21 Things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan
These are my carefully selected 21 best things to do in Kaohsiung, the most underrated city in Asia. I included gems like Cijin Boulevard, Old Taiwan Restaurant, 85 Sky Tower, the ICE BOWL, chocolate chicken at Ruifeng Night Market and the Brickyard for the best nightlife experience in Kaohsiung.
I had no expectations before driving down to Kaohsiung. This massive city on the southern tip of Taiwan is a tropical paradise with tons of fun things to do, delicious foods to eat and mingle with its friendly locals. After you watch my video I guarantee you will put Kaohsiung on your bucket list.
1. Dragon & Tiger Pagodas
Most iconic pagodas of Taiwan located at the Lotus Pond with a zigzag pathway to block evil.
2. Wakey Wakey Cafe
Chill laid-back cafe for western style food, cocktails and a wake boarding facility!
3. Dandan Hamburger
Famous southern Taiwanese breakfast, try the delicious Dandan burger and soup combo.
4. Ice Bowl
Indulged yourself into a gigantic shaved ice dessert with a buck-load of local fresh fruit and syrup.
5. Oh! Cafe
Awarded world's best coffee roasters of 2014, a great place to grab a coffee before you hit the Cijin island ferry.
6. Electric Buggy Rental
Rent an electric buggy on Cijin island, these buggies get you around the island fast!
7. Cijin Old Street
Checkout the local Mazu temple, Kaohsiung's fun photography shop and the local street foods.
8. Cijin Boulevard
Cruise along the gorgeous boulevard on Cijin island and stop by the rainbow church and large sea shell.
9. Windmill Station Restaurant
Considered the best seafood restaurant in Kaohsiung located on Cijin island. Try the chirashi bowl.
10. Cihou Fort
Built in 1720 when Taiwan was ruled by the Qing Empire of China. A great spot to view the skyline of Kaohsiung.
11. 85 Sky Tower
Most iconic landmark of Kaohsiung, 85 Sky Tower is a epic hotel with an observatory deck on the 75th floor.
12. Old Taiwan Restaurant
Uniquely 1950's themed Taiwanese restaurant, it feels like you were transported back in time with delicious home-made dishes.
13. Kaohsiung Bubble Tea
No trip to Taiwan is complete without trying the incredible local bubble tea.
14. Ruifeng Night Market
Most popular tourist night market of Kaohsiung with delicious foods like Gua Bao, chicken stuffed with sticky rice and street games.
15. Chocolate Chicken
Do not miss the bizarre chocolate chicken at the Ruifeng Night Market, deep fried chicken with chocolate!
16. Dome of Light
World's largest work of glass art at Formosa Subway station in Kaohsiung and includes 4500 glass panels.
17. Liuhe Night Market
3-minute walk from Formosa station is Liuhe Night Market, a long pedestrian street with a huge selection of street food and street games.
18. Black Dog Bar
Relax at this fun bar known for its many expats and English speaking locals. Expect live music!
19. Lamp Disco
A fun nightclub with EDM, a young Taiwanese crowd and all-you-can-drink parties. Do not lose your cup!
My favorite bar in Kaohsiung for its underground atmosphere, dance off parties, Foosball, pool tables and an international crowd.
21. Muse Kaohsiung
Ultimate nightclub experience in Kaohsiung where primary the locals go, not much English is spoken here but does have beer pong, EDM and a fun atmosphere.
Kaohsiung is best known for the Dragon & Tiger pagodas located at the Lotus pond north of downtown, the most facinating thing is the zigzag pathway which is meant to deflect evil. Do make sure to enter through the dragon's mouth first and exit through the tiger's mouth to obtain good fortune. Afterwards, treat yourself to a massive shaved ice dessert at the Ice Bowl located at Binhua 1st Road.
Kick off the next day with a typical southern Taiwanese breakfast at Dandan Hamburger, famous for it delicious soup burger combo. I stayed at the massive 85 Sky Tower hotel on the 61st floor with mesmerizing views of Kaohsiung.
Cijin Island is located in front of Kaohsiung harbor, the largest harbor of Taiwan at which you can rent an electric buggy and cruise along its beautiful boulevard while making selfie stops at the Rainbow Church, giant sea shell and end your adventure with a lunch at the Windmill Station Sushi Restaurant.
At the Windmill Station Restaurant make sure to order the gigantic chirashi bowl of assorted fish with high-grade uni, unagi and tuna. Make sure to top it off with Kaohsiung waffles! On the way back to the Cijin Ferry, make stops at the Cijin dried fish market, Cihou fort for the best skyline view of Kaohsiung and Mazu shrine.
During the evening take the subway to Formosa Boulevard Station to admire world's largest glass art installation consisting of 4500 glass panels.
For night markets check out Ruifeng Night Market located just north of downtown Kaohsiung where you must try the Gua Bao with juicy pork belly, chicken on a stick stuffed with sticky rice and bizarre chocolate chicken for the ultimate night market experience.
To really venture out, go to OLD TAIWAN restaurant which is a themed 1950's Taiwanese restaurant with incredibly local dishes. The dishes truly tasted like they were cooked with love by grandma Taiwan, a great delicious alternative to night markets.
Kaohsiung has a fun and vibrant nightlife, for an epic night out check out bars; Black Dog, an expat bar and Brickyard for their underground dance off parties, foosball tables, pool tables and great local atmosphere. The best nightclubs in town are Muse Kaohsiung and LAMP Disco which often hosts all-you-can-drink parties with a young local crowd. Not much English is spoken at these nightclubs so be aware.
In conclusion, Kaohsiung made it to my Top 5 list of favorite cities in Asia. Most likely due to not having any expectations and being blown away by the tropical climate, delicious local dishes, friendly locals and fantastic parties. Kaohsiung, I shall return in the near future!