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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

CarmenXTW: 高雄 旗津区一日游 Kaohsiung's Cijin Island One Day Trip

It was week 2 in Taiwan and classes have started for the semester. Though I have classes for 3 days but it's kinda exhausting due to the continuous hours of classes. Kinda drained out for the first week and we ended up going somewhere near.

To be honest I thought Cijin was just an island with a light house but I'm so darn wrong. It's really perfect for a weekend getaway with wheels, waves and sunset! Those who enjoy cycling or just enjoying the beach or wind, you'll sure love this place!!

1. Going to Cijin Island from Kaohsiung (Sizihwan) 
Turns out Cijin island is much nearer than we thought! The bus 99 from NSYSU will stop at the Gushan Ferry Pier 鼓山码头. Or you could walk a short distance from Sizihwan MRT station to reach the ferry pier. Line up and board the ferry. The ferry ride was 15TWD for Students with iPass (一卡通). The ferry ride was less than 5 minutes btw!   

Finally crossing the bridge (景观桥) that we always pass by when taking the bus back to our uni. 

At the open air deck of the ferry
well not much time for u take photo when the ride is only five minutes LOL

and finally alighting at Cijin Ferry Pier
which is a red bricked building

2. Getting around Cijin 
The moment we step out of the ferry pier, we immediately caught sight of a bicycle rental shop. The owner was kind enough to give us a lot of tips on the attractions of the island and explained to us that cycling is the best way to get around cijin. (Which we totally agreed) The bicycles are rented out at 100twd per person. Most of us got a bike to ourselves, for those who can't cycle, you may ask for a tandem bicycle aka 协力车 for the same price, where one person cycles the other one supports. You may cycle for as long as you want, as long as the bikes will be parked at the shop the next morning. 

feeling super hyped up when I first paddled haha, really missed cycling!!
btw the opposite direction of roads is still quite confusing, so we gotta be careful 

3. CiHou Battery 旗後砲台
We started our journey with some hiking. Went to the two representative sites of Cijin Island. CiHou Battery functioned as an important defense structure during the Qing dynasty. Instead of just a platform with two cannons, the battery was kind of like a fort with rooms. The battery offers a fantastic view of Cijin district and the coast without any fences or distractions or obstacles. Look out to the infinite sea that will take your breathe away.


Love this view mann....now you know why it's important to have this battery
One awesome view of the sea and anyone sailing towards you. 



Well it's kinda scary to walk around the highest platform. No fences whatsoever. N that's how you snap beautiful photos of the coast!
Cijin buildings that are lightly colored.
Kaohsiung is right behind, see the Tuntex tower?

4. CiHou Lighthouse 旗後燈塔
With the same entrance as the battery, the symbolic light house is on the opposite side of the battery. The light house was also built during the Qing dynasty with the important navigating function for the Takao Port nearby, now known as Port of Kaohsiung. Now the lighthouse stands majestically on a hill of Cijin and its beautiful western architecture is worth your camera film haha...
This face coz I was too exhausted after hiking up the hill (phewwwww)


There's a small exhibition room on the right of the building where they showcase old photographs of the light house and its port activities. And there's also a showcase of ancient machines and tools used in maritime purposes. 
Forever alone haizzzz



another place to have bird's eye view of cijin and the sea!


5. Lunch and street food at Miaoqian Road 廟前路
We cycled to one of the main streets in Cijin with loads of seafood restaurants and street food. Besides there's plenty of stalls selling local products and souvenirs as well. Oh I love Taiwan, street food is everywhere!!

Instead of street food, got myself a big cup (700cc) of Green Milk Tea with less sugar  to beat the heat!! It's only 35twd, gosh love Taiwan so much haha

烧肉饭 Braised Pork Rice with glass bottled Coke -- TWD40
well as u can see the portion is quite small. You may upsize it to a larger bowl of rice with the price of twd60
But it's delicious!! Something about their sauce is really awesome. Goes so well with the slightly chewy and sticky white rice. 
Restaurant name: 阿宏寿司 at No.14 Tongshan Road, Cijin District.
(It's one of the sideways lane along Miaoqian Road)

6. Cijin Tian Hou Gong 天后宫
Taiwan is truly a temple packed country. I'm not exaggerating when I say you can find a Chinese temple every 500m on average. At Cijin, there are many temples as well but Tian Hou Gong is the most popular among tourist due to its long history. Located along the Miaoqian Road, you can hardly miss this bright, colorful and majestic temple with beautiful chinese ancient architecture details and pretty red lanterns hanging around and you can even feel the smell of incense sticks lingering in the air! Smells really good for some reason.


We were greeted by a street performance by two Down's people. They actually played to our favorite Taiwanese Pop Songs!! Really enjoyed their performance and it's really heartwarming to see them performing despite their limitations. 


Just like many other temples in Taiwan, there are several Gods that are worshiped in the temple other than the main Tian Hou Goddess. 




7. 星空隧道 Cijin Star Tunnel
I'm not sure whether we found this tunnel by chance but it was kinda funny going through the tunnel coz I wasn't sure what to expect. All I know is, it's a tunnel, with loads of people sitting inside (which I don't know why), and just some lights in the tunnel. Well the tunnel is actually kinda cooling which I guess it's the reason why so many couples are hanging out in the dark tunnel LOL
After googling about the tunnel, I just realized that we were supposed to look out for the glow-in-the-dark constellation on the tunnel ceiling. Totally missed it and for some reason I saw a lot of random vandalism. anyways it's still kinda fun to walk through the tunnel, enjoying the cool stream of air.




At the other side of the tunnel, you get to see big white waves hitting the rock slopes. 



沿着 “踩風大道” Along the Cycling Track
And our real cycling tour starts. I wished I had someone to take a photo of the places we cycled through!! Basically we cycled along the coast and the view is amazing. Secretly hoping someone took a photo of me cycling with my hair wild in the wind hahahah Really enjoyed the view, the speed and the sun.

8. Cijin Beach 旗津海水浴场
Beach area for people to enjoy the sun and dip into the sea. Didn't go down to the waters as we didn't prepare any extra clothes.


9. Cijin Coast Park 旗津海岸公园
Lots of people and they are all under the trees. I suppose it's more like a picnic place instead of a beach kinda area. Lots of stalls around and there was street performances as well.





10. Cijin Seaside Park Visitor Center
After the coast park we start to pass by several special and pretty structures and turns out the area was a wedding photoshoot set! We saw couples taking their wedding photos against the beautiful sea and I can't help but to feel envious haha...


ok this is not part of a wedding photoshoot I belief
but it's within the area haha

a twin or maybe it's coupled 野柳

THIS IS PRETTY
(why oh why the person have to paint the thing at that time LOL) 



11. Shell Museum 旗津贝壳馆
All about shells really. Loads of shellfish collection and they actually labeled every single species. To be honest I'm not a big fan of shells, people who are interested will love it i suppose, coz it's a WHOLE LOT of them, more like a database compared to a museum if you ask me.Plus It's not just shellfish, but also sharks and snails as well!



14. 旗津海珍珠 Cijin Pearl 
A check-in 打卡 spot for people to take photo with this massive golden and shiny shell!
U can do your jumpshoot, emo shoot, ootd shoot or anything here. The golden backdrop will look nice. 



We continued to cycle for quite a distance, along the coast. Though it's quite a long distance before we reach the windmill park, I enjoyed every second of it, The shaking trees, the sun-lit cycling track, the strong wind and the beautiful sea!!!! Along the coast, there's plenty of benches and gazebos where people can just chill and rest while taking in the seaview.

awww I love the trees along the track. So pretty. 

15. 风车公园  Qijin Windmill Park 
our final destinatiion before we head back to Miaoqian Road. 
They say save the best for last and it's so true!! The windmill park is kinda like a square built next to the sea. No beaches, just a fenced platform to enjoy the beautiful view of sunlight bouncing off the waters like diamonds. Windmill park was packed with people especially families. The park has several windmills running which are able to power the electricity supply for the park in a self-sustainable way. Families picnic-ed, play with kites and bubbles. Young people were enjoying the sunset along the coast, selfie-ing, taking photo etc... The view is amazing!
    

The windmills on duty
Bubbles flying around.




Had 鸡蛋冰 Egg shaped popsicles -- TWD20
Life saver for the hot weather and what a way to enjoy the sunset. 

Cycled back to Miaoqian road for our dinner...kinda sad to leave the coast :( 
Really love the sensation of sightseeing while cycling!

Taken on the road. 


Btw, Cijin really rocks, you can cycle safely along the specially built bicycle track!

16. Dinner at Miaoqian Road
We had a simple dinner at one of the seafood restaurants. Almost the whole Miaoqian road is lined up with seafood restaurants which showcases all the fresh seafood outside, ready for customers to pick their choice from prawns, fish, shell fish, squid and more. I think the most popular dish is boiled prawns. Looks super fresh. Anyway, being the poor-student we are haha, we ordered simple dishes only which are priced at 100twd per dish. 


Front to back:
Deep fried Squid Mouth 炸龙珠 
Sea mushroom 海香菇
Bittergourd and Salted egg 苦瓜咸蛋
actually I think all of them taste good! Yes even the bittergourd was quite yummy! 
I would pick the squid as the favorite. Crunchy and chewy. 

蛤蜊汤 Clam soup
Juicy clams, the soup captures the essence, needs no extra seasoning from salt coz it taste like sea already haha...汤很甜!

Had a Charcoal Grilled Squid 炭烤小卷 to add on!!
Lots of snacks along Miaoqian road especially at night. 

Finally, we wrapped up our journey with one last round of cycling around the area. We were lucky enough to catch the Fireworks happening at the mainland opposite. The night view was amazing. 



I remember there was a mobile coffee stall that sells hand-brew coffee!! The superb coffee aroma together with all the Celine Dion hits that it plays, plus this beautiful night view by the bay, gosh it was one indulgence. Really looking forward to going back to Cijin again and have a cuppa at that coffee stall.  


and there, we left the small but lively Cijin island

In short, Cijin Island is truly an amazing getaway. I guess it's really a place for young people and families. You don't have to worry about food here, there's plenty to choose from. The best part would be the beaches and Windmill parks which offers a beautiful view of the sea and you can watch the sunset! My favorite part of the journey was definitely the cycling, Cijin Island's coastline is super pretty!! The sun is always a bright golden shade, the coast was lined up with trees and there's loads of benches for people to chillax. The windmill park was kinda like Marina Barrage, kite-flying and bubbles everywhere, even better when you get to see the sundown. If you have a day free, why not visit Cijin for a free and easy getaway. 

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