Kaohsiung Port is the sixth largest cargo-container seaport in the world… and you know it when you get there! When sailing in (and you were brave enough to be up that early) you are met with the sight of many many different ships and boats in all shapes, sizes, age, and colours around the harbour.
One of the most popular destinations in Kaohsiung is the Lotus Lakes with Pagodas. A taxi ride of about 20 minutes from the terminal will get you there. A good idea is to pay your taxi driver extra to wait for you for a certain amount of time, we asked for 2 hours and I think that was just right, so that he can take you back to the ship. The reason why this is a good idea is because our taxi driver had to phone his brother’s wife’s uncle’s friend’s daughter’ son – or something like that;) – to find out where we wanted to go, so explaining to a new taxi driver to take you back to the ship can prove challenging. Once there, there are quite a few sites to visit and admire. We started with the tiger/dragon pagodas with the zig-zag walkway. The walkway is built like that because the people believe that bad spirits can only move in a straight direction, so if you walk in a zig-zag pattern, they can’t follow you. Next, you enter the mouth of the dragon first and leave through the tiger – if you do it the other way around, they believe you will have bad luck. Once inside, there is a steep, narrow staircase, but it’s worth the climb. When you reach the top you have a beautiful view of the Lotus Lake and the other sites you have yet to visit.
Other sites to visit at the Lotus Lakes are 2 walkways that reach far into the lake, a temple across the road from the lake, a few local shops across from the lake, and a very large Buddha statue. You can see all this at a leisurely pace and still be in time to catch your waiting taxi back to the ship.
Depending on how much time you have in Kaohsiung, you can also go to the art walkway. This walkway is very close to the ship – about a 15 minute walk. It seems like this walkway used to be a train railway, but is now converted into a footpath with grass on the sides and big statues of art and small cafes along the way. It ends at the Lover’s Pier, which gives you a 360˚ view which includes parts of the harbour, parts of the town, a park, and some greenery in the distance.
On your way back to the ship you can make a quick stop at the Banana Pier right at the entrance to the terminal where you can find local food stuffs, souvenirs and a cafe.
Once again, remember this is Taiwan, be prepared for the hot sun and warm weather.