Kaohsiung is the largest port in Taiwan, and its second largest city after Taipei. The metropolis is host to so much incredible food that the issue here isn’t about going hungry but fitting into your clothes at the end of the day. Consider yourself warned, and read on for our guide to Kaohsiung’s must-eat destinations.
Also, if you’re looking for hotels in Kaohsiung, here are the lowest prices for the Top 3 most value for money hotels in Kaohsiung:
1. Liuhe night market
There is an abundance of night markets in Kaohsiung, but Liuhe is known for its food, specifically fresh and delicious seafood. Most of the stalls sell it fried on sticks for you to enjoy as you walk around, like the woefully sinful fried caramelized squid. But you can also find small stalls with seating that serve up steaming bowls of seafood porridge. Don’t fret if you aren’t a fan of seafood – other local favourites like fried chicken and coffin bread are plentiful here as well, and highly recommended.
If after all that food you’re feeling thirsty, you must try Cheng’s Old Brand papaya milk. It’s famous around Taiwan and has won several awards for Best Drink. Don’t let the queue deter you – it’s worth the wait!
Liuhe night market is a quick walk from the Formosa Boulevard MRT station, and is open from 5pm-5am daily.
2. Ya Jiao Seafood Restaurant
If you want your seafood fix, but don’t want to trawl through a crowded night market to get it, Ya Jiao Seafood Restaurant is for you. One of the oldest restaurants on Cijin Island, Ya Jiao grew from a meager stall to become one of Kaohsiung’s largest seafood restaurants.
Located on Cijin Island, Ya Jiao is a unique experience where you can pick your seafood raw from baskets at the front of the restaurant, and the chefs will cook it for you to your liking. The seafood is also extremely fresh – and often still alive! A definite must is fresh squid deep-fried with a simple mix of garlic, green onions, salt and butter.
To get to Ya Jiao Seafood Restaurant, take a train to Sizihwan MRT station and walk to Kaohsiung Harbour. From there, take a 5 minute ferry ride to Cijin island. From the dock, you can walk to Ya Jiao, which is at 22 Miaoqian Rd.
3. Escape 41
Escape 41 restaurant is the perfect place if you a) want to get out of the city, or b) need a western food fix. Perched on Caishan Mountain just outside of Kaohsiung city, Escape 41 looks out over the Taiwan Straits between Taiwan and China, and has one of the best views in Kaohsiung.
Because it is slightly out of the way, Escape 41 is a little hard to get to. You can either take bus 88 from Kaohsiung main station, and then switch to bus 99 on Gushan 1st road, or just hire a car and drive.
4. Meinong Township
While in Kaohsiung, you should definitely go to Meinong. The small town is just under an hour’s drive out of the city, and is steeped in Hakka culture and history. The Hakka are an ethnic community in China, and make up about 15% of Taiwan’s population. Meinong is a distillation of their traditions and culture.
One of the most rewarding parts of that tradition, of course, is the sumptuous Hakka cuisine. Try the bantiao noodles in Meinong Traditional Hakka restaurant on Jungshan Rd in Meinong for the best example of this. Or you could take a stroll down Meixing Street, and sample the flavours on offer from the stalls that line the road.
5. Wu Pao Chun bakery
This world-famous bakery should not be missed. Led by baker Wu Pao Chun, the bakery has every flavour of bread under the sun, including his award-winning millet wine/rose petal/lychee bread (a mouthful to say as well as to eat!) and mango bagels. Only 100 loaves of the millet wine/rose petal/lychee bread are made a day, so you’d better get in early. If that isn’t enough to tempt you, the winding queue that patiently waits for the shop to open each day is proof enough of its worth.
To get to the bakery, take the MRT from Kaohsiung main station to Sanduo Shopping District, then walk down Sanduo 3rd Rd., and turn left on Yongding St. and keep going until you see the big black storefront of the bakery.
Lastly, if you’re looking for hotels in Kaohsiung, here are the lowest prices for the Top 3 most value for money hotels in Kaohsiung: