Kaohsiung – A Day to Remember

In our urge to explore the beauty of Taiwan, my friends and I decided to go on a day trip to the biggest city in the south of the island, Kaohsiung. And wow, this day was intense! While doing some Google-research we found a lot of interesting spots to see and we had a really elaborated plan – see all the things possible in one day. To stress out our tourist-skills, we had seen a lot of things.

First, we drove one hour by train southwards, eventually arriving in Kaohsiung. The first scenic spot on our To-Do list was the Lotus Pond (蓮池潭 or Liánchí, for all Chinese speaking fellas). To get there we did not choose the thug life, the thug life chose us. Instead of just walking such as normal peasants we founded the *Hells Exchange* and cruised low-rider style to the pond. People stopped walking and took pictures of us foreigners making the streets a bit more dangerous.

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After arrival on the other side of the pond, we released our bikes in their natural habitat and walked all scenic spots by foot. First, we encountered the idol of a god in the mid of the lake. The Daoist deity Xuan Wu “Emperor of the North-Pole” is worshiped at the so-called Pei Chi Pavilion. It is said to be the highest water statue in Southeast Asia with a total height of 72 meters. No doubt, that this spot was amazing. So amazing that four people of our little group changed their profile pic on Facebook to a pose with Xuan Wu.

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The next sightseeing spot was a five minutes’ walk away. The Spring and Autumn Pavilions inhabit a lot of Taiwanese Folklore of the Goddess of Mercy riding a dragon to command people to build an Idol between the Pavilions. And so there is a statue of Guanyin riding a mystical creature in front of the buildings. When you think this is quite cool, you are right. But it is more freaking awesome, when you can walk through the giant dragon like his human dinner.

On the way to the next longer stay at a sightseeing spot we crossed various temples and pavilions.

The attraction we visited next had been the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. It is said, that when you enter the dragon and exit the tiger you will get luck. My luck was that we visited this exiting place. The six storage pagodas allowed beautiful sight over the pond. The path to the towers were zigzag shaped because ghosts in Asia are only able to go straight. Thus I am not a ghost, or at least a European one.

After seeing this amazing spots we decided to make a break and eat lunch. Luckily as we entered the restaurant it started to rain heavily, so we had been sheltered. The nutrition of spicy noodle soup gave us enough power to go on with tourism. We drove by train and metro to the Dream Mall were we spent one hour of shopping, massage, air-hockey and coffee. Unfortunately, I was not able to get to the top of the mall to ride with the rooftop ferry wheel. Yes, there was a devil’s mill on the roof. The mall but had to many storages – 9 in total – and was way too big for one hour. But we had a list to check.

By the way we saw on our way to the next spot the former highest building in Taiwan and the scenic spot, “Dome of Light”.

Our next and last spot was the Liuhe night-market. Our group is pretty spoiled by the vastness of the biggest night-market in Taiwan – the Flower night-market in Tainan – so the touristic night market in Kaohsiung was amazing, but more on a level on “Meh”. The majority of food-stands served seafood and hotdogs. Yeah, that’s all. One of my next articles will be about night-markets, then you will read more about this tradition.

Finally, we caught the train back to our lovely Tainan. Everyone was tired and a few took a nice nap till our station Daqiao. (Daqiao means Great Bridge, because there is a great bridge over the station).

All in all, it was a very intense day with a lot of scenic spots to see, interesting places to visit and an enhanced group bounding. If you, dear readers, will ever come to Taiwan I recommend you to visit Kaohsiung – the pearl of the south – and experience a day to remember too.

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Deutsche Kurzfassung

Unsere Freundesgruppe hat sich entschlossen einen Tagesausflug nach Kaohsiung zu unternehmen. Wir fuhren eine Stunde mit dem Zug und sattelten dann auf Fahrräder um – die Geburtsstunde der „Hells Exchange“. Unser erster Stopp war am Lotus See. Hier gab es viele Sehenswürdigkeiten und wir waren würdig viele davon zu sehen.

Die 72 Meter große Statue der Daoistischen Gottheit Xuanwu; den Tribut für die Göttin der Gnade am Frühlings- und Herbst-Pavillon; die Drachen- und Tiger-Pagode bei der man Glück erhält, wenn man sie in der richtigen Reihenfolge betritt.

Nach einem guten Mittagessen besuchten wir die Dream Mall. Das Einkaufszentrum hatte neun Stockwerke und ein Riesenrad am Dach. Als letzte Attraktion sahen wir neben dem „Dome of Light“ den Liuhe Nachtmarkt. Ein Artikel zu Nachtmärkten im generellen folgt später.

Am Ende unseres Trips waren wir alle geschlaucht, aber froh den Tag in Kaohsiung verbracht zu haben.

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Merken

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