Kaohsiung is the second-largest city in Taiwan. These days, this settlement is a modern industrial center. Moreover, this is the largest international port in the country. Tourists and travelers enjoy visiting Kaohsiung because besides a great number of shops, restaurants, and vibrant city life that doesn’t slow down after sunset this city has many internationally acclaimed landmarks. The surrounding nature is also amazing and impresses generations of guests. Stunning mountain rivers, high ridges, and numerous secret monasteries hidden among rocks look absolutely mesmerizing.
Historical records mention Kaohsiung in the 16th century. It is worth mentioning that the city changed its name several times in the past. Initially, the settlement was famous as Takau. When the Dutch colonized the area, they decided to give a new name to the town, changing Takau to Tancoia. After that, Ming loyalists changed the name to Banlian-chiu. It different years, the settlement was Takau again, then Takao, and after that, finally, it became Kaohsiung. In 1819, the town was already an important center of trade. The strategic location of Kaohsiung and a large port were the main drivers of the economic success of this city.
Local people are proud of their sacred landmark – the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum or the Buddha Memorial Center. This giant shrine opened relatively not long ago, in 2011. Visit this complex to see marvelous pagodas of striking beauty. There are eight buildings in the complex in total. In the center of the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, there is a giant statue of Buddha sitting on a giant pedestal. It looks like the statue is floating above the land. This is the tallest sitting Buddha statue in the world. Its height is more than a hundred meters.
During a journey in Kaohsiung, don’t forget to visit Lotus Pond in Zuoying District. When translating the pond’s name from Chinese, it means “crystal clear”. Tourists enjoy visiting this artificial lake because there are dozens of temples, pagodas, other buildings, and statues built near it. The pond had small islands, all of which are connected by bridges.
The big lake has become home to various species of frogs and interesting fish that swim close to the water surface. Of course, there are other animals here, for example, turtles. Of course, Lotus Pond has many lotus flowers that periodically blossom here. The beauty of these flowers has inspired the generations of local poets. A big park surrounds this fabulous lake. This is an amazing place to sit in one of the numerous pavilions, visit a pagoda or admire aquariums.
In Kaohsiung, tourists can attend a truly amazing place that doesn’t have analogs anywhere else in the world. This is Houtong, a cat village. It the past, this was a mining village, but cats have become the main inhabitants of this place. There are more than a hundred cats in total here, as well as twenty former miners who now take care of the animals. If you like cats this is a must-visit place. You can pet, feed the animals, and take pictures with them. Normally, all cats are very friendly, but visitors still need to stay alert because some cats might be aggressive.
Surprisingly, even benches and street lamps in Houtong are shaped like the adorable felines. Local people even made special cat-shaped houses for the main inhabitants of the village. By the way, don’t be surprised to see a dog in the village. Local dogs live in peace with the true owners of Houtong. When you feel tired of a stroll in the village, it is time to visit a local restaurant and try authentic Taiwanese dry noodles.
Unfortunately, not many European cities have a direct air connection with Kaohsiung. As a rule, tourists need to make a change. It is possible to fly to Hong Kong first. The journey time will be roughly twelve hours in this case. Kaohsiung has an airport that is approximately twenty minutes away from downtown. Upon arrival, use the metro or taxi to get to the city center.