March 24, 2019
Here is our sail in to this busy commercial port. They are building a huge new passenger terminal which will probably be finished by our next visit. Very smoggy here too as you can see.
Today we explored Kaohsiung mostly by foot. Last time we were here we saw the two main sights, the Fokuangshan
Buddhist monastery and Lotus Pond. If you plan to visit Taiwan, these are really special. You can read my 2017 blog post about them here.
So today we set out to explore the city and surroundings. We met with a local representative before leaving the ship and got information about transportation, sights to see, etc. We took the shuttle to the Formosa Boulevard MRT station which has unique public art displays. It was rated second of the most beautiful subway stops in the world. The glass masterpiece “Dome of Light” is the world’s largest glass masterpiece and features penetrating light through evolving scenes. There is even a grand piano in the lobby of this station. Pictures really cannot even do it justice.
And we see 7-Eleven everywhere.
Here is one of the outside MRT entrances.
Readers of this blog know that we love to explore markets. Today was no exception as we walked through the Nanhue night market which did have some of the stalls open. My first purchase: Two pairs of shoes, and what a bargain, in US dollars, they were $12.60/pair. Here is a photo of one of each.
There was a lot to see in the market, one of the cleanest we have ever been in. Yes, lots of motorbikes driving right through the narrow alleys, and some people but not the crowds we expected. Of course we were out and about by 8:30 AM and it is Sunday.
They do love their seafood here and we saw almost everything you could imagine. They grill squid on sticks everywhere. There are all kinds of clams, snails, fish, and shrimp, both fresh and dried.
There were all kinds of meats too, and chicken. Did you ever see a black chicken? It was a first for us.
We passed a woman making dumplings and bought a bag of them for a snack. It was $1.62 for 10 dumplings. Delicious.
Here are some other market scenes. The vegetables also looked fresh and delicious.
Yes, that is a heart hanging up in the picture above. We saw legs, livers, hearts and lungs all in the meat markets.
We saw a lot of animals on scooters, both while they were parked and also with people who were driving around with them.
There is a place near the ferry station called Warehouse 2 which had lots of food places and shops, even a craft brewery.
Next we decided to take the shuttle back to the Banana pier and take the ferry to Cijin (Qijin) District. This is where the city was first developed and shows traditional Taiwanese architecture and sculpture. It is a barrier island. The ferry cost 30 Taiwan dollars or about $1 US. When we bought the return fare, the ticket agent gave us the senior rate which was 15 Taiwan dollars! Don’t know why the first agent didn’t recognize our age.
We really enjoyed walking around the streets of this district. There were lots of food stalls and many families out for a Sunday morning/afternoon. Here are some of those sights. I couldn’t get enough of the little kids – adorable.
We climbed up a hill to see the Kaohsuing (Qihou) lighthouse which was built in 1918 and is still functioning. The views from here are beautiful but yes, smoggy.
More sights from our walk…
We took the ferry back and had lunch in a place with only a Chinese name so I can’t tell you what it was. But the food was great. They had plenty of Coke and very large Taiwanese beers.
Last, we went to the Pier 2 Art Center which is not far from the ferry pier. This is an open art space on the seaside that was once the second connecting pier of the harbor and was then wasted space. Now it houses a puppet museum, the Takao Railway Museum and a vintage train remade in a ratio of 1.84 that runs on a five inch wide track.
Lots of families and their children were here, and in an adjoining park. There were lots of kites and bubbles.
A great day. Here is our sail away with a nice view of the lighthouse up on the cliff. Yes, it was a steep walk up there.