights between both Taipei airports and Kaohsiung (KHH) have been discontinued.
First train from Taipei leaves 06:30, arrives Zuoying station Kaohsiung at 08:30. Frequency around four times per hour. Last train to return to Taipei at 22:12.
Kaohsiung metro and taxi fares
Please let me know any mobility, medical and diet concerns in advance. Have your own medical and travel insurance up to date for this trip.
My services as your private guide and trip planner during your visit.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
3000 NT Dollar - per person for transport, meals, drinks and purchases. Many shops accept credit cards.
~~Please NOTE ~ this tour starts in Kaohsiung~~ : Transportation for you and for the guide to Kaohsiung, including the guide's roundtrip from+to Taipei at NT$ 3260 (around US$ 115) per person to be paid at the start of the tour. Taxi trip fares, or for the day at US$ 160 and up.
THSR ticket Taipei-Kaohsiung standard class NT$ 1630, or around US$ 60 one way. Business Class NT$ 2410.
Meals, drinks and admissions.
Most of Kaohsiung can be traveled by metro and taxi for short distances. If you prefer, we can rent a local car or van for the day to save time and see more remote spots.
If you'd just like to see the highlights of both cities, we can combine Kaohsiung and Tainan city visits on an extended day trip.
Driving and guiding must be kept separated on Taiwan's busy roads, so my trips are offered with a local agency and professional drivers.
Regular hours are from 9 to 5, at other times and for extra actual time surcharges may apply.