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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Kaohsiung 高雄 Diaries: Places to go in Kaohsiung

Next up, gonna introduce you guys to some of my favorite places in Kaohsiung city and also some sightseeing-worthy landmarks. Kaohsiung is Taiwan's second most populated city after Taipei. Similar to Taipei, they have their own MRT system, loads of night markets. But I guess because of the weather here, people and things here are warm and vibrant!

1. 瑞豊夜市吃天使鸡排
Must try the Angel's Deep Fried Chicken at Rui Feng Market

Street food is almost everywhere in Kaohsiung but night markets are still the best place to find them. Rui feng Night Market was introduced to us by a local when we first reached Kaohsiung. It's the night market where locals go, unlike other tourist-loaded night markets.

If you are in Kaohsiung, you should definitely try the Angel Fried Chicken (天使鸡排) which is so different from the XXL Chicken you buy at Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks outlets. The thick chicken chop is crunchy on the outside, juicy on the inside. It tastes almost like nugget but, tender and well seasoned. You don't need other food really, this one thing is good enough to feed you up while you enjoy shopping and playing arcade games in night market.

FYI, there's LiuHe 六合 Night Market, Kaisyuan 凯旋 and Jinzhuan 金钻 Night Markets as well. 

Stinky Tofu is nice! Deep fried oyster mushrooms are awesome as well. 

2. 去新崛江商圈血拼
Shop at Kaohsiung's version of Ximending: Sinkuchan Shopping District

I use to think that shopping must be done at Taipei's Ximending, but actually, at Taiwan, shopping can be pretty much done at every neighborhood. Kaohsiung's Sinkuchan shopping district isn't far different from Ximending in my opinion. Not only there's local boutiques and well known brands' store, there's also plenty of malls around that sells pretty much everything from budget apparels to medium priced items from established brands. Even if you are not in the mood of shopping, this is one place for youngsters to hang out, eat some street food, some arcade games and there's also a movie theater, and I mean those independent ones unlike the ones in malls.  Personally I enjoy shopping for beauty products at POYABG Shop or 86 小铺 haha.

I can tell you, I've never escaped this place with my hands empty.

The vibrant and young street of Sinkuchan 

Urban Spotlight Arcade 城市光廊 
an area with special illuminations, which is nearby Sinkuchan shopping area. 

This is 大立精品 Star Place mall
which houses many luxury brands
always mesmerized by the exterior of the mall

3. 高雄大遠百的成品书店当文青
Bookstore that makes you proud of being a bookworm at Eslite Bookshop

I've only been to this mall for once, but it was my first time experiencing Taiwan's idea of departmental store. The mall itself is "de" departmental store. Unlike our malls in MY and SG where we usually refer departmental store as AEON, PARKSON and ROBINSONS which are anchor stores in massive malls. The amazing part is, the departmental store spans over more than 10 floors, by area I suppose this is MEGA size compared to our departmental stores which are usually 3-5 floors (enlighten me if I'm wrong). All brands that you see aren't operating separately like an independent store, but they are all under the management of the departmental store. So you can imagine how many brands and products are there and the best part comes where you get more promotions/special discounts since you can buy almost everything here. God knows how long will it take to browse every floor. Anyways, Eslite bookstore is also housed in this mall and it also changed my impression of bookstores. Just when I thought Kinokuniya should be the prettiest bookstore I've ever seen, Eslite's interior took it to another level. Again it's huge, elegant and the best part, spacious. I swear it will trigger your inner bookworm.  

This is just the main area, there's one more area on the right. 

4. 到梦时代和梦幻缤纷的摩天轮拍照,顺便血拼
Shopping mall with their very own rooftop Ferris Wheel and theme park.

Another massive shopping mall in Kaohsiung which has a ferris wheel as their landmark. I thought this was the mall in many Taiwanese Idol Drama like 真命天女 and 换换爱 but those are in Taipei haha. But my inner kid can't help but to have a glimpse at the colorful and fantasy-like Ferris Wheel.

The Merry Go Round at the rooftop amusement park. 

Watch a movie at a ex-aluminium factory: MLD Cinemas

This is a recently opened cinema (can't really classify this as a mall I suppose) with plenty of restaurants and cafes. The building was once a factory and hence the movie theaters and restaurants have a rather industrial and old-skul interior. I like this place coz it is not too huge and it's a cinema in nature, so you won't have boutiques or some retail outlets around. I'm not sure how to describe but it just feels much more "focused" and exclusive.

They have their own supermarket as well. 

btw for those who don't know
Watching movies in Taiwan is expensive! Usually tickets are priced around 270TWD (RM30++). Even if you have student discounts, it will still be around 230TWD. which is why I only watched one movie in Taiwan haha. I was pretty much promoting Malaysia's cinema to my Taiwanese friends, they could have done a cinema marathon over here.   

Old Skul American Diner kinda meal at MLD

6. 到鹽埕埔批发商买可爱的袜子,还有寻美食
Food hunt and Shop for accessories at wholesalers in Yanchengpu

It's the neighboring district to Sizihwan. Which I do visit quite often as well. There's loads of wholesalers over here, and most of them wholesale accessories like socks, bags, scarves, necklaces and much more. Wholesaler simply means...there's a whole LOT of CHOICES! I think the socks are the best thing. Well many of the socks are imported from Korea, but after visiting Korea, I realize they sell it much cheaper over here.

Not to forget, this district is also full of yummy treats.

I couldn't leave without bagging this set haha 

米糕城 Mi Gao Cheng 
Apparently one of Kaohsiung's must try snack is this 米糕 which is glutinous rice if I'm not wrong. Oh well I can still remember the taste clearly despite this being one of the first few things I tried in Taiwan. The chewy but not too sticky glutinous rice, with insanely fragrant minced pork 肉燥 and meat flosses. Simple stuff but the flavor is just too awesome.  
Address: No. 107, Daren Rd, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City 107 高雄市鹽埕區大仁路107號

Left: 米糕 (glutinous rice) and Right: 肉燥饭 Minced Pork Rice

阿婆冰 A-Po Desserts
Kaohsiung's weather never gets cold, icy desserts are must haves. This shop has a long history and it was recommended by locals as well. The desserts are truly authentic in flavor, with coarsely shaved ice, real fruits and homecooked red beans and pearls.For some reason even the ice cream's taste like childhood haha. Nothing artificial here, just truly refreshing taste. Time to get a break from all the crazy flavored toppings that we're so used to.  
Address: No. 150, Qixian 3rd Road, Yancheng District 高雄市鹽埕區七賢三路150號

樺達奶茶 鹽程總店 (Hua Da Milk Tea)
Milk Tea is pretty much everywhere in Taiwan. This outlet happens to be a very famous one in Yancheng district. I was just wandering around the area and found this shop. Personally I think the best part about Taiwan's milk tea is that they use fresh milk instead or milk powder or sweeteners. Love the milky aroma and it's not too sweet. Best thirst quencher. 
Address: No.99, Xin Le Street, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City 高雄市鹽埕區新樂街99號

Their specialty is 樺達奶茶. Which is just milk and black tea. 

7.  和高捷少女搭捷运,顺便参观美丽的捷运站
Experience Kaohsiung's MRT and their beautiful train stations

Not like we don't have MRT here, but some of the stations are pretty here. I know SG MRT has their mascots but Kaohsiung's MRT mascots are anime girls haha. As a young adult, how to not like you tell me? I like how they have special trains with the anime characters in them.

The beautiful Dome of Light at Formosa Boulevard Station I swear standing there in person gives an instant majestic vibe.

Central Park station

Special trains with the MRT's mascots

Each character has their own name, and they are people from the MRT company.
Got ticket seller, technician and captain haha.
Love this anime campaign, makes taking MRT such a cool thing.  

8. 高雄市立图书馆也太美了,附近还有博览会,星光码头和85大楼
Kaohsiung's sophisticated public library and other landmarks at Shijia Station.

The Library is still one of the most impressive thing I've seen in Taiwan. I didn't know it was a library in the first place. I thought it's some shopping mall. Another regret for me that I didn't explore this library in depth, I was only there for a short while. As you can see here, it's all floor length windows and brightly lit. The interiors uses mainly light colors that gives a simplistic feel. Definitely gonna visit there again.

高雄市立图书馆总馆 Kaohsiung's Main Library

This is the Kaohsiung Exhibition Center which is just around the corner.

XinGuang Ferry Wharf which leads to Love River

Kaohsiung city at night. 

9. 服务超棒的神采飞扬KTV狂欢
Sing your hearts out at Karaoke outlets with awesome service.

Karaoke is a whole new level over here. It's not just renting the mic, it's service yo! There were people greeting you at the entrance. There's a manager that hosts you with awesome hospitality. We are actually allowed to bring outside food and the manager was kind enough to provide snacks for us at FOC as well! The manager truly gives a personal touch to the whole experience.  Other than that, sound system was great, the rooms are adequately sized (unlike TeoHeng's bathroom-sized rooms haha) and the best part.... there's a toilet in the room, so you don't have to go out!!!! Yes I am going to say, that whole experience was like going to a Hotel to "open room"  haha. Price, I don't really remember but I am sure that it's reasonably priced, less than 200twd per pax.  

this was the building, see the door? Hotel-like

just to show you, there's a washroom there. The layout is just like a hotel room haha. 

at the lobby with pretty chandelier, just like a hotel haha. 

10. 爱河也不错美哦
Kaohsiung's pulse: Love River

One of Kaohsiung's representative icon. Cycle and observe Kaohsiung's cityscape. There's plenty of cafes and restaurants along the promenade. You can have a river cruise as well.

101. 西子湾和旗津 看夕阳
Mesmerizing sunset at Sizihwan and Cijin!!!

Still the best part of Kaohsiung. Seaside fun at Sizihwan and Cijin Island with loads to do and see. Check out my long post exclusively for this area. 

Go Have Your Journey at Kaohsiung!

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