Category Archives: Places to go

Explore Taiwan’s National Parks

Taiwan’s National Parks are a great way to experience Taiwan

There are eight National Parks in Taiwan. The National Parks in Taiwan aim to keep the natural environment and biodiversity through conservation. They preserve the natural scenery, the flora and fauna and many historic sites.

Conservation of the parks also involve looking after wild species, preserving landscapes and cultural areas.

Mountain Hiking / Climbing

Taiwan is a mountainous island with over 70% of the land being occupied by mountains. Mountain climbing is popular with the Taiwanese and many tourists.

Events

Coral Sea Concert – Kenting

The Coral Sea Concert happens once a year in May in Kenting National Park. This concert has become very popular with the Taiwanese in the last few years. Kaohsiung is only a one and a half hour drive from Kenting. Kaohsiung’s Spring Art Festival 2011 is now taking place until April.

Taroko Gorge Music Festival – Taroko National Park

Crowds from all over Taiwan enjoy the Taroko Gorge Festival. The festival happens once a year in October or November. Taroko National Park is located in the east of Taiwan. It lies across 3 areas in Taiwan: Hualien County, Taichung County, and Nantou County.

Yushan Flower Festival -Yushan

The Yushan Flower Festival is held May to August every year. This event attracts thousands of visitors from all over Taiwan. The Festival aims to present Taiwan’s unique plants and flowers.

Yushan National Park Headquarters Address:  No. 515, Sec. 1, Jongshan Rd., Shueili Township, Nantou County 55344 Taiwan .R.O.C

Mount Yangming Butterfly Event – Yangmingshan

The Mount Yangming Butterfly Festival is held every May to June. Here tourists can see Taiwan’s diverse and beautiful butterflies. There are activities and guidance about the importance of butterfly ecology and their habitat. Taipei City is very close to Yanmingshan.

Further info about Taiwan’s National Parks

There are lots of excellent hotels in Taiwan from budget to luxurious. Check Prices of all Taiwan hotels.

Going to the Coral Sea Concert? See all nearby hotelsKenting Hotels

Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival 2011There are many affordable Hotels in Kaohsiung available

Going to Taroko National Park? See all nearby hotelsHualien Hotels -Taichung Hotels

Going to Yangmingshan? See all nearby hotelsTaipei Hotels

Hengchun – A Taste of True Taiwan

Pingtung County’s Hengchun Famous Snacks

You can find many different snacks and interesting foods to try in Hengchun, Taiwan. Hengchun is famous for it’s hot springs and warm climate. It is an interesting city with a lot of history and culture attached to it. It is definitely worth a day trip, especially if you are on your way to Kenting.

Here are some of the unique, interesting & famous snacks and foods to try when you are in Hengchun:

Famous Beef Noodles

100 Year Old Beef Noodle Shop, Old Town of Hengchun

100 year old Beef Noodle Shop, Hengchun
100 Years Beef Noodle Shop

This beef noodle shop is famous in Hengchun as it has been family run for over 100 years. The noodles here cost NT$80 for a small bowl. The flavour of the soup is delicious and the noodles are soft. Overall, it could probably do with some more beef.

Inside is clean and has comfortable seating. A great place for a quick and cheap snack.

Famous Beef Noodle, Hengchun Ancient City
Famous Beef Noodles

Famous Onions in Hengchun

Onions in Hengchun, Pingtung County
Famous Onions in Hengchun

In Hengchun, you will see many onion stalls. Hengchun is famous for its sweet and tasty onions. It is a staple food for the Taiwanese living here. Stalls sell huge bags of onions throughout Henghcun Township.

Peak seasons for selling onions are in March and April. Hengchun has an ideal climate for growing onions as the peninsula is very windy which is great for growing onion crops. Hence, there are many onion farms all around Checheng and Hengchun.

Taiwanese people in Hengchun regard onions as a staple food of their diet. They believe that onions prevent sickness and strengthens the body.

Red Bean Shaved Ice

Red Bean Dessert, Hengchun
Hot Red Bean Dessert, Hengchun

Red Bean Shaved Ice is a popular local dish. You can enjoy it cold with ice or hot. It is a specialty in Hengchun and there are many stalls selling this dish.

It consists of cooked sweet red and green beans, tapioca noodles in a sticky sauce. The cold version is topped with a bed of shaved ice. It is very sweet.

Shaved Ice Hengchun, Pingtung County, Taiwan
Red Bean Shaved Ice in Hengchun

The picture above shows the hot red bean dessert on the left and the shaved ice version on the right. A bowl costs NT$35.

Ling Jiao (Water Chestnuts)

Lingjiao Water Chestnuts, Henghun, Taiwan
"Ling Jiao" Water Chestnuts shaped like bats

On the road to Kenting you will notice many stalls selling “Ling Jiao“, which are a type of water chestnut. They are very interesting looking and are worth a try. The skin is black and they are shaped like a bat. They are very tasty.

A bag will cost you NT$100.

Baozi (Steamed Buns)

Baozi, Steamed Buns in Hengchun Taiwan
"Baozi" Tasty Taiwan Snack

Another tasty snack that you will find in Hengchun are “Baozi” or Steamed buns.  They are filled with meat and vegetables and steamed. One bun will cost between NT$30-NT$40 depending on what filling you choose. There is normally a vegetarian choice too.

“Pidan Eggs” or “Thousand-Year Eggs”

Pidan Eggs, Red Yolk Duck Eggs, Hengchun, Pingtung County Taiwan
Egg Stall in Hengchun

Pidan Eggs are made by preserving the egg in clay, ash, salt, lime and rice hulls for a few weeks or months. During this preserving process, the yolk turns into a dark green colour. The eggs are sometimes called “Smelly Eggs“. They produce a smell of sulfur and ammonia. They are a unique taste and an interesting snack to try.

Pidan Eggs. Hengchun
"Pidan Eggs" or "Thousand-Year Eggs", Hengchun

“Red Yolk Duck Eggs” or “Hot Spring Duck Eggs”

Red Yolk Duck Eggs (Hot Spring Duck Eggs) are a very famous food in Sihchong Creek, Hengchun. The ducks here are fed shrimps and shells in a pollution free environment and left to roam freely.

The sand, stones and grass that the ducks ingests turn the yolk of the egg into a reddish colour. The locals use the water from the hot springs to produce a very unique tasting egg. The ducks are fed hay grass which prevent the eggs from having a strong odor compared with Pidan eggs.

8 Red Yolk Duck Eggs cost only NT$50.

Taiwan Fruits

When your in Hengchun, there are many interesting fruits to try.

Buddha’s Head Fruit

Buddha's Head Fruit, Hengchun Pingtung County, Taiwan's Fruit
Buddha's Head Fruit, Taiwan

Wax Apples

Wax Apples, Taiwan Fruit
Wax Apples in HengchunMany Coconuts in Hengchun

There are many good hotels in Hengchun and Kenting; Kenting Hotels, Taiwan

Good prices are normally available on hotels in Kaohsiung; Kaohsiung Hotels, Taiwan

More information on attractions in Hengchun, Taiwan

What to see and do in Kenting

Fongshan City – Attractions

Some History about Fongshan

Fongshan City is located in Southern Kaohsiung County, Taiwan. Over 350,000 people live in Fongshan City.

During the Qing Dynasty, Fongshan County had two locations. The old Fongshan County used to be where Zuoying is now.

The Qing Government built government buildings and many Confucian Temples. Fongshan is now known for it’s many temples.

The Qing Dynasty prevented the building of defensive walls, in a bid to prevent any rebellions. A rebellion happened in 1721 where many buildings were destroyed. The city therefore, did not build its walls until 1721.

Fongshan City Now

Fongshan City has a lot of history and is worth a visit. It is continually being modernised and updated with new coffee shops, restaurants and shops.

East Side Door, Flying Square and Fongshan river can all be seen in Fongshan City.

Teaching English in Fongshan City

Global Village Organization, Kojen English School and Wells English all have a branch located in Fongshan City.  It only takes about 20 minutes via the Metro (Orange line) from Kaohsiung City.

Nearby Attractions:

  • Jhong Jheng Park next to Dadong Station (O13)

- butterfly statues can be seen and a great place for fishing

Taiwan’s Banana Story at “Banana Pier”

Taiwan’s Banana Kingdom in the 1960s

In the 1960s, Kaohsiung became well known for its bananas. In 1963, Japan opened it’s port to receive Taiwanese bananas.

Since then bananas have been very popular in Japan. Apparently, all the money earned for banana exports to Japan accounted for a third of all foreign trade.

The value of 6 bananas used to be equal to the value of an imported suit. Bananas were the best export business in Taiwan – like a “Banana Kingdom“.

Today – Banana Pier, Fisherman’s Wharf

The Banana Pier at Fisherman’s Wharf used to be a warehouse used for storing the bananas. Hence, the Pier is now called “Banana Pier“. The banana warehouse has now recently been renovated.

There are many shops selling souvenirs, handicrafts, jewellery, banana t-shirts and banana ice cream. There are some displays which gives you some information about the banana trade at that time.

On the second floor of the Pier, is a banquet hall which can be hired for events. On the weekends, there will usually be a wedding.

Next to the Banana Pier are many bars and restaurants. They all have outdoor seating and overlook the water.

Nearby Attractions:

  • Hamasen (also known as Fisherman’s Wharf) – Great bar and restaurant strip on the sea front.

Nearby Hotels:

Trick Art Exhibition at the Pier-2 Art District

You can now see the Trick Art Exhibition at the Pier-2 Art District.

The Pier-2 Art District is located in Kaohsiung City near Yanchengpu Metro Station (O2).  The area has evolved as a large and interesting space which attracts many local artists who design distinctive arts.

The Pier-2 Art District is continually evolving and becoming more and more trendy. The space has created a strong sense of cultural atmosphere in Kaohsiung City.

The Trick Art Exhibition is a paid exhibition. You can buy tickets at the door.

Trick Art Exhibition, Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Trick Art Exhibition at the Pier-2 Art Center

Trick Art Exhibition, Pier-2 Art Center, Kaohsiung Taiwan
Trick Art Exhibition at the Pier-2 Art Center

Nearby Attractions:

  • Hamasen

Places to Eat and Drink Nearby:

Nearby Hotels

Check Prices for all Kaohsiung Hotels

How to get to the Pier-2 Art District:

Metro / Underground:

  • Take the Orange Line to Yanchengpu (O2)
  • Leave via Exit 1 and turn right
  • Walk for 4 minutes and you are there

Total walk time 4 minutes

Address: 1 Da Yong Road, Kaohsiung (at the end of the road by Yancheng Passenger Wharf, port of Kaohsiung)

Chinese New Year 2011

Chinese New Year 2011 is approaching fast. This year it will fall on February 3rd & it will be the “Year of the Rabbit”.

About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is an important festival and holiday for Chinese people. It is also the longest holiday in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar does not begin on January 1st and is a different date every year. The Chinese Calendar can begin anytime between January 21st and February 18th.

Every year is named after an animal. There are 12 animals. So, every 12 years the cycle begins again. The Chinese strongly believe that depending on the animal ruling, the year you were born, will have an effect and influence your life.

Here is a chart showing the dates & animal signs for Chinese New Year.

YEAR    DATE         ANIMAL SIGN

2010      February 14        Tiger

2011      February 3          Rabbit

2012      January 23          Dragon

2013      February 10        Snake

2014      January 31          Horse

2015       February 19       Sheep

2016       February 8         Monkey

2017      January 28         Rooster

2018       February 16       Dog

2019       February 5         Pig

Celebrating Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year’s Eve

The Chinese will visit relatives and friends during the New Year holiday. They will usually clean the house and wear new clothes and give red envelopes (with money inside) to children (given by the married and elders).

The colour red is symbolic so you will see many people wearing red or many red decorations. Some families will give their homes, doors or window frames a coat of red paint.

Cleaning their homes symbolises a new start. They believe that cleaning will sweep away bad luck and bring good luck.

Chinese New Year’s Day

In addition to giving red envelopes, small gifts will normally be exchanged between friends or friends. Mandarin oranges, cakes or biscuits are common gifts.

Fireworks

You will often hear fireworks during Chinese New Year. They are thought to help in driving away evil spirits. Burning firecrackers are also common. They signify a joyful time of year.

Dragon Dance and Lion Dance

Dragon dance and lion dance is very popular during Chinese New Year.  They are colourful, bright and lively. A great way to experience the local Taiwanese culture.

Cuisine During Chinese New Year

Mandarin Oranges

These are very popular and available to buy in all shops. The round shape symbolises wealth and good fortune.

Nian Guo

This is most commonly eaten in Eastern China. Nian Guo literally means “Year High” which translates as “a more prosperous year“. Nian Guo is made from a glutinous rice flour, wheat starch, salt, sugar and water.

Rou Gan

A salty and sweet dried meat. This can also be given as a gift. It is similar to Jamaican Jerky.

There are many other famous Taiwanese Foods and Drinks

Where to go for Chinese New Year 2011

Chinese New Year in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Kaohsiung City Government has organised many celebrations during Chinese New Year. Kaohsiung, Taiwan is an excellent place to be during Chinese New Year. The weather in the daytime is still warm and sunny.

San Fong Jhong Street, Kaohsiung

This street, is a dried goods food market. The dried food has come from China and many other foreign foods can also be found.

During Chinese New Year, It is packed with people who are stocking up on food for the holiday period. A good place to go to soak up the atmosphere of Chinese New Year.

The Lantern Festival, Taiwan

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2011 in Taiwan. A fantastic place to be to see local celebrations. The major cities such as Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung all celebrate with the Lantern Festival.

This is normally on the last day of the Chinese New Year. This year it will be on February 17th. You can see magnificent displays of fireworks and beautiful lanterns.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Kaohsiung Lantern Festival was a huge success in 2010. This year the 2011 Kaohsiung Lantern Festival will be held by the riverbanks of the Love River in Kaohsiung City.

Local and International visitors will visit Kaohsiung to see thousands of traditional and state of the art lanterns. Local delicacies, cuisines and souvenirs can be tried.

Click Here to find out: What is open in Kaohsiung on Chinese New Year?

Miaoli, Taiwan

This year, 2011 Lantern Festival Celebration will also be held in Miaoli. Miaoli is located about 90 minutes away from Taipei.

Apparently, over 48,000 lanterns will be displayed in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record. 100 of these lanterns will be in the shape of a rabbit.

Throwing Firecrackers Ceremony

Taitung City, Taiwan

An interesting ceremony will take place in Taitung during Chinese New Year 2011.

A chosen man will take the role of the “God of Wealth” called “Master Han Dan“. He will only wear red shorts and nothing else.

He will hold a bamboo fan in front of his face and stand on a chair. Four people will then hold the chair up in the air.

The locals will then throw firecrackers at the “God of Wealth“. As he is believed to be the chosen one he is not supposed to feel the cold and bring wealth.

This ceremony will take place on February 17th, 7 pm on Nanjing Road; February 18th, 7 pm at Tianhou Square and lastly on February 20th, 8 pm at Haibin Park.

Firework displays and other performances can be seen.

The Yanshuei Firecrackers Ceremony

Tainan, Taiwan

This is a popular and well known celebration in Taiwan. This year, the ceremony will be held in Tainan County at Yanshuei Wu Miao Temple on February 16th.

Popular Tainan snacks and firecrackers can be enjoyed. Many historical sites are also worth a visit while you are here, such as the famous Anping Tree House and the Chikan Towers.

Greetings to Greet Family & Friends During Chinese New Year

  • Congratulations and Prosperities – Gong Xi Fa Cai
  • Happy New Year – Xin Nian Kuai Le
  • Happy New Year – Gong He Xin Xi
  • Blissfulness and Prosperities – Wan Shi Ru Yi


Book your Kaohsiung Hotel now to join the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Other Taiwan Hotels

Miaoli HotelsTaichung HotelsTainan HotelsTaipei HotelsTaitung Hotels

Kaohsiung’s Amphibious Vehicle

Kaohsiung’s Amphibious Vehicle is a great and interesting way to do a sightseeing tour of Kaohsiung City. The vehicle can travel on both land and water. It is often called the “Duck Boat“.

The Amphibious Vehicle takes passengers along the famous Love River. The tour covers 20 minutes of sightseeing on land and 40 minutes on water. The vehicle is easy to recognise as the front is shaped like a duck’s head.

Ticket Prices:

  • Full Fare NT$120 per person
  • Half Fare NT$60 (For children under 12, 65+ senior, people with disabilities)

Citizens of Kaohsiung City / County with ID Cards:

  • Full Fare NT$ 80
  • Half Fare NT$ 40

Available Tour Times:

  • 11 am – 5 pm, Tuesday – Sunday

Boarding Places and Ticket Purchase Locations:

  • 3. Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Zuoying Station (Exit 2)

Routes:

Orange Line – Sat – Sun

1. Pier-2 Art Center – Glory Wharf (between Wufu Bridge and Jhongjheng Bridge) – Pier-2 Art Center

Green Line – Tue – Fri

2. Dream Mall – Glory Wharf (between Wufu Bridge and Jhongjheng Bridge) – Dream Mall

3. Taiwan Railway Administration Zuoying Station – Lotus Pond (round trip) – Taiwan Railway Administration Zuoying Station

Charter and Reservation Tel: 07-286-6188 / 07-749-8668 ext.5602

Information Centre On Site Tel: 0975-738-897

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The History of Cijin Island’s Cihou Fort

Cihou Fort (or spelt Qihou Fort) is a 19th Century Fort that used to guard the northern entrance to Kaohsiung Harbour. The entrance of the Fort was destroyed by the Japanese in the battle of Yiwei in 1895.

Two out of the four Chinese characters inscribed on the Fort Gate were recognised in a historical photograph as “Tian” meaning “Sky” and “Nan” meaning “South“.

When Kaohsiung City Government began restoration of the Fort in 1991, the historical photograph was magnified and used as a reference in producing the replica of the Chinese Characters.

One source of information believes that the four characters were inscribed as “Di Jhu Tian Nan” meaning The Great Stone Holds the Southern Sky.

Cihou Fort is a fascinating and interesting place to visit especially from a historical and strategic perspective. Cihou Fort has served as a defense against the Mudan tribe, the Japanese, and the Chinese. At the top of the Fort you can see Cijin beach and the 85 Sky Tower in the distance.

Nearby:

How to get there:

Metro / Underground

  • Take the Orange Line and get off at Sizihwan (R01). Take exit 1
  • It’s sign posted from there. Basically you turn left and go straight for 5 – 8 minutes to the harbour
  • Take the ferry to Cijin Island

Total Walk Time = 8 minutes to the Island

Ferry Instructions:

  • The Cijin Ferry is very easy to use, and doesn’t require any speaking. Therefore, language is not a problem.
  • Simply queue at the entrance with the people (or at the motorbike section if you have a motorbike)
  • When you get to the barrier there is a transparent box that you need to put your money into (currently 15 NT dollars for adults)
  • Board the ferry, and within 10 minutes you will be at Cijin Island.
  • It’s the same procedure to get back.

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