Visit Taiwan Kaohsiung 台灣高雄 @ Where to Go and What to Eat?

Hello everyone!
I'm back to continue my travel blog about my trip to Kaohsiung.
I last updated my travel post in Sept, thanks for staying with me. :)
So, some of you have asked why I choose Kaohsiung for this trip.
Well, one of the main reasons for my choice was to experience life in a smaller city and find relaxation, as big cities tend to feel somewhat stressful to me.
Additionally, I also found out that Kaohsiung is conveniently close to Tainan, just less than one-hour ride on a high-speed train, this allowed me to explore two places in one trip, which sounded like a great idea. #hehe
Besides, Kaohsiung is also Taiwan's second largest city, boasts a rich history as a port city, influenced by various foreign cultures such as the Dutch, Japanese and Chinese, which have a lasting impact on its culture and development over the years.
So I thought it would be great place to explore more about Taiwan.
In my previous blog post, I shared information about our accommodation in Kaohsiung, you are feel free to read my full review about the Greet Inn at HERE, where I included special pomo code that valid till Dec 2023. 
And today, I'd like to talk about the places we visited, and the delicious local food we enjoyed during our trip.
I hope you'll enjoy reading about our adventures in Kaohsiung!

Where to Visit in Kaohsiung

We arrived in Kaohsiung late in the afternoon on the first day, so we didn't do any sight seeing.
Instead, we relaxed in our hotel room as the Greet Inn we stayed was super comfortable, and then later to the night market to hunt for some local delicious food.
We woke up early the next day and headed to the first attraction on our itinerary, Cijin Island 旗津島.
Cijin Island is one of the must-visit places when you're in Kaohsiung.
It's prefect place to explore, eat and swim, especially when the weather is good as this dreamy little paradise offers an abundance of  fresh seafood, sandy beaches, and numerous tourists spots.

To reach Cijin Island, we have to go to Gushan Ferry Pier Station 鼓山輪渡站.
From there, we took a ferry that costs TWD30 per person across the water to the island.

The boat ride was short, about 5 to 10 minutes, but enjoyable, offering a nice view of the island. 

The weather was pretty bad that day.
It rained a lot, and we ended up getting soaked for the entire day.
Not sure if it was because of the bad weather, but there were fewer crowds when we visited in the morning.

As we wanted to save time and energy on walking, we rented an electric rickshaws to explore the island.
It cost about TWD500 for the electric rickshaws, and we were lucky to get one with a roof, because it started pouring shortly after we got the bike. :)

We ride the bike along the beaches and explore the tourist spots that the island offers.
Our first stop was the Rainbow Churc旗津彩虹教堂, a colourful outdoor art installation that's popular among people who love bright colours and for Instagrammers looking for great photos. :)
Despite its name, it has no religious connection.  

A little further from the Rainbow Church, we reached the most famous spots at Cijin Island, Sea Shell Museu旗津貝殼博物館.
We didn't visit the museum, but only took some pictures in front of the big conch shell.

I was quite shocked to see this giant seashell right in front of me.

Before we returned the bike, we visited the Cihou Straight Tunnel 旗津星空隧道
The tunnel isn't very long, taking less than 5 minutes to walk through.
When you exit the tunnel, you will see a breathtaking views of vast boulders and powerful waves right in front of you. 

After having our lunch, we headed to another part of Cijin Island, where there are many more places to explore, such as Cihou Port and Kaohsiung Lighthouse. 
Unfortunately, the weather was very bad during our visit, and it was pouring heavily while we walked to the top where the lighthouse was located.
What a rainy day in Cijin Island!

The walk to the hill where the lighthouse is situated is quite long, involving both uphill and downhill sections, as well as staircases. 
But the view from up there is incredible scenic, where you can overlook the port and the surrounding area. 

I found some comments on XHS where people said Cijin Island looks a lot like Jeju Island in South Korea, and I have to agree.
The island is very relaxing, just like Jeju, a peaceful place to take it easy and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

There's a minimalist cafe called Shoreline Coffee & Roaster located on the hills right next to the lighthouse.
However, we couldn't sit there during our visit because it was pouring heavily, and the cafe only offered outdoor seating.

Lucky that I managed to take a picture with the Kaohsiung Cijin Lighthouse 旗津燈塔.
总算到此一游 :)

I hope that on my next visit to Cijin Island, if I have the chance to return to Kaohsiung, I'll be welcomed by good weather. :)

While on the way to the hotel, we passed by one of the station, the Formosa Boulevard Sation 美麗島 to see the Dome of Light 光之穹頂.
I read on Google said that the Dome of Light is crafted by the Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata, which comprises over 4,500 colourful glass panels spanning an impressive 660 square meters. 
This masterpiece depicts the journey of life and required more than 4 years to complete.

It's one of the most beautiful metro stations I've ever seen in all the countries I've visited.

Kaohsiung Light Rail 高雄輕軌 is well-liked in Kaohsiung, especially the one located at Museum of Fine Arts Station 美术馆站.
This is because the tunnel is beautifully lined with Madagascar almond trees on both sides of the track, earning it the nickname "Totoro Tunnel" due to its resemblance to the beloved Japanese animation movie.

Taking the light rail to meet Totoro. :)

Say Hello to my girl friend, Venny :)
Anyway, the seats in the light rail are comfy, and the air conditioning inside is great, especially when it's so hot outside. #hehe

I feel very lucky that we did not skip this place on our itinerary because experiencing the light rail was a unique and enjoyable experience since we do not have something similar in Malaysia.
Also, the whole riding experience is like stepping into a magical world where nature and transportation coexist in perfect harmony.

On our last day in Kaohsiung, we were lucky to have good weather without any rain.
It was indeed a perfect day for outdoor activities with the bright and shining sun!
Our destination was Chaishan Secret Beach 柴山祕境海灘 as we wanted to go cafe hopping at the White Lover Cafe 白色戀人文創咖啡館.
We took a taxi from the city up to the hill, which cost us about RM60.
We think it was completely worth it the distance was quite far, and traveling by bus while walking in the hot weather wouldn't have been easy.

The biggest selling point of this cafe is the large white windowsill and the the breathtaking, boundless sea view right in front of you.
It somehow gives you a feeling of being in a cafe by the Greek seaside.
However, it's a bit of shame that the windows cannot be fully opened.

The sea view is truly beautiful.
It's so relaxing to sit there, enjoy the view, listen to the waves, and feel the breeze.

I personally think that this is one of the places worth visiting in Kaohsiung.
We met the owners there, and they were very friendly and nice.
They even offered us a bike ride back to the city. :)
They told us that the view at Chaishan Secret Beach would be even more breathtaking at the end of the month, which is in December.
During that time, you can witness the sunset, and the scenery will even more beautiful than in the summer.
Moreover, the weather will be much cooler than it is now.
This prob adds another reason for me to consider visiting Kaohsiung again. #hehe

Last but not least, no trip to Taiwan is complete without a visit to night market.
In Taipei, you have the famous Shilin Night Market, and in Kaohsiung, there's Liu He Marker to explore.
We visited Liu He market twice during our trip because it was conveniently close to where we stay.
On our first visit, heavy rain had deterred many stalls from opening, so we decided to return on our last day to enjoy more food and drtinks.
Night markets in Taiwan is famous for their wide variety of street foods, and Liu He Market was no exception.
We had the pleasure of indulging in an array of delicious street foods during our visit. :)

What to eat in Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung offers a wide variety of delicious food, where we couldn't stop eating from the moment we arrived.
Besides, we also find the the food expenses in Kaohsiung are much affordable. 
During our  time in the city, we tried all kinds of delicious dishes, from mouthwatering street food at bustling night markets to delightful meals at local eateries, each meals left us with wonderful food memories from Kaohsiung. 

When you're on Cijin Island, you have to try 不一樣赤肉羹.
It's one of Kaohsiung's famous dishes, and it's a must-try.

The shop mainly sells 赤肉羹, deep-frying lean meat, which can be served with noodles, mee hun or white rice.
There are also other options such as minced meat rice on their menu.

We ordered their main dish , a small potion deep-frying lean meat at only TWD50.
The fried meat is firm in texture, and the thin coating on the outside turns translucent, giving it a crispy and fragrant taste when you bite on it. 

Then we also ordered one with white rice and mee hun. 
It cost only TWD50 for a bowl filled with plenty of deep-frying lean meat with cabbages.
The soup is lightly thickened with starch, not very thick, but it has a very delicious fish flavour.
For my personal taste buds, I like to add vinegar to enhance the overall taste of the soup.

Add: No 56, Miaoqian Road, Qijin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 805
Tel: +886 7571 5543
Opening hours: Mon - Thurs, 10am - 7pm & Fri to Sun, 10am - 8pm

I found a shop located just opposite 不一樣赤肉羹 selling various types of almond tea.
As a fan of almonds, I always love the almond tea in Taiwan because it consistently has a very rich almond flavour. :)

Taiwan is famous for its delicious steamboat.
I remember a few years ago when I visited Taipei, I thoroughly enjoyed their steamboat.
So, during my visit to Kaohsiung, I couldn't resist trying the local authentic steamboat.
Our hotel, the Greet Inn recommended 名家汕頭沙茶火鍋 Ming Jia Shantou Satay Hot Pot, as they said it's one of the local favourite.
This hot pot restaurant is famous with their handmade dumplings, excellent clear and sweet fish soup base, and also the rich aroma of satay sauce. 
Without much hesitation, we decided to give it a try on our second night in the city.

It was incredibly crowded during our visit, especially at dinner time.
But, we were lucky to secure a table without any wait, as we noticed that most people who came here had reserved their tables in advance.

I believe this hot pot place must be well-established, as I noticed a wall covered with autographs and photos of celebrities who have dined here. 
还没吃就感觉很好吃. :)

Here, they charge for the hot pot base, which comes with a plate of vegetables and a choice of beef, pork and lamb.
The vegetable plate includes ingredients like cabbage, tofu, corn, crab stick, taro, pork blood cake, and more. 
Since there were only two of us dining, we choose the small pot, which costs TWD290.
Personally, I find the price quite reasonable, as the soup base includes the vegetables, eliminating the need to order them separately.

In addition, we also ordered some side dishes, especially their homemade dumplings.
The must-try item is the taro balls 芋头丸 which happen to be my favourite due to their excellent texture and delightful fragrance.
I could taste chunks of taro in the taro balls, making it truly amazing!
We also ordered their handmade fish dumplings 手工鱼冊and手工鱼饺.
Apart from their freshness, the fish paste skin is super soft and springy in texture. 

It was such a good steamboat experience during our trip.
Even now, I still miss the texture of those handmade taro balls. #hehe
The soup was also very clear and naturally sweet, without the need for any additional flavourings. 
I highly recommend this hot pot restaurant to fellow steamboat lovers if you ever find yourself in Kaohsiung.  

Add: No. 4, Bohai St, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800 高雄市新興區渤海街4號
Tel: +88672267230
Opening hours: Daily 5pm - 1am, closed on every Tuesday.

If you are looking for an authentic Taiwanese breakfast, you can give Xing Long Ju Traditional Taiwanese Breakfast 興隆居传统早点美食 a try.
We heard it is one of the oldest, classic traditional breakfast spots in Kaohsiung.
We are glad to stay near this breakfast spot, conveniently situated just across from our hotel and a short 5-minute walk away.

When we arrived at 9am in the morning, there was a significantly long queue.
The large crowd made us so challenging to decide what to order. #lol
Eventually, we grabbed some soup buns 汤包, soybean milk 豆浆, clay oven rolls with egg and fried bread stick 燒餅+蛋+油條, and also fried radish cake 炸萝卜糕 and original egg crepe 蛋饼.

Soybean milk is a key part of traditional breakfast in Taiwan, and I appreciate the slight toasted flavour in Xing Long Ju's soybean milk, which enhance its overall taste.
My personal favourite, though, is their clay oven roll with egg and fried bread stick; the dough's delightful scent pairs perfectly with the crispy egg and bread stick, creating a fantastic combination. 
On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of their soup buns, even though they are the restaurant's best sellers, I find the bun skin to be a bit too thick for my liking. 
Regardless, this is good place to experience a wide variety of authentic Taiwanese breakfast options. 

Add: No. 186, Liuhe 2nd Rd., QianJin DistKaohsiung, Taiwan 台湾省高雄市前金区六合二路186号
Tel: +88672616787
Opening hours: Daily 430 am - 1130am (closed on every Mon and Tues)

We stumbled upon 大圓環雞肉飯 Da Yuan Huan Chicken Rice while existing line 1 at the Formosa Boulevard Sation 美麗島站.
It was lunch time, and there was a massive crowd, mainly locals.
Seeing so many locals gathered there, we thought it must be a great place for authentic local food.
Though we were still so full after the heavy breakfast at Xin Long Ju, we couldn't resist and decided to give it a try without much hesitation. :)

We ordered one braised pork rice 肉燥飯 to share.
The rice appeared to have a richer flavour based on its colour, so I initially thought it might be a bit salty.
But once I taken my first bite, I was pleasantly surprised it was well-balanced and had a slight sweetness.
There was plenty of sauce to enjoy, making it an excellent pairing with plain white rice!

There are 4 different soups on their menu: bitter gourd pork ribs soup 苦瓜排骨, spare ribs soup 排骨酥湯, clam and chicken soup 蛤仔雞湯, and also mushroom chicken soup 香菇鸡湯.
We ordered the bitter gourd pork ribs soup and the mushroom chicken soup. My favourite is the bitter gourd pork ribs, as it's a perfect complement after you enjoying the heavier flavour of braised pork rice.
The refreshing and naturally sweet taste of the bitter gourd is undoubtedly, and its soft yet not mushy texture is excellent.
The mushroom chicken soup also has a light, natural taste, but I believe the big chicken drumstick in the soup has win that all! :)

We returned to the same place on our last day in Kaohsiung because we wanted to try their chicken pork rice 雞肉飯, and we also wanted to had their braised pork rice one more time before heading back to Malaysia.
I'm not a big fan of chicken rice, but I saw many people choosing it over the braised pork rice during our first visit, so I thought we should give it a try.
When I tasted the chicken on their own, they seemed a bit dry; however, once mixed with the braised pork sauce drizzled on top, it added the missing moist texture and enhanced the savory and slightly sweet flavours to the chicken.
Surprisingly, I found this bowl even more delicious than the plain braised pork rice after all.

Add: No.: 1-1, Zhongshanheng Rd, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800 高雄市新興區中山橫路1-1號
Tel: +886 7285 9805
Opening hours: Daily 1130am - 4pm

We were introduced to this pastry shop 不二緻果(高雄不二家) by the hotel receptionist.
This shop has a long history and renowned for its all kinds of yam pastries.
If you are yam lover, I highly recommend that you must make a visit and try their yam pastries.
The unique and delicious flavours of their yam treats are truly worth experiencing. 

The shop most famous yam pastry is undoubtedly the yam cake, but during my visit, I only had the opportunity to try their yam puff.
This was because my girl friend isn't a fan of yam, and I knew I couldn't finish an entire cake by myself.
Additionally, we were heading from Kaohsiung to Tainan on that day, where we wouldn't have access to a fridge to store the cake.
So, I just bought one Crispy Taro Puff 芋頭炸彈 and tried it right in front of the shop.
When I bit into it, I was immediately struck by how filling it was.
The yam flavour was so rich, I could genuinely savour the delicious taste of the yam

The price for this taro puff is not cheap, cost me around TWD300 for a single puff.
However, in my opinion, the quality justifies the cost.
I believe that what you pay is completely worth it because the taste and quality of the taro puff are exceptional!
I really hope that I would have the chance to their signature yam cake if I have the chance to go back Kaohsiung one day!

Add: No: 31, Zhongzheng 4th Rd, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800 
Tel: +886 7231 9666
Opening hours: Daily 9am - 9pm

We found that Dan-Dan Hamburger 丹丹漢堡 is only available in Kaohsiung city. 
I told Venny that I absolutely had to try it before leaving the city because I wasn't sure if I will come back to Kaohsiung in the future. 
There are a few outlets of Dan-Dan Hambuger in Kaohsiung.
If you stay at the Greet Inn, there is one located opposite the hotel, and the one we visited was situated in Xiziwan.

Perhaps my expectations were too high, as the burger's taste didn't quite meet my palate, the burger was a bit salty and the chicken wasn't very crispy enough.
Nevertheless, I still think it's worth giving it a try as this is a local specialty unique to Kaohsiung, and ,maybe your taste buds might diff from mine. 

Dan-Dan Hamburger 丹丹漢堡 (Xiziwan)
Add: No.24, Linhai 2nd Rd, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804 高雄市鼓山區臨海二路24號
Tel:  +886 7533 0573
Opening hours: Daily 7am - 9pm, closed on every Thursday

On our last day in Kaohsiung, right before flying back to Malaysia, we stumbled upon Gang Yuan Beef Noodle Restaurant 港园牛肉面.
The restaurant was bustling with locals during lunch hours, including working adults and students.
When you're traveling to other countries and you see many locals dining at a restaurant, you tend to assume that it must be excellent. :)

There aren't many choices on the menu, mainly beef noodles and pork noodles.
However, the beef noodle dish here truly exceeded my expectations.
The beef tendon is both firm and tender, offering a very good texture.
The noodles are generously garnished with scallions, and whether you're eating the noodles or sipping the soup, you can distinctly taste the fragrance of scallions.
The noodles used here are the same white noodles like the other beef noodles I had before, yet the noodles texture are super chewy.
The broth is also refreshingly delightful till I can finish finished the entire bowl by myself..
A bowl like this costs TWD120, and honestly the portion and the quality make it well worth the price!
喜欢牛肉面的你, 这家一定要冲啊! :)

Gang Yuan Beef Noodle Restaurant 港園牛肉麵
Add: No.55, Dacheng St, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 803 高雄市鹽埕區大成街55號
Tel: 886  0573-561-3842
Opening hours: Daily 1030am - 8pm

We left out some of the places, like  The Pier2 Art Center, KW2, RuiFeng Night Market, Harbour Cruise Sunset view, but I think we've covered most of the important places in Kaohsiung.
So, I suppose that wraps up my sharing of Kaohsiung.
I hope you enjoyed reading my write up, and that you found valuable information in this post, especially for your food hunting. :)
I will be sharing about one day trip in Tainan soon in my next post, so stay tuned guys! :)

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