I hail from Taiwan, a small island off the southeast coast of China. It clocks in at a little smaller than 14,000 square miles, just a tad bigger than the wee state of Maryland. And it’s exactly because it is so small, my BF, the twinkiest of twinkies, made fun of me for not having visited Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s second city. He has personally only visited Taiwan twice and he has spent more time in Kaohsiung than me. So in order to stop him from making fun of me anymore, I took a trip down south during my winter break in Taiwan.
The first day, we took a 5 hour train ride down south. The High Speed Rail will get you down there in less than 2, but fare is significantly higher. As my friend Cynthia and I were familiarizing ourselves with the metro system in Kaohsiung, we came across this beautiful piece of public art at the Meilidao Station known as the Dome of Light. We lounged at the Cultural Center for a short while before we started exploring downtown Kaohsiung. After nightfall, we met up with another friend and we went to Rueifeng Night Market together. Rueifeng Night Market may not be the most famous, but it certainly provides the most creative and delectable street food. It was such a pity that Cynthia and I had already ate, but we still managed to try a few more drool-inducing dishes.
We spent all of our second morning at the National Science and Technology Museum. A majority of the exhibitions were interactive and designed mostly for children, but the three of us had a TON of fun in there. It was so much fun that I almost didn’t want to leave to meet up with our other friend at Xizhiwuan. But we took the metro to that station where we can catch a short ferry ride to an artificial island, Qijing, off the west coast of Kaohsiung. Qijing is famous for awesome seafood, hauled ashore by local fishermen.
We also made a pit stop at Wanbing （汍浜）, a new ice cream store opened by my friends’ cousins. It is right by the Xizhiwuan metro station. Totally family operated, their ice cream is freshly made, creamy, and flavorful. Flavors vary from dark chocolate to red wine to honeydew to handpicked Taiwanese tea. All ingredients are prepared the day of and mixed right before the store opens. If you are ever in Kaohsiung, this is a must taste!
The next day, we headed a little ways north to Lotus Pond to see the Dragon Tiger Tower. It was a pretty structure that offered images and motifs from Chinese folklore. We climbed up to the top of one of the towers and had a magnificent view of the pond. Sadly, the lotuses were not in bloom, but I reckon it would be an amazing sight during the summer.
Later that afternoon, we headed back downtown to walk along the Love River and the Love Pier. By dusk, we caught the high speed rail to head back to Taipei. But before I sign off, here are two more pictures to share.
Food in Taiwan is sooo yummy!! This wasn’t even a fancy meal, just a random chain store that we stopped at for lunch on the second day.
Apparently, this is how people in Kaohsiung park. And I thought Taipei was bad…
Photo credit: All photos taken by me with my Nikon D90 or HTC One X