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Filed under: — adrian @ 6:52 am

The weekend in Kaohsiung was good.


High Speed Rail from Taipei to Zouying (outside Kaohsiung). It’s fast and smooth. I’m a fan. There was a mix up with the hotel about the shuttle and I ended up waiting at the station for 45 minutes and then taking a taxi. The hotel paid for it (their mix up).


Breakfast. I’m not sure if I’d ever get used to traditional chinese breakfast. I had some toast. Then I walked to the ferry pier to Chijin island. The walk isn’t far but it crosses a bridge that doesn’t have a sidewalk. It wasn’t too busy and I’m alive.

Chijin’s a small community in a big city. Small houses, lots of bikes[1]. I like it. The temple near the ferry terminal is small but one of the nicest I’ve seen. Built in 1666 or something. Lots of nice detail. I sat outside and read for a while.

I walked up to the fort and lighthouse on the hill. Nice views obscured a bit by smog. On the main drag there are seafood stalls with the stuff still alive or freshly caught and on ice. I had soem fantastic mussels and shrimp. The mussels were among the best I’ve had–done in a similar style to 3 cup chicken [2].

I took the ferry back to the main island (Taiwan Island, that is) and walked back over the scary bridge to the hotel and took a break. After that I walked to the Tuntex Skytower and went to the observation deck. It’s an interesting building that’s like a stick figure person with no arms or head; there’s a gap at the bottom, basically. Between the Skytower and Taipei 101, I’m thinking that the Taiwanese do skyscrapers pretty well–they’re attractive.

From there I took a taxi across town to the Liouho Street Night Market. It’s bustling and big and fun. I got some weird and great food and did some people watching. I’ll post a separate photo essay on this.

The taxis from Skytower to Liouho and from Liouho back to the hotel were about $4 each. Why had I been walking so much?


Struggled through breakfast again.

I went to mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Taiwan. Really beautiful. Mass is given in English by an Italian priest. I was wondering if the place would be half full. Catholics and English speakers aren’t exactly numerous around here, but it was packed. The answer: Filipinos, who often come to work as domestic workers, are very Catholic and often, I would guess, speak English better than Chinese.

Another thing that’s nicer about mass rather than just a walk around in beautiful old churches is the time to sit and absorb it. Holy Rosary is really nice. I went to mass in the Koelner Dom back in 2002. It was nice to sit there.

From there, I walked around, getting some papaya milk at the Kaohsiung Milk King and then sitting by Love River and reading for a bit.

A quick tour of Yancheng’s temples, lunch at the City of Steamed Glutinous Rice, and then I went back the hotel. They took me back to the train station.

I had dreams of the most efficient tourism route ever for this trip. I was doing pretty well. Lotus Lake, in Zouying is close to nothing…except the high speed rail station, so I’ll just go early, drop my bag in a locker and then walk around the lake, I thought. Brilliant plan, except for the fact that the HRS station doesn’t have lockers. The two things a train station should have–take note if you’re planning on building one–are trains and luggage lockers. So I ended up walking around the lake for a few hours with my fairly heavy bag. My knees are not happy.

The trip back was as smooth as the way there and the MRT connections once I got back to Taipei were fast, so I was back in my room ~22 minutes after I got off the train.

[1] There were a whole lot of bikes–I might have seen dozens–set up with bullhorn barns and a single gear. I’m a big fan of this style and I was happy to see so many of them in Kaohsiung.

[2] The best chicken you’ll ever taste, as made by Joy Restaurant in San Mateo. I’m now determined to make my own 3 cup chicken/ mussels.

2 Responses to “kaohsiung”

  1. Colin Says:

    What bridge? I don’t see any bridge.

  2. adrian Says:

    This one dead center, going over the railroad tracks. As I said, it was crossing a bridge to get to the ferry pier. No bridges (only tunnels) cross the harbor to get to Chijin.

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