Weekend in Kaohsiung and Tainan

9/13/19 – 9/15/19

Hey everyone! This blog post is dedicated to a quick weekend trip we took to Kaohsiung and Tainan, Taiwan. When people think of Taiwan, most people think of going to Taipei, but there are so many other places to visit. Kaohsiung and Tainan, which are located on the west side of Taiwan, are a quick and cheap 1.5 hour flight from Hong Kong. In addition, there are plenty of accessible regular and high speed rails that connect all the different cities to each other. In this post, we will discuss our travel logistics, food journal, and notable landmarks in Kaohsiung and Tainan.

Travel Itinerary:

Friday, 9/13: Kaohsiung

Saturday, 9/14: Kaohsiung and Tainan

Sunday, 9/15: Tainan

Activities in Kaohsiung:

1. Liuhe Tourist Night Market

We arrived around 7 pm in Kaohsiung, so we immediately dropped off our things at the hotel and headed toward the Liuhe Tourist Night Market. There are a number of night markets in Kaohsiung, but out of the ones we visited, we found that Liuhe had the best variety. Notable food items included fried chicken steak, fresh seafood, and freshly made smoothies.

2. Amusement Park/Arcade on the top of the Talee Department Store

Taiwan in general has a lot of arcades, and Kaohsiung is no exception. In the Talee Department Store there is a fun and family friendly arcade with a good variety of games. There is even a small amusement park on the top of the mall that features a swinging ship ride. Definitely worth a visit for some cheap friendly fun.

Activities in Tainan:

1. Garden Night Market in Tainan

The Garden Night Market, or the Tainan Flower Night Market, is the largest in Taiwan. It boasts a variety of foods, including meat skewers, fried dough pancakes, noodles, popcorn chicken, steak, and more. There are also plenty of games, including plinko, mahjong bingo, darts, and claw machines.

2. Zeelandia Fort

Zeelandia Fort is a Dutch fort built in 1634 that was used for trading in the East Asia region. It sits atop of a hill, but back in the day it was surrounded by water. The Dutch was chased out of Taiwan by Ming dynasty loyalist Koxinga in 1662. Nowadays, the fort serves as an educational landmark for the brief history of the Dutch occupation.

3. Hayashi Department Store

If you want to find some uniquely Taiwanese souvenirs, go to the Hayashi Department Store. The store comprises of six floors, each floor selling something different. You can find tea pots, dried goods, small handcrafts, and restaurant food here. I actually ended up finding some hand-sewn embroidered earrings. There is also a small shrine and observation deck at the top of the building. It’s worth checking out, especially for souvenir shopping! The store is very Japanese-esque, a reminder of the Japanese occupation of Taiwan during WWII.

4. Chihkan Tower

Also known as Fort Provintia, this tower is also a remnant of the Dutch occupation in the early 17th century. After the expelling of the Dutch by Koxinga, the tower was destroyed by an earthquake and rebuilt by the Chinese. It’s relatively small and most of the artifacts are described only in Chinese, so it’s not necessarily worth a visit if you are time constrained.

Must Try Food Dishes

No trip to Taiwan is complete without eating until you’re stuffed silly! Taiwan is known for a bunch of dishes and drinks, including the following:

  1. Oyster pancake
  2. Stinky tofu
  3. Danzai noodles (noodles with minced pork and shrimp)
  4. Luorou fan (fatty minced pork and rice)
  5. Beef noodle soup
  6. Fried chicken steak
  7. Silken tofu (savory or sweet)
  8. Fresh soy milk
  9. Soup dumplings
  10. Egg omelette roll with pork floss
  11. Coffin bread (kind of like a pot pie but with a fried white bread crust)
  12. Shabu shabu hot pot
  13. Bubble tea
  14. Takoyaki octopus balls
  15. Mango smoothies
  16. Fried rice

You can find the majority of these foods and more in the night markets, but during the day there are a lot of good restaurants that serve these dishes as well. For instance, we had some pretty good danzai noodles and silken tofu with red bean at the Hayashi Department Store restaurant. For really good luo rou fan, I recommend this restaurant in Kaohsiung: No. 139號, Ziqiang 3rd Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 802. They actually used pork belly that had been braised until incredibly tender, as opposed to just stir fried minced pork.

And that’s what we did on our quick weekend trip to Kaohsiung and Tainan! Thanks for reading our blog, we hope you liked it. Let us know if you have any questions about our travels.

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