Eco-friendly travel guide to Kaohsiung advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
- Air quality: 3 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 3.5/ 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 2 / 5
- Public transportation: 4 / 5
- Parks: 3.5 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
- Locals' English level: 2 / 5
- Safety: 3.5 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30- $300
- Budget per day: US$100 - $500
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Kaohsiung is the second-largest city in Taiwan. It is a special municipality in South Taiwan. The area of the city ranges from 2952 km sq. Kaohsiung is the third most populated city in the country.
The concepts of sustainable travel, or sustainable tourism, are relatively new in Taiwan, but they echo within the traditional culture's core values. Over the past few decades, Taiwan has been blessed with a so-called Economic Miracle in economic growth. Over the past decade or so, more and more people have been aware and have taken action to rebuild sustainable communities and advocate for the importance of environmental protection and natural resources preservation. However, the pursuit of GDP growth and the blind embrace of capitalism has also taken its toll on Taiwan's natural and social environment.
Bus, slower but cheaper than trains, also connect passengers to more destinations than the trains. Trains are fast, reliable, and cheap means. Taiwan has both a High-Speed Rail and a regular rail link. Walking is an alternative and the best way. Cycling around the island is also a popular tourist activity.
- Say no to plastic: One of the most effective ways of responsible travelling is not using any plastic bags. Plastic bags take more than 500 years to biodegrade and that should give you an idea of how harmful they are for the environment. Always carry a reusable bag when you are travelling so you can use it for groceries, shopping etc.
- Road over air: If it is possible to get to your destination via road then do not take a flight. Not only will that help in a massive reduction of your carbon footprint but will also protect the environment from harmful carbon emissions caused by airplanes.
- Eco friendly travel agent: There are plenty of eco friendly travel agents who are doing a wonderful job planning trips that are safer for the environment by booking green hotels, choosing the most eco friendly way of travelling and educating the travellers about the impact of their actions on the planet.
- Travel in a more sustainable manner: This means adopting eco friendly habits like using metal straws and reusable cutlery, terminating the use of plastic be it shopping bags, cups, bottles etc. While this may come off as a very insignificant step but it makes a huge impact not only in reducing your carbon footprint but also helping the environment and specially the sea life. They are the ones that suffer the most from the use of plastic and it disrupts the entire eco system.
- Keep the beaches clean: Picking up after yourself on the beach should go without saying, but just take a look around the sand the next time you're by the shore—obviously someone didn't get the memo. Stray bottles, cans, bags, and napkins can be ubiquitous along waterways, and even just one piece of litter can pose a problem. This garbage can be picked up by the wind, get stuck around the necks of birds and other animals, and carried back out to sea by the tides. Keep anyone in your party accountable for their messes, and if you encounter some trash that isn't yours, pick it up anyway and throw it away.
- Try to ride bicycles more than rented cars: This will not only help in reducing noise and air pollution but it will also help keeping you fit and healthy. Rented cars and private vehicles only add to the problem of pollution but at the same time they also deprive you from truly experiencing the place and discovering the little nook and crannies.
- Support the local economy: Shop local and eat local food. It will help the local people who usually have a very sustainable business model and organic things to sell and it will also help you in learning about the local culture.
Air Quality and Pollution
Air pollution in Taiwan is mostly derived from domestic combustion sources, primarily the burning of fossil fuels. Taiwan's topography has contributed to its air pollution problem, leading to poor dispersal and trapping of pollutants. Mountains surround it, and high mountains surround other industrial centers along the northern and western coasts of Taiwan. It is claimed that there are about 3 million motorcycles and 1million cars on Kaohsiung’s roads, with motorcycles being called the primary means of transport for the majority of the city’s adult population. Motorcycles with two-stroke engines were claimed to be the biggest single source of vehicular pollution in Taiwan while also being the majority of Taiwan's motorcycles.
While the Taiwanese are known as some of the friendliest people globally, a little effort in learning the culture is always appreciated. After all, it's always a good idea to learn about a country's customs and etiquette before visiting, especially in Asian countries where they are considered extremely important.
Respect the Culture
Taiwanese families are close-knit, and usually extended families live together. Most Taiwanese people stay very close to their parents, even after they’ve married. Many Taiwanese parents offer their grown-up children a degree of support. Some may see it as interference, but that is not the case. It isn’t unusual for parents to buy houses for their children or choose their youngsters to study at university.
Gifts should be wrapped with great care. The container of the gift and its wrapping is as important as the gift itself. Present and receive a gift with both hands. Gifts are not opened in front of the giver. Recipients may refuse a gift to be polite. Politely persist until the gift is accepted. Custom requires people to reciprocate with a gift of equal value. The Taiwanese culture is a blend of Chinese, Austronesian, Japanese and Western culture. Because Taiwan never experienced Communist oppression, visitors can witness traditional religious practices and ancient customs that have disappeared from the Chinese mainland. As a consequence, Taiwan is sometimes said to be more Chinese than China while at the same time being much more than Chinese.
A nod of the head or a slight bow is considered polite for the first meeting. Handshakes are generally only for males who are friends. Introductions are important. Do not introduce yourself. Instead, have a third person introduce you. At a party or business meeting, wait to be introduced by the host.
Top 10 Places to Visit
- Love River: Love River is basically situated in the Qianjin district in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This is a famous place in Kaohsiung city. This is the focal point of the city. It also has sightseeing with gondola rides, love boats, and duck boats ride for the local people and the tourists. Love River was earlier known as Takao river.
- Dragon And Tiger Pagodas: Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are basically situated in the Zuoying district in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This temple was built in 1976 on the lotus lake. This temple has two major towers that are tiger tower and dragon tower. The main seven-story tower has red-colored pillars, orange-colored tiles, and yellow-colored walls. This building or complex is the traditional representative of Kaohsiung culture.
- Lotus Pond: Lotus pond is the popular tourist spot of the district Zuoying, situated in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This is an artificial lake. The lake is named because of the too many loti grown in the lake. And it is surrounded by several temples. It is basically a type of reservoir. It was built in the year 1951.
- Rainbow Church: Rainbow church is basically located in the Qijin District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The church is named because the church building is designed with the basic idea of a rainbow.
- Pier2 Art Centre: Pier2 art center is situated in the Yancheng District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It was constructed in 1973. This is divided into different areas in different art exhibitions. It is located near the sea sight.
- The British Consulate At Takow: The British Consulate At Takow is located in the Gushan District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It was built in the year 1865. This building was designated as the second class in the history of Taiwan. It is a famous tourist attraction in the city.
- 85 Sky-Tower: 85 Sky tower is located in Lingya district, which is in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The structure of the building is 1,140 feet high from the ground. It was constructed in 1994. It is the tallest building in the whole country. Its total cost is around NT $ 5 billion. The floor count is 85 floors with 5 basement floors. It has 54 elevators inside the building.
- Qishan Old Street: As the name suggests, this street is situated in the district named Qishan, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It is an old historic street. It truly preserves the old times' atmosphere. It is a famous tourist attraction in the district.
- Kaohsiung Lighthouse: The Kaohsiung lighthouse is also known as the Chou lighthouse. It was constructed in the year 1918. The shape of the lighthouse is octagonal, with the lantern and balcony inside it. The height of the tower is 15 meters. The main source of the lighthouse is to provide a light source.
- Cijin Tianhou Temple: The Cijin Tianhou temple is located in the Cijin District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. This the Chinese temple of Mazu. Cijin temple is also known as Chi Jin Mazu or Cihou Tianhou Temple. It was constructed in 1673. This temple is the first temple of Mazu in Kaohsiung.
In many ways, this 300-year-old city is like a living museum. The Taoist temples buzz with the hopeful prayers; the wooden boards of Japanese-era mansions creak under the feet of visitors; while the treasures in the National Palace Museum date back 5000 years. From the heirlooms of a tea merchant to the memories of a cemetery for the White Terror victims, Kaohsiung is a city that takes great pride in celebrating its history – the triumphant and the tragic. Merchant villas to military barracks have been restored, reworked, and now live again as a museum.
The city is big, and it has a big collection of parks and other such places. It has big open spaces and greeneries where you can spend time with your children and other family members. The views are one thing you cannot take away from parks.
Here are some famous city parks in the city:
- Kaohsiung Metropolitan Park
- Central Park
- Kaohsiung Park
- Birthday Park
The country has always been famous for its beautiful and graceful natural resources, and so that this city has a wonderful collection of national parks and a zoo.
We are listing down a few of them that may not exactly be located in and around the city but are not very far away from the city.
- Shoushan National Nature Park
- Aozihdi Forest Park
- Leidishan Natural Park
The city is famous for its beautiful and stunning beaches. There are dozens of big and tiny beaches, and it may not be possible to list down every one of them. Some of the beautiful and best beaches in the city are listed below:
- Cijin Beach: Located a mere 20 kilometers from Kaohsiung’s border, sunset beach is the closest good beach to the city. Sunset beach is probably the best Kaohsiung’s beach to visit for its combination of beauty, clear water, small waves, ease of access, and restaurant facilities.
- Chaishan Secret Beach: Popular among the younger generation, Chaishan Secret beach is a long stretch of golden sand, partitioned off as a private area. Anyone can use the private area for a small fee, which will give them access to showers and changing rooms. However, the public beach is clean and wonderfully scenic, with pathways through the dunes and grasses.
- K’un-Shen Beach" Famous for its green troughs and trenches carved out of the volcanic rock, K’un-Shen beach is a must-visit section of coastline for photographers. This is an expansive sand beach with the stone troughs and trenches meeting the sea in the middle section. The algae growing on the stones thrives from April to May, making it the best time to visit to see the full spectacle.
- Sunset Beach Resort: Sunset Beach is located in the Country outside of the Township, which is about an hour to an hour and a half drive from Kaohsiung's heart. For the casual observer, this beach is amazing because of the black sand, but it is even more famous today for the surf culture that has flourished over the last decade.
The city also has its share of memorable landmarks and monuments. You must try and visit as many as you possibly can. While the list is quite long, we are mentioning a few of them for our readers' benefit.
- Kaohsiung Confucius Temple: Kaohsiung Confucius Temple is basically located in the Zuoying District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The temple is dedicated to the memory of Confucius. It is situated near the Lotus Pond.
- Chimei Museum: Chimei Museum is basically located in the Rende District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It is a private museum established in the year 1992. This museum is divided into five main parts: arms and armor, Musical instruments, Natural history and fossils, Artefacts, and antiquities.
Visiting museums would be the icing on your holiday package, especially if you are in this city, as it shows that you have adequately explored the city. Here are some of these museums given are as follows:
- Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum: Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum pays tribute to the art of natural healing and beauty treatments in the region. The building the museum sits in was constructed in 1913 and is adorned in traditional Japanese architecture that embodies the essence of the Japanese rule. The museum is meant to be a relaxing retreat for travel-weary visitors.
- National Science And Technology Museum: Home to one of the largest historical artifact collections globally, the National Science And Technology Museum is an attraction you do not want to miss. This museum is home to over 700,000 pieces of history that date back to ancient times and is a place where people of all ages can learn something new. Whether you are into art, historic hand tools, cooking memorabilia, or something in between, there is an exhibit within this museum that will make you stand in a queue.
- Kaohsiung Museum Of Fine Arts: The Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts is ideally located in the Kaohsiung Expo Park. Visitors can enjoy walks through the park, floral exhibitions, and an outdoor covered food court. The museum itself is home to some of Taiwan’s best fine art pieces, and although the national museum, the Kaohsiung branch is still an interesting place to visit. Aside from the permanent exhibits, there are temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
As one of Asia’s greatest food-obsessed cities, Kaohsiung stands out in particular for its culinary offering. And while it’s long been known for its markets and casual restaurants, the city is now turning heads with its contemporary fine dining scene in which Taiwan’s seasonal produce is championed.
You will find that the locals prefer to eat healthy and nutritious food with lots of vegetables and meat. Apart from these traditional and modern cuisines, the local street food is a must-try one that will leave your mouth lingering with their flavors.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Here are some famous local restaurants which serve their authentic traditional foods are given below:
- German Soul Kaohsiung: The street-side eatery is famous for its smooth noodles, served in a sweet and sour broth, with skipjack tuna, shredded bamboo shoots, and salt-cured intestines. There isn't a menu as there is only one dish, which is so popular in Kaohsiung that it is usual to see a lengthy queue to get some.
- Din Tai Fung: It is a humble sort of roadside restaurant, with its kitchen open to the street. With beef noodles being one of the most popular dishes in Taiwanese cuisine, so much so that it gets its own annual festival in Kaohsiung Lin Dong Fang is extremely popular with locals. The signature dish is the half-tendon/half-shank beef noodle soup.
- Chen Lili Indonesian Food: Markets of Kaohsiung are prevalent among the Taiwanese as great places for great cheap eats. The market is the largest and has the best choice, with over 500 stalls in the covered food court. It is crowded and noisy, but the range of local snacks and meals available is unrivaled, with the quality of many also being very high while the prices remain very low.
- Yaletown Bistro: Braised pork rice is one of the top local dishes in Kaohsiung, and the lu rou fan is so good at Jin Feng that it’s part of the restaurant’s name. A simple street-side eatery, with fans attached to the tiled walls and cheap tables and chairs packed into the narrow shop, the open kitchen is widely thought to turn out the best pork rice in town.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Sometimes the habits of two people are different. Thus, everyone does not have the same eating habit or love the same pattern when it concerns food choices.
If you are a vegetarian, you do not need to worry when you are in this city as there are many restaurants to attend to your needs. With these places, you will get to enjoy traditional meals properly with your regular choices. Some of these vegan restaurants are:
- Tian Zhi Yu – Heaven Driven Vegan: In the latest menu, there are afternoon dim sum options such as steamed matsutake mushroom and wild fungus dumpling, steamed rice roll with assorted vegetables and fungi, as well as pan-fried porcini buns. The vegetarian dishes and dim sum at Ya Ge are often considered a great hidden menu for those in the know, with the line-up modified every three months to keep it fresh and seasonal.
- Mottainai Plant-Based Whole Food Café: Billed as a modern, plant-based eatery. This vegan restaurant serves up a menu of American style vegetarian dishes that include raw cakes and chia pudding. Regulars have been impressed with the staff's help, especially to those that are not vegetarian and need assistance with the menu.
- Vegan Restaurant: Indian vegetarian dishes are the vegan strong suit. It also caters to those who avoid garlic, onion, and other stimulants. They just need to state their preferences while ordering. The menu rotates every three to four months, but fans of the green masala burrata cheese salad can be assured that the signature dish will remain.
Different cities have various food they classify as street food. Suppose you are a street food enthusiast and would want to try some in this city. You know those foods you can easily get at the roadside without the need for a fancy restaurant—those classified as street food.
The preparation time for them does not take long, and it is something you can eat on the go. One thing about street food is that you can try out varieties at the same time.
- Milkfish Congee: Milkfish is a tropical kind of fish with yummy meat. It is challenging to cook because it has a thorny body. The local people in the Kaohsiung’s are fond of milkfishes. In this city, there are numerous fish stalls and restaurants which serve them. All the thrones or bones are removed from the fish so that people enjoy it. It is basically served with a rice bowl. The rice is chewable, and it tastes too good.
- Fish Ball Soup: The fishbowl soup is basically served with rice or noodles. It is too delicious. The balls of fish are prepared from the paste of fish. The paste of fishes is made by hand. It some kind tastes sweet. It is served with spring onions. The balls are cooked in boiling water.
- Duck Rice: The local people of Kaohsiung are fond of duck meat. One can get fabulous duck meat here. They will probably get it in the traditional markets or streets. The duck is cut into long slices that are spread on the top of the rice. It is garnished with plenty of ginger. It is mostly consumed in dinner.
The local craft beer scene has also matured, and so has the cocktail scene. There are fancy places to get dressed up for and plenty of casual places to relax and hang out. There's no lack of bars within the city, although prices are quite high. Places that open early (6 pm) tend to have happy hours until around 8 pm. Bars are spread throughout the city, although the cities probably have more than their fair share, especially the more upmarket cocktail/speakeasy joints.
Tea growing and drinking has a venerable tradition in Kaohsiung. While most people head when they want to enjoy brewing and imbibing, there are a few excellent places within the city. Many set in beautifully restored Japanese-era residences. Eighty-Eighteen, for example, is housed in a refurbished Japanese priest's digs!
The system has enabled TWD to observe the water quality in the raw water intakes, the treatment method at its purification plant, and the distribution system. Consequently, it assures the quality of the water supply and enhances TWD’s credibility. The TWD also collects water samples from all water sources, including the Reservoir and treatment plants across the city, for analysis. Water quality in Kaohsiung is outstanding, according to the reported data.
The water is taken to Kaohsiung’s pioneer water examination laboratory, certified by the R.O.C. Environmental Protection Agency. The lab has professional staff and is equipped with state-of-the-art instruments for water quality analysis. The tap water supplied by the Water Department in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is safe for consumption. The T.W.D.’s water quality is held to the same standard as more developed countries.
Rising food safety awareness and health consciousness among consumers in Taiwan have made organic foods a popular trend. Kaohsiung has several organic cafes and stores:
- Flanger Coffee
- Double Veggie
- Ye Shu Shu Shi
- Better Pizza X Coffee
Only a few years ago, beer lovers in the city had to search far and wide to find anything resembling a craft beer, but times have changed, and how they’ve changed. The city now boasts a burgeoning craft beer industry with a host of microbreweries serving up everything from pale ales to pilsners: some of the breweries include:
- La Face Bar
- Cocco & Co. Kaohsiung
- Fusion Bar Music & Drinks
- Yesterday Bar
- Bar Nine
One of the most incredible cities in Asia is endless things to do in the city, a diverse and chaotic city with an eclectic mix of influences. The city has a world-class transport system, and like most Asian cities, it’s relatively cheap. You can also spend your days eating delicious street food in one of the many night markets, exploring the ancient temples, and admiring the views from Kaohsiung’s many vantage points.
The city is a city rich in culture and history. It is home to some of Kaohsiung's most beautiful temples and hundreds of amazing restaurants. It is also a thriving commercial hub with both night markets and high-end stores dotted throughout the city.
Yoga and Retreats
Should Kaohsiung prove a tad too vibrant, rest assured that the region is also home to some truly relaxing Yoga spots. And while the many national parks of Taiwan offer great opportunities for getting off the grid, there’s nothing quite like a retreat for a truly holistic experience.
- Just Yoga
- Shri Yoga
- Kaohsiung Yoga Krama
- Atha Yoga
Sorting out where to stay in the city can be a challenge. As you’d expect from the sprawling city of Taiwan, the best hotels in the city are spread between a variety of eclectic neighborhoods. When choosing where to stay in Kaohsiung, there are a handful of main areas you’ll want to look at. From the city's modernism into the luxury hotels of Xinyi set in the shadow of the city, most of the best districts to stay in the city ring in and around the city center.
That alone should put this central neighborhood on the radar when picking out your Kaohsiung accommodations. Not only are there plenty of great accommodation options here, but it’s also one of the most central districts. Each of the best areas to stay in the city has its perks and offers to every type of traveler.
The nucleus of the city center, Zhongzheng District, will probably be your first point of contact when you start exploring Taiwan's city. This central neighborhood is home to the city Main Station, the main transportation hub of Kaohsiung. The accommodations market in the Zhongzheng area features mostly budget to lower mid-range properties. If you’re looking for true luxury during your stay, including one of the top 5-star hotels in the city, you’ll need to look into other places.
Many foreigners fail to realize that they have a role to play in protecting the environment, and it does not matter if it is your place of origin or not. If you are an environmental enthusiast, we know that you would search for green hotels in the city to ensure that you have an eco-friendly stay in the city. You should play a role in any place you find yourself. Here are some of the green hotels in the city given below:
- Beauty Green Resort Homestay B&B
- Fun Chen Resort Hotel
- Meinong Yun Shanju Homestay
Hostels and Guest Houses
Here are some comfortable and affordable guesthouses as well as hostels in the city. They are given below:
- D’well Hostel
- Pathways Hostel
- With Inn Hostel, Kaohsiung
You will find that renting out an apartment can be relatively cheaper if you travel with your friends or family. Before you rent out an apartment, make sure to check the property properly and get some reviews of current residents in the apartment building. Also, make sure that the property is legal and approved for tourism purposes.
Unlike other countries where Couch surfing is yet to be fully adopted, it is relatively common in the city. Kaohsiung couch surfers readily share their homes and lives in profound in meaningful ways, making travel within the city a truly social experience. Unfortunately, when looking for a place to stay, it can sometimes be difficult to find someone willing to host a couple rather than a single traveler.
There is an online community known as couchsurfing.com, and if you are a part of it, you will be able to come across dozens of Couch Surfing mates and companions. The perk of couch surfing is that it is free. As a foreigner, you do not need to pay your host. However, it is your responsibility to be respectful and abide by the laws of the city. It is a new concept but has taken off quite well in the city.
There are few better ways to rest, relax, and reinvigorate than to get back to nature for a dose of the inimitable joys the great outdoors offers. And among the best ways to do this is camping. Kaohsiung's main island and many offshore islands possess all requisite ingredients for high-quality experiences a moderate climate, natural splendors in singular abundance and diversity considering the island’s comparatively small size – something which amazes many international visitors who get out of the cities – and easy access to quality sites. Over the past decade or so, interest in camping has surged in Taiwan, especially as a form of a family outing. Some of the best camping sites in the city include:
- Marlin In Kaohsiung Spring Eco-Farm
- Shibaluohanshan Camping Area
- Weiwuying Metropolitan Park
How to Get There
There's an extensive network from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park and across the north. Service from the west coast to the east coast is limited to a few buses a day from across Hualien and Kaohsiung to Taitung. Service is also limited within the east area (from Hualien to Taitung). There are very frequent departures (some 24-hour operations), with midweek and late-evening discounts. Most companies serve the same west-coast routes. The main transit points are Taichung, Tainan, and Taipai. Buses are reliable, cheap, and comfortable. Some companies offer large, cozy airplane-style reclining seats. Reservations are advisable on weekends and holidays.
The only other major international airport is at Kaohsiung, serving the country’s second-largest city. Although there are several nonstop flights to the city from North America and Europe, most trips will require a plane change somewhere else in Asia. Hong Kong is the closest and most convenient place, with dozens of regional carriers flying into the city daily. Numerous nonstop flights also operate between Taiwan and mainland Chinese cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
There are very frequent departures (some 24-hour operations), with midweek and late-evening discounts. Most companies serve the same west-coast routes. The main transit points are Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipai. Buses are reliable, cheap, and comfortable. Some companies offer large, cozy airplane-style reclining seats. Reservations are advisable on weekends and holidays.
There's an extensive network from Kaohsiung to Kenting National Park and across the north as far as Yilan. Service from the west coast to the east coast is limited to a few buses a day from Taichung across to Hualien and Kaohsiung to Taitung. Service is also limited within the east area (from Hualien to Taitung).
The THSR connects Kaohsiung City in the northeast of Taiwan to Kaohsiung City in the southwest. The journey time is about 90 minutes compared to 4 hours by conventional rail. The Taiwan High-Speed Rail commenced operations on 5 January 2007, after some delays in 2006. 30 Shinkansen Class 700T sets are running on the 345 km HSL, with station stops at Kaohsiung Main station, Panchiao, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Chiayi, Tainan, and Tsuoying near Kaohsiung. THSRC operates additional train services during national holidays.
Taiwan is a straightforward place to hitchhike. Hitchhiking is not a common way for locals to travel except when returning to town from the mountains, but there's almost zero fear of hitchhikers, and many locals are happy to help. There is a common perception that hitchhiking is only easy for women and foreigners, but it appears not true. Taiwanese people are amiable and usually very honest. Waiting times to hitch are short, and people often don't mind driving a bit further than the place where they needed to be.
Very often, the drivers will also offer you a drink or even food. No matter how deep into the countryside you are, hitching is possible everywhere. It is useful to have a motorcycle helmet with you when hitchhiking, as it is possible to get lifts from motorcyclists.
As mentioned earlier, Taiwan is an island country surrounded by the China Sea. Another way that one can get to Kaohsiung is through the sea. However, it is about 110 kilometers from the sea.
Apart from airplanes and public transports, other traveling cities' options include rental car services, boating, and private long-distance buses. These options are not eco-friendly as they harm the local environment by using non-renewable resources and emitting greenhouse gases.
Private transport consists of motor scooters, private cars, taxi cabs, and bicycles. Motor-scooters often weave between cars and occasionally through oncoming traffic. The Station serves as the comprehensive hub for the subway, bus, conventional rail, and high-speed rail.
Whether you prefer a more natural setting or prefer to take in the sights, these are the best places for walking in the city. Kaohsiung's sprawling metropolis may feel endless, but the city is located in a giant basin and is surrounded by mountains.
Even more laudable is the strong support system has put in place for cyclists. Police stations double up as rest stops that also offer water and bike repairs, while 7-Eleven stores have a postal service that cyclists can use to mail items such as clean clothes from one location to another along long routes.
Drivers worry about prices, comfort, and what happens when a battery expires in the middle of a trip. However, in Taiwan, electric vehicles have become a relatively common phenomenon. There are already eleven electric vehicle startups in the city alone.
Most buses are bilingual in Chinese and English; however, the bus system is not as standardized as the MRT. The bus system operated under the cooperation between 15 private agencies, so translation and Romanization are not always consistent. It is always recommended to keep a Chinese written version of your destination for comparison. In the Kaohsiung Metro Area, passengers are now required to swipe their e-ticket when boarding and alight the bus.
Tram, Train and Subway
In addition to the rapid transit system itself, the Kaohsiung Metro also includes several public facilities such as the Maokong Gondola, underground shopping malls, parks, and public squares. Modifications to existing railway lines to integrate them into the metro system are underway.
In 2017 a rapid transit line was opened to connect Kaohsiung with Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport and Taoyuan City. The new line is part of the new Taoyuan Metro system.
The city is an upcoming destination for producing quality textile products and is developing cutting-edge technology to tickle the fancy of the U.S and Western Europe markets. Taiwanese manufacturing companies are in the league of top innovators globally, offering textile products that reduce pollution, are made from recycled material, and are sustainable.
The production of environmentally friendly and innovative textiles increases in the city and sets new opportunities for this island nation.
Although night markets are traditionally a Chinese phenomenon, Kaohsiung's scene has grown to be considered one of the world's best. Kaohsiung's night markets initially began as informal vendor meetings, where merchants would get together and sell their wares. These groupings eventually turned into more formal food markets.
- Minzu Morning Local Market
- Feng Nong Market
- Dry Food Market
- Rueifong Market
There are numerous markets throughout Metropolitan Kaohsiung, including the famous night markets and traditional wet markets (for fish and fresh produce) and fish markets, flower, jade, craft, and antique markets.
- Zili Flea Market
- Tambakan Sa Khaosiung
- Neiwei Night Market
- Kaisyuan Flea Market
Second Hand Stores
These stores are some of the most common places for shopping for lower-income groups and budgeted travelers. These stores sell second-hand products that possess the potential for reuse. Small independent second-hand stores are popping up almost everywhere in the city. Some of the common include:
- Mollie Used Books Kaohsiung Shop
- Bbbobo Second-Hand Store
- Amix Reuse Shop
Armed with ground-breaking technology and valuable manufacturing knowhow, Kaohsiung is positioning themselves as sustainable fashion hubs of the future:
The government encourages its residents to recycle by only allowing garbage to be disposed of in blue bags. These bags must be purchased and increase in cost as the size increases. In Taiwan’s second-largest city, there are more than 4,000 pickup spots five nights a week, with mobile apps that let users track the trucks and alert them whenever a garbage truck is nearby. These trucks are followed by open-bed recycling trucks. People hurry out of their homes when they hear the music and toss their garbage into the trucks, based on general refuse, raw food waste, cooked food waste, and other categories, including plastic and paper.
Taiwan has become a global leader in recycling, with one of the world's highest recycling rates! The country manages to recycle more than 50% of its municipal waste. It is thereby only a little bit behind the world’s leading nation for recycling, Germany, and much in front of the United States.
Due to limited space and a dense population, there is little land for waste disposal. The policies based on reducing quantity, processing of resources, and pluralistic processing were adopted to solve this waste disposal problem. With the Trash Per-bag Fee Collection policy, the quantity of garbage was reduced by64.14%, and the resource-recycling rate increased to 64.42%. Recycling of kitchen waste is also promoted to reduce the quantity of garbage further.
Kaohsiung City processed an average of 2,163 metric tons of general waste and general industrial waste per day (not including dirt and culvert sludge). Kaohsiung currently has municipal waste incinerators in one sanitary landfill in Shanzhuku.
Work and Study Abroad
If you plan on taking up employment in Kaohsiung, then the matter of work permits typically needs to be taken care of even before you apply for a resident visa. Legally, no foreigner can start a job in Taiwan without a work permit. Which authority you have to turn to to get your work permit depends on the type of permit. While most expatriates have to contact the Ministry of Labor (MOL), those who want to start working in one of the country's many science parks will have to apply with the respective park administration.
Taiwan has an outstanding higher education system that provides opportunities for international students to study a wide variety of subjects. The diversity of universities' accredited programs and the focus on innovative research make Kaohsiung an appealing destination for international students. You can choose from over twenty universities and study your favorite discipline at any degree level. Kaohsiung is home to 24 universities and Academia Sinica, Taiwan's national academy that supports the Taiwan International Graduate Program.
Taiwan is a country with a booming economy, high salaries, and an increasing number of women getting involved in the workforce, meaning an increasing number of well-off families are looking to hire au pairs.
Working as an au pair in the city is an ideal experience for someone looking to live in a foreign country, adapt to a new culture and language, and form a close relationship with a host family that you will live with and work with. As an au pair, you will typically be responsible for full-time childcare, as well as other household tasks, such as tutoring, cooking, and cleaning.
The island nation of Taiwan, part of the Republic of China, has many great opportunities for foreign volunteers. Whether you’re interested in exploring Kaohsiung's second-largest city or volunteering in a rural area, there’s plenty of work for volunteers in Taiwan. With a diversity of landscapes and a mix of ancient and modern cultures throughout the country, there are many different types of available volunteer projects.