Sunday, August 4, 2019

Trip to Cijin District, Kaohsiung

Cijin or Qijin (旗津) , is an old town located on a small island at the other side of the coast of Kaohsiung City.  The town was founded more than 340 years ago. Unlike busy Kaohsiung City , Cijin is relatively peaceful and quiet. It can be easily accessed by public transport. The jetty to Cijin is located nearby Sizihwan (西子湾) MRT station. Taxi was available at the MRT station, but we preferred to travel by foot, which took us around 10 minutes. 

Most of the interesting places are located at the western coast of Cijin- between the Cihou Fort at the north to the Cijin Windmill Park at the south. Our advice- go early, as the island town may get hot in the afternoon. Get an electric bicycle will really save a lot of time and energy. Get a tourist map from them, stick to the plan, and ride safely. Electric bicycle can be rented nearby the jetty. Comfortable footwear, umbrella, and sufficient drinking water are important for an enjoyable trip there. A good thing about Cijin- the entrance to the tourist attractions are free.

We reached Cijin at around 9:30 am and spent a whole morning at Cijin. We returned to Kaohsiung City at around 2 pm. We took our lunch at a restaurant nearby Sizihwan MRT Station. 

Gushan Ferry Pier is around 700 meters away from Sizihwan MRT Station (upper left). There are designated lane for tourists and locals (upper right). We can always ask for help if we are not sure which lane to follow. The waiting time is around 10 - 15 minutes, and it takes 15 minutes to travel from Gushan to Cijin (lower right). We enjoyed nice view of Cijin and Kaohsiung from the ferry. The fare for ferry was NTD30 per person per trip. By the way, we need to prepare exact amount of fare, as change is not possible at the payment machine.

There are several shops where we can rent electric bikes. They are located right opposite of Cijin ferry pier (upper left). We can rent a bike for two or bike for four (upper right). The bike path is wide (lower right). The overhead cover helps to deter some stinging sunlight as well. In order to rent a bike, we need to bring along an identification document (passport, identification card, or license). We got a special rate of NTD800 for 2 bikes- one for two, and one for four. 

We could see visitors walk slowly along the bike path under the hot sun. We felt lucky to be on the bike. Most of the signage along the bike path were written in Chinese only. Anyway, it won't be an issue if we follow the map and ride along the bike path.

Cihou Fort is located at the northern tip of Cijin Island.  If we are moving around with electric bike, then we need to park the bike on the foot of the hill (upper left). We need to walk 5 minutes uphill to reach the entrance of the fort (upper right). Consumed by time, the fort has nothing left but the concrete structure (lower right). There is a path leading to Cihou Lighthouse beside the fort. We didn't visit the lighthouse due to the hot weather.

Cihou Fort was built in 1875 to secure the entrance to the port. The cannons were located on the upper level of the fort with the ammunition rooms and barracks built right under them. The fort was abandoned during the Japanese occupation. The fort was restored in 1991 and opened to public in 1995. To our surprise, the fort was designed by a British engineer. No wonder it looks similar to Fort Cornwallis in Penang

Cijin old town and Kaohsiung City can be seen from Cihou Fort. 

Cijin Tunnel (旗津隧道), or Star Tunnel (星空隧道) was built to serve military purposes. The tunnel was restored and opened to public in 1995. The tunnel was built right underneath Cihou Fort, leading to another side of the hill. 

The entrance to the tunnel (upper left), leading to the old jetty on the other side of the tunnel (upper right). We can see old bunkers beside the tunnel (lower right). There is a monument built to commemorate Dr. James Laidlaw Maxwell beside the tunnel. Dr. James was a medical doctor and missionary. He contributed to the local community in many ways, including the building of the first modern western hospital in Tainan (also the first in Taiwan).

Nice view on the other side of the tunnel.

The beach was empty, due to the super hot weather.

Rainbow Church is not more than a place for us to take a few photos. 

We were lucky that not many people were there during our visit.

There is a giant seashell beside the cycling path- another place for taking photo. The last two tourist spots- War and Peace Memorial and Cijin Windmill, are quite far away from the giant seashell.

War and Peace Memorial commemorates the people who fought and died in World War 2.

Finally, Cijin Windmill Park. Several windmills are built around the park. There were not much things to see there. We roamed around the park for around 10 minutes, and then took a long way back to Miaoqian Road (seafood street), and returned our electric bicycles on time.

The old town of Cijin spans a few streets away along Miaoqian Road. The whole place was quiet during our visit. We stopped at two places to have some food at Miaoqian Road- chirougeng (赤肉羹) and DaOnegong (大碗公).

Chirougeng, is a special dish with fried pork serves in think soup. It is available at the seafood street (upper left). A small portion of dish was sold with NTD100. DaOnegong is located along the same street (lower right), serving nice cold and hot dessert. The street was quiet during lunch time due to the low season.

Ki-au Presbyterian Church is located at the western end of the seafood street.

Cijin is definitely a must-visit place in Kaohsiung. It provides a different atmosphere- relaxing and calm beside the busy cosmopolitan. It will be great if the historical sites at Cijin can be better highlighted and brought to the attention of tourists. By the way, we bought some very special dried seafood at seafood street.

We would like to share our experience at the Night Market in Kaohsiung. Stay with us.

More about our experience in Kaohsiung and Tainan:

More about our experience in Taipei: 

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