2011 Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival is bigger and better

The 2011 Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival kicks off for the second time.

Organised by the Kaohsiung City Bureau of Cultural Affairs. Starting on February 26th and lasting over a period of five months. There will be a wide range of acts such as Aboriginal singers and an Austrian puppet show.

The first performance will be “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony” featuring the Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra against a backdrop of Warner Brothers cartoon characters.

This year’s Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival is expected to be bigger and better as artists from all over the world will take part such as Austria, Denmark, Germany, Japan and the United States.

A headline act taking part is Tadashi Suzuki’s musical version of La Dame aux Camelias. This act will feature Taiwanese singers and actors. This act also took part in the Taiwan International Festival of Arts (TIFA) in Taipei on February 10th. They are expected to draw a large crowd.

Other performances include a string quartet, Taiwanese opera, Chinese music, modern dance and jazz.

Last year, 40,000 people attended the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival. This year, the Bureau of Cultural Affairs are expecting many more.

Find out more details on what to see at the Kaohsiung Spring Arts Festival

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

“Year of the Rabbit”

Saturday 12th – Monday 28th February

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival is now taking place along the riverbank of the Love River. The Love River runs through Yancheng District (Yanchengpu).

Everyday for the next two weeks, amazing fireworks displays will take place at 7 pm and 9 pm. You can see the fireworks from either side of the river, near Glory Pier on Hai Bian Road or on Hesi Road.

The atmosphere is lively and buzzy. Many locals and tourists are enjoying the surroundings. Rabbit lanterns and balloons are being distributed for free. There are also mobile toilets available at various points along the Love River.

Taiwan Lantern Festival, Kaohsiung's Love River
Kaohsiung Lantern Festival

The Yancheng district is lovely to walk around. Bars, cafes and restaurants are plentiful and easy to enjoy. Nearby cultural attractions include the Pier-2 Art District and the Kaohsiung Museum of History.

Kaohsiung Lantern Festival, Taiwan - View from the Love River
View over the Love River, Lantern Festival

Kaohsiung’s Lantern Festival is especially special this year as it celebrates the merge of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County and the 100th year of the Republic of China.

As this year is the “Year of the Rabbit, rabbit inflatables and statues are placed all along the river. Each one is unique and interesting. The festival is extended all the way to Cisian Bridge.

Lantern Festival, Kaohsiung Rabbit Statues
"Year of the Rabbit" Rabbit Statue
Taiwan Lantern Festival
Taiwan Lantern Festival, by the Love River

Nearby Restaurants:

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

Chinese New Year holiday services

What’s Open in Kaohsiung During Chinese New Year?

Department Stores

  • Hanshin Department Store (Chenggong 1st Rd) / Hanshin Shopping Plaza (Bo-ai 2nd Rd)
  • Talees Department Store

Supermarkets

  • Carrefour (356 Hedong Rd – Love River, 117 DaShuen 3rd Rd, Lingya Dist. – 1111 Jhonghua 5th Rd – 109 Shihchuan 1st Rd, Sanmin Dist. 849 Dashuen 2nd Rd, Sanmin Dist.)
  • Dollars (463 MinZu 1st Rd, Zuoying)

Convenience Stores

  • 7-11
  • Family Mart

Chinese New Year Holiday Services, Taiwan

Chinese New Year Taxi Fare Rates

Taipei City / New Taipei City / Keelung City

  • From January 31st until February 7th, there will be an additional NT$20 fee on all cab fares between 6 am until 11 pm.
  • An extra NT$40 on fares between 11 pm until 6 am.

Taichung City

  • From January 31st until February 7th, there will be an additional NT$20 fee on all cab fares between 6 am until 10 pm.
  • An extra NT$40 will be charged between 10 pm and 6 am.

Tainan City / Kaohsiung City

  • From February 1st until 7th, all cab fares will be an extra NT$40 all day.

Chinese New Year Banking Services

During Chinese New Year, all financial institutions will stop services from February 1st until 7th. This includes telephone services, text messaging & consulting services.

Chinese New Year Hospitals

The Department of Health has ensured that emergency wards nationwide are available during February 2nd until 7th.

Chinese New Year Intercity Highway Bus Schedules

  • Taipei to Tainan – There will be a bus every 10-15 minutes.
  • Taipei to Kaohsiung – There will be a bus every 15-20 minutes.

Chinese New Year Shuttle Services

  • There will be a Sun Moon Lake Shuttle every 30 minutes.
  • Operating times are between 7:30 am until 6 pm (February 2nd until 9th).
  • Alishan Forest Recreation Park Shuttle will operate from 8 am until 5 pm on February 3rd.
  • From 3:30 am until 5 pm from February 4th until February 7th (every 20 minutes).
  • Free shuttle rides will be offered on No. 18 from the Forestry Bureau to Alishan Park on the 86-95k mark.

Chinese New Year Freeway Toll Rates

During Chinese New Year, between February  2nd until 7th national highways in the Taiwan area will be toll free from 12 am until 7 am.

Also, from February 2nd until 6th, only vehicles with three passengers or more will be allowed on the freeway.

Chinese New Year Gas Prices

During Chinese New Year, fuel prices will be cut from NT$0.1 to NT$0.2 per litre.

All gas stations will be operating as normal during the holiday.

What’s happening during Chinese New Year in Taiwan?

Looking for a hotel in Taiwan? Search all Taiwan Hotels and find discounted rooms available.

Are these the 10 Greatest Chinese Movies Ever?

The creators of an innovative Chinese Learning system called “Learn Chinese From Movies” have claimed that these 10 Chinese Films below are the 10 Great Chinese Movies Ever. What do you think?

  • A World Without Thieves
  • Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger
  • Kings of Masks
  • Curse of the Golden Flower
  • Hero
  • Lost in Beijing
  • Empire of Silver
  • House of Flying Daggers
  • Shower

The films all look really fun and easy to watch, and in many ways this is ideal when trying to learn Chinese. Each film comes with subtitles in Hanyu Pinyin, Chinese Characters, Literal English and normal English.  There is also huge bundle of bonus material.

You can find our full review of the Mandarin Course Here:

Learn Chinese From Movies with four subtitles
Learn Chinese From Movies - with unique subtitles

Taiwan’s Ultra Marathon Mama

Taiwan’s Ultra Marathon Runner’s Leg Amputated

The Kaohsiung Marathon is taking place next month and will attract thousands of runners.

Last year, a 51 year old mother of two (Chiu) became known as “Taiwan’s Ultra Marathon Mama“.

The Ultra Marathon, which is an amazing 1,500 km race took place over 18 days in France.

On the 16th day of the race, Chiu’s blisters broke. She triumphantly carried on running and finished 17th out of the 44 runners that took part.

The blisters turned into an infection and she was later diagnosed with Septicemia.

Her right leg had to be amputated and the sole of her left foot was removed.

Since then she has been nicknamedTaiwan’s Ultra Marathon Mama“, which I think is quite apt.

Since then, it is said that she still stays active and carries on running today.

This story is incredibly motivating and I’m sure will inspire all runners.

Want to watch Kaohsiung’s 2011 Marathon?

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

The Marathon is coming to Kaohsiung for a 2nd time

The 2011 Kaohsiung International Marathon Mizuno Cup

The Marathon is coming to Kaohsiung for the second time!

When: Sunday 20th February, 6:30 am

Where: National Stadium, Kaohsiung Metro: World Games Station on the Red Line (R17)

The 2011 Kaohsiung Marathon will take place at the National Stadium (where the World Games 2009 also took place).

The event this year will feature the Full Marathon (42.195 km), Half Marathon (23.1996 km), a 10.1338 km run, a Fun Run (3.58 km) and a Roller Skating Marathon (23.1996 km).

2010 Kaohsiung Marathon

The 2010 Kaohsiung Marathon attracted 20,000 people. It was the biggest marathon in 15 years and people from all over the world took part.

How to get to the National Stadium:

Metro / Underground

  • Take the Red Line to the “World Games” Station (R17)

Nearby:

  • Zuoying Train Station

Places to Stay in Kaohsiung

If your staying in Kaohsiung to watch or participate in the marathon, then there are some great hotels in and around Kaohsiung City. Check Promotions

Find out more details about The 2011 Kaohsiung International Marathon