Kaohsiung may not be the most picturesque city in Taiwan but it has a range of fun attractions that make it a great place to stop off if you are travelling from the north to the south. If possible make sure you leave a few days to check out all that this city has to offer. In the last few years there have been great efforts made to transform Kaohsiung from a polluted metropolis into a greener city and it has even improved its public transport systems in order to attract more guests.
In the north of Kaohsiung you will find Lotus Lake, which actually sits in the Zuoying district and is an artificial lake rather than a natural one. Still, that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a top attraction in the city and it is certainly pretty. It is also home to several temples including the colorful Dragon and Tiger Pagodas and the Spring and Autumn Pavilions that are set on the water. Equally famous on the lake are the food and beverage outlets that are perfect if you want to get a taste of some traditional southern Taiwanese flavors, so expect steaming bowls of noodles in abundance many of which feature chunks of delicious beef brisket or are stuffed with local wonton dumplings.
Actually located an hour outside of Kaohsiung is Foguangshan Monastery, the largest monastery in all of Taiwan. Foguangshan Monastery is housed on a large complex that has an ornate inner shrine with three bronze statues of Buddha that are surrounded by almost 15,000 smaller Buddha statues. The rest of the complex is equally impressive and you can walk around these serene grounds and take in the atmosphere of this revered location. The monastery is located approximately 25 kilometers out of the city and it is definitely worth the journey as you can take in the scenery en route if you take the public bus.
Wushanding Mud Volcanoes
If you want to get out into the Taiwanese countryside in search of something a little different then a trip to the Wushanding Mud Volcanoes is not to be missed. The nature reserve that the mud volcanoes sits on spans almost 5 hectares and it is worth making the trip out of the center of town in order to see them. This natural phenomenon is caused by gas beneath the earth which in turn causes mud to spray high into the air and if you have never seen anything like this before then the sight can be quite impressive.
Kaoshiung can make a nice stopover as you travel around Taiwan, particularly if you use the city as a base to venture out and about on day trips to the surrounding areas. Do so and you will come across religious sites, natural phenomena like active volcanoes, and beautiful countryside. Should you prefer to stay in town, you can easily spend an afternoon exploring the city’s green with its serene parks and glassy lakes.