Taiwan Day 5 – Little Liuqiu, Kaohsiung (Takao Railway Museum, Hamaxing Cultural Railway Park, Pier-2 Art District, Dome of Light, Liuhe Night Market)
We woke up bright and early to travel to the rest of Little Liuqiu that we weren’t able to visit yesterday.
We first checked out Yufu Pier, hoping that there’ll be breakfast, but there was nothing much except boats.
On the way back to Baisha Pier, we passed by a little shop (it’s quite hidden in another small lane near Yufu Pier) that sold these yummy twists which are a must-buy in Little Liuqiu. These twists came in interesting flavours such as seaweed and brown sugar (my fav!!!), and sold for NT20 a packet.
We managed to find a cosy little café by the side of the road, which sells Westernised breakfasts localised for Taiwanese.
This café is popular for its egg crepes, but we didn’t order them as by the time we had finished our sandwiches, we were really full.
We rode to Biyun Temple again and walked down a flight of stairs to visit their small but beautiful ecological garden. There were two viewing huts at a quiet lake, where you could see small turtles swimming serenely with fish. It would have been a perfect place for a picnic if not for the many mosquitoes.
It was a short trip to Lobster Cave, which is flanked by coral rock forming a natural arch towards the sea. It was not easy walking on the coral rock and dangerous for young kids, so families can give this place a miss.
Our last stop was at the Visitor Centre to grab a drink and enjoy an overview of Baisha Pier, before taking the 11am ferry back to Donggang Ferry Terminal.
Upon reaching Donggang, we walked for 10 minutes to a bus stop below near the McDonald’s junction to take public bus 9127 back to Kaohsiung Main Station (which took about 50 minutes).
There is also a private bus charter shop near the bus stop which may offer attractive rates to take you back to Kaohsiung (it wasn’t much more expensive than taking the public bus).
But if you really want to wait for the public bus, download the iBus app (see postamble) to track the licence plate and arrival of the next bus.
We purchased our tickets at TRA Kaohsiung Main Station on a Tzechiang train from Kaohsiung to Taoyuan for 2 days later, because we really wanted to be assured of seats for our 4.5 hour journey back.
If you are short of time, a HSR train would be faster (but we wanted to save money). To buy HSR tickets, you need to take the metro to Zuoying station and walk to the HSR station (no, the Kaohsiung HSR and TRA main stations are NOT next to each other, they both have different locations along the Kaohsiung MRT map).
After checking in, we had a hot seafood noodle soup lunch before taking an MRT to Sizihwan station and heading to the Takao Railway Museum and Hamaxing Cultural Railway Park (both free), where beautiful old trains and people chill in an open park that was formerly a train depot.
The park is quite big, and we started from the Takao Railway Museum, continuing eastwards through the railway park. We visited the old godowns which have been refurbished to become museums and restaurants.
We leisurely walked to Pier-2 which is an arts centre of sorts, and where I discovered one of my favourite café hangouts within an Eslite bookstore.
We went to Dream Mall for dinner, which is huge but doesn’t really offer anything in terms of good, cheap shopping (the movies are expensive, but there is an outdoor amusement park on the top floor for kids).
Check out the Mexican rice dish dinner which cost about NT250 below. It certainly didn’t make us full.
With nothing to buy, we decided to go to Formosa Boulevard to see the Dome of Light, which is actually a static display (for some reason we thought it was a dynamic light display).
We headed down to Liuhe Night Market for stir fried vegetables, fried rice and snacks. It reminds me a little of Raohe Night Market, and it was my favourite night market in Kaohsiung.
I think Kaohsiung is a suitable city for cafés, modern art and museum lovers. It’s very easy to get around by MRT and we didn’t bother renting a motorcycle here. I think we could have stayed longer than 2 nights, but we had a very tight schedule.
Refer to my Taiwan Day 6 – Kaohsiung blogpost for more updates on this southern Taiwanese city.
Taiwan Travel Tips
These are a few very important links or apps you need to bookmark or download if you’re self-planning a trip to Taiwan.
High speed rail – twice as fast as TRA’s 自强 (Tzechiang) and twice as expensive too. It only takes a couple of hours from Taipei to Kaohsiung.
Normal railway – there are 3 types of trains. Take the faster 自强 Tzechiang for long distances to save time (if you want assigned seats, buy online or go to the counter in advance), and the slower trains (chukuang and local train) for short distances to save money.
Taiwan’s iBus app
Download from Google Play store. Apparently it has the timetables and even a moving geolocation of running buses in Taiwan. You need to be able to understand 繁体字 to use it.
Google maps app
Useful if you’re figuring your way around.
Type in your location, click on Places Of Interest and click on the map option to check out the tourist spots in the vicinity. It works for restaurants and hotels too (but we prefer Booking.com and travelking for this).
Also published on Medium.