Travelogue | South Taiwan for SGD 800 - Kaohsiung

The last time I went Kaohsiung was like 6-7 years ago and then again, it is a 2 days 1 night kind of stay before we head back to Taipei by high speed rail. Our itinerary that time was Dream Mall (夢時代), 新堀江 (KRTC R9, Central Park Station, Exit 2), 爱河 (Love River) and the night market 六合夜市 (KRTC R10, Formosa Boulevard). No one to bring us around so we took rides on bus and train. I know it wasn't enough to cover the scenic places and it drives me to plan a trip just on the South the next round, especially when my parents went there after me and came back with beautiful photos. 

And wow... didn't expect that many years since then I finally execute this plan in 2017. All thanks to +Cathay Pacific Airways 國泰航空  airfare promotion and I got my tickets at $399 all-in per pax. Although is a night flight and I have to transit at Hong Kong International Airport, it doesn't matters to me because once I reach Kaohsiung in the morning, I'm all set for my tour in proper with Tour Taiwan Hong Lee. Call him 小李. He was recommended to me by my friend and I trusted her with no regrets. Reliable Taiwanese guy, a driver guide, whom we can talk anything under the sun. Contact him thru Facebook Messenger to discuss with him on your first or next trip to Taiwan. His vehicle is easily recognized with a Hello Kitty decal in front. For a 3 full days tour and airport-hotel transfer cost me about SGD 235 per pax.

R10 Eco Hotel is my stay in Kaohsiung. But sad to say that I have gotten myself a not so fantastic hotel. Got the room via and from the photos, it looks so chic and simple but actually it is just their corridors along the rooms. No wonder it is so cheap. The plus point of this hotel is we are just less than 5 mins walk to night market, like just diagonally across is 六合夜市 and the train station. So convenient. Basic stuff like bottled drinking water provided, shower gel and shampoo. However, downsides of this hotel is no toothbrushes provided. So please bring everything or go convenience store and buy. The rooms are not sound-proof. You can hear the sound of showering from bathroom in the next room and people walking, slamming the doors and etc. Narrow bathroom, no hook to hang our clothes, limited space to even open up our luggage. Suitable for backpackers in my opinion. I paid for 1 room at TWD 4400 for 4 nights. So it worked out to SGD 104 per pax or SGD 26 per night. Super budget and eco.

One thing that I like about is that you can pay for your stay directly at the hotel upon check-in and in their currency. Please check their terms and conditions. This is good because I won't be spending future money using credit card. Quite realistic. 

So basically the whole trip cost about $768 per pax including $30 (round up) for travel insurance which i bought from NTUC Income. For your reference, just in case you like my itinerary plan. Expenses not included. Depends on individuals' spending habits.

We started our tour straight upon arrival at Kaohsiung International Airport. The weather is just like Singapore. Superb HOT! Okay beforehand I come to know from somewhere that southern Taiwan is not as cold as the northern part (Taipei for example) but then I feel cheated by Yahoo! Weather. I'm not gonna trust you again and I'm gonna delete the app right away! Bringing all the wrong clothings. Luckily my husband has spare tees for me to wear.
  • 駁二藝術特區 Pier-2 Art Center
I watched travel program on cable tv and this was one of the many places that I wanna pay a visit on my trip to the Southern part. 

Once an abandoned and forgotten warehouse, now an artistic place where all artists gathered to showcase their artworks to the public with the support given to one another.

The one significant sculpture that stands by the roadside which is visible to anyone expresses silent labourers and fishwomen back in those days and because they bend their bodies while working without anyone noticing their faces so this explains why the sculptures are faceless. 

Not forgetting the Upside-Down House is here at the Art Center. An Instagram worthy photo with the house. Need to pay for the entry so dropped the idea. Not forgetting a selfie with a section of the train just in front of the house. This place is really big and traces of the railway tracks left behind after they stop operations. I started to realize that I have a thing for such trains. Stay on this post and you will know why.

To know more about 駁二藝術特區 Pier-2 Art Center, please refer to the link here and plan your trip there.
  • 打狗鐵道故事館 TAKAO Railway Museum
This is a small museum that contained lots of memories on Taiwan's railway history. They have those steam locomotives behind the museum where you can take a photo for memory. Common sight back in those industrialized days of Taiwan. But now, you see and travel on modernized trains with good air-conditioning and clean cabins. If you have been to Taiwan and board their railway trains before, that train captain figurine is a common sight. 

For more about Takao Railway Museum, link here.
  • 打狗英國領事館 The British Consulate at Takow
This place had gone through the war time with many stories behind. Wanna find out more, click the link below after this section. Also the hiking trail that will lead you up to a nice view of Kaohsiung. And you can have some tea at their cafe and buy some souvenirs back too. But in my opinion, if you are not interested in the history and just wanna see the view up at the hiking trail, try another place for the similar view. After this section too. Look on.

We actually had fun taking photos with the wax figures. All these figures in the Consulate has a story to tell about the olden days back then. Yes, we did read on the description and went 'Oh I see...' or keep nodding our head. Looking through the historical keeps that were showcased. 

Entrance Fee for Public: NTD 99

Find out more about The British Consulate at Takow here.

Just nearby The British Consulate at Takow, up the hills to get the aerial view of Kaohsiung City. Almost 360 degree view. Almost. And you get to visit 忠烈祠 Martyrs' Shrine too. Been to the one in Taipei many times and this time, in Kaohsiung.

Credit: Tour Taiwan Hong Lee

End the trip up with a photo up here and Kaohsiung Tuntex 85 Sky Tower far behind us. Been up at the sky tower in my previous trip and the entrance fee was cheap and really a good view of Kaohsiung port. But to compare with Taipei 101, the latter will be a better choice though too touristy and commercialized.
  • 旗津 Cijin District
This place is the second smallest district of Kaohsiung City and is accessible via ferries or drive through their tunnel that connects between the City and island. Settled our first meal in Kaohsiung here. Here is a place for food and nothing but food. *glutton mode on* Follow on. Braised noodles, BBQ squid, sausages, ice cream and many more.

A view of the beach.

Then is off to Qihou Market that is just opposite the beach. This market is the indoor type of market that sells dry stocks and situated at level one of the building. A hotel is also in the same building. As you step into the market, the smell just comes to you literally. Smell of dry seafood. and many more. This is also where I bought Sakura Shrimps back to Singapore. But one thing to note that the stalls are almost selling the same thing. So you will be seeing repeated stuff from the moment you enter till you exit.

  • 旗津星空隧道 Cijin Star Tunnel
This is a tunnel to beautiful view of the sea. I didn't do much research on Cijin and 小李 brought us there so it was a pleasant surprise on how beautiful this place is especially in the evening.

Credit: Tour Taiwan Hong Lee

Credit: Tour Taiwan Hong Lee

Credit: Tour Taiwan Hong Lee

Before ending our Day 1, we headed for dinner at 六合夜市. Time for some food spam.


Stinky Toufu
Mee Sua and Oyster Omelette
Beehoon Soup
Seafood Stall
Street Food
Pig/Duck Blood Spicy Soup

To be continued...