Have you ever heard of Kaohsiung ?
Not to worry, you are in good company. Very few people know this pleasant city.
I predict within the next 5-10 years Kaohsiung will rise to fame and become a major tourist destination in Asia.
Let me share with you some impressions from there first. You will understand why I predict such a bright future for this city.
A green, modern yet laid-back metropolis
So what brought me to Kaohsiung ? I had visited Taiwan back in 2011. And during that visit I stayed in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
Although Taipei did not blow me out of my shoes I quite liked it there. And I promised myself to return one day for more Taiwan experiences. So this time I wanted to see another place in Taiwan.
As you may know I like cities, so my choice was Kaohsiung Taiwan’s second largest city.
To understand what Kaohsiung is you need to understand its past and its plans for the future.
It used to be among the top 5 largest and busiest ports in Asia. But with the diminishing importance of industrial output that was not to last.
So a clever city government decided that they wanted to prepare the city for a bright new future. And part of this effort was to turn the city into a very livable place – hoping that companies from the service industry would settle here. And also to attract visitors.
Firstly, they cleaned up the air and today Kaohsiung has excellent air quality. They also undertook major ‘greening’ of the city.
And it shows. Big wide boulevards lined with trees and flowers. Lots of lovely parks and generally a very nice atmosphere and a very modern feel. And I saw deep-blue skies most of the time.
Over 2 Million people live in Kaoshuing and it looks like a major metropolis, yet it still has a rather relaxed and laid-back feel to it.
‘Arty farty’ anyone ?
In central Kaohsiung, close to the harbor and all the wharfs and warehouses, an entire pier was converted into what is now known as Art Pier No.2 .
It is a funky blend of trendy shops, galleries, coffee houses and more. Hard to describe but lovely to be at.
Here are some impressions for Art Pier No.2 :
A veliophile’s paradise
Regular readers of my blog will know that I always cruise around on a bicycle when exploring places I visit.
Kaoshiung was probably the best place in South East Asia to explore on a bicycle! – bicycle lanes all across the city and a generally very welcoming attitude towards bikers.
An impressive skyline
The towering hallmark of Kaohsiung’s skyline is the 85 building. Why 85 ? Coz it is 85 floors high. It ranks among the top 50 tallest buildings in the world.
The 74th and 75th floor are open to the public. As you can imagine the view is nothing short of spectacular. Here some impressions from above.
Old harbor and some beaches
One of the most scenic spots in Kaohsiung the ‘old’ harbor. From where you can cross over on 5 minutes ferry ride to Ciji island.
And a visit to Ciji island is a must for every visitor to Kaohsiung. Rather than me describing it let’s have a look at the pictures:
I would not have any particular recommendations for photographers visiting Kaoshiung. Generally the city is photogenic and its inhabitans seem to be very welcoming towards being photographed.
Equipment-wise, I had my faithful travel companion the Canon SHX 50 with me and used it quite a lot. I brought my Sony @7 R II as well. And I used it with a Mitakon 50 mm / 0.95 and a Canon 135L / 2.0 (with a Metabone adapter).
The temples of Kaoshiung
I found the temples of Kaoshiung of impressive beauty and grandeur. I have therefore dedicated a whole article which you can find under:
And a final image I took during sunset on my last evening in Kaoshiung:
I hope you have enjoyed my photographs from Asia’s most relaxed city: Kaoshiung.
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