Kaohsiung is on the southwestern coast of Taiwan and is a bustling city full of scooters (mopeds) and street food. When we there it was a public holiday so there were people everywhere.
First, we boarded the coach and it was the prettiest coach I had ever seen, it had little pink curtains with tassels and cup holders with bottled water and air conditioning. I have been on some coaches recently that has not been the best in coach standards!
We were on the coach for about five minutes then we went on a public ferry to Chijin Island which was a short ride of a few minutes, we spent longer in line for the ticket!
The ferry takes tourists and locals to the island. The ferry was for foot passengers and scooter passengers. It was amazing how many scooters they crammed onto the ferry, as it was not very big! The main form of transport in Kaohsiung is by scooter, there were cars but not many.
Chijin Island is the city’s oldest district and was occupied by the Dutch in the 17th century, it is small but full of street food vendors (mainly seafood), cute shops and home to the oldest temple in Kaohsiung, the Tienhou Temple. The temple was first built in 1673, then in the 18th century the temple was rebuilt in stone and then in 1926, it was rebuilt again.
The temple outside had lanterns hanging and it was very decorative with the tradition dragons on the pillars and roof. Inside the temple, it was quite dark with lots of exotic flowers and they had incense burning.
We then walked down ‘Old Street’. The street had lots of street food stalls, mainly seafood, we saw calamari on sticks, snails, fish, other food that I have no idea what it was! Rickshaws were going up and down the street. We passed the Taiwan Church that was built by the British in very recently, it was a modern western style church. The street finish at the beach, this was under construction, so it didn’t look great! But I’m sure it will look much better when they finish!
Then it was back on the ferry, again more time in a line than onboard! Then back on our fancy coach and off to the Lotus Lake. The Lotus Lake is a beautiful area set on a lake, with the Spring and Autumn Pavilions and the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas in front of them and the Chih Tzi Temple opposite the lake. The site was built in 1951 and is famous for the lotus plants in the lake.
This site was very colourful and it is believed that the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas bring fortune by entering the dragon’s throat and coming out of the tiger’s mouth symbolises turning bad luck into good fortune. You walk over a bridge to get to the entrance of the dragon which is a nine bend bridge and the pavilions are seven floors high.
The temple was a rainbow of colours and the design was very detailed inside and out! Inside there was a lot of gold and red and outside mainly blue and green. The ceiling was inside was incredible.
The end of our tour brought us to the Kaohsiung National Stadium that was built for the 2009 Olympic World Games. The roof has solar panels on the roof and the stadium is completely powered by them. The site is not used very much now, only 50 events are held there a year. It was strange walking around as it is a huge modern stadium with nothing and no one there, such a waste!
I am currently in Hong Kong and cannot wait to tell you all about it as I have had two days to explore!
Love Lucy x
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