Sunday, August 4, 2019

Getting around Kaohsiung

Place to Stay
Most of the tourism spots in Kaohsiung are located along the MRT lines. So we would recommend a place with easy access to MRT system. We stayed at Big Bear Hotel for 2 nights. The hotel is located at Liuhe Road, around 100 meters from Formosa Boulevard MRT Station- the interchange station for two MRT lines in Kaohsiung City. We can go around Kaohsiung City easily from that station. Kaohsiung Airport is around 30 minutes away from the hotel by MRT.

Big Bear Hotel is inside this building, together with a few other hotels. Eateries and convenient shops are available around the hotel area. Liuhe Night Market is located 50 meters away from the hotel.

The lift area at the ground floor of the hotel (upper left), which leads to the lobby of the hotel (upper right). The room is simple (lower right), provided with hot and cold drinking water, tv with internet channels, and hot water supply for bathroom. The internet connection however was not stable. The air condition was not cooling during the daytime as well. 

MRT system really helps us in planning our trips. Places that can be reached using MRT include Cijin District (Sizihwan Station, then use ferry), Pier 2 Art District (Sizihwan or Yanchengpu Station), Love River tourist sites (Aozihdi Station), Liuhe Night Market (Formosa Boulevard Station), Rueifong Night Market (Kaohsiung Arena), and many more. The guide map for the MRT is available at Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Website.

The MRT connects airport to whole Kaohsiung City as well as to other nearby cities. We took commuter train from Kaohsiung Central MRT Station to Tainan. The trip from Kaohsiung to Tainan took us around 40 minutes. 

MRT station was clean with clear signage (upper left). The train was quiet, with announcement made in English, Mandarin, and Taiwanese dialect (upper right). Tickets can be bought via counter or vendor machine (lower right). Intercity train ticket can be bought on site. We found some interesting signage at Kaohsiung Station. It is the interchange station for inter-city commuter.

We took ferry from Kaohsiung City to Cijin District. The ferry trip was very comfortable. By the way,  we had to pay the exact amount of fee (NTD 30 per person per trip) at the ferry point, as change was not possible for the ticketing machine.

Light Rail is convenient, operating on the ground, thus we can see all the beautiful scene of the city. During our visit, we could only pay the fee with coins at the station. Unlike MRT, the light rail was charged by the number of trip, not by the distance. We didn't use Light Rail service much.

Koahsiung International Airport is a modern airport (upper left). We could get tourism information easily there (upper right). As far as the signage indicated, the airport was guarded by patrol dogs (lower right). The MRT station is located at the lower level of the airport. However, we had to move out of the terminal building to reach the lift to the MRT station.

We didn't have the opportunity to visit any shopping mall in Kaohsiung City. We bought all our food, beverage, and local products at the night markets and the shops in vicinity, as well as at Cijin old town. Night markets in Kaohsiung start around 6:30 pm until midnight.

Local products of Kaohsiung, such as pineapple tart, dried fruits, dried meats, and many more are available at Liuhe Night Markets. Some of the local products are available at the convenient shops as well. We found some special dried seafood at Cijin old town.

Liuhe Night Market is well-organized and tourist-friendly. We had good shopping experience there.

We walked a lot in Kaohsiung City. The city is overall clean and safe for pedestrian, day and night. Drinking water can be bought from convenient shops easily. So umbrella is the one that we should bring all the time.

The people there are polite and tourist-friendly. We found the staff at the hotel, shops, and MRT were friendly and helpful. It was hard for us to bargain, but we could get some free items if we bought bulk.

More about our experience in Kaohsiung and Tainan:

More about our experience in Taipei: 

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