Kaohsiung (pop. 1,400,000), on Taiwan’s south-west coast, is the capital of Kaohsiung province and the country’s largest port. It is the site of the largest breaker’s yard for ships, the second largest dry dock and the fifth largest container terminal to be found anywhere in the world. In addition to being home to numerous export-orientated industrial firms Kaohsiung also boasts the country’s second international airport.
Places of tourist interest in Kaohsiung include the Buddhist temple known as “Kings of the Three Mountains”, the Taoist Wen Wu Shrine and the “Three Phoenix Palace”, where buskers play.
From Shou-shan (“Mountain of Long Life”), on which stands an interesting shrine to the martyrs, there is a magnificent view. The modern Temple of Confucius (built in 1976), the Pavilion of Spring and Autumn near the Tsoying naval base, the Pagodas of the Tiger and the Dragon and the charming Lotus Lake are all most impressive.
10km/6 miles outside Kaohsiung lies the Cheng Ching Lake District, which has much to offer in the way of attractions, such as a zig-zag bridge, a lovers’ bridge, three pavilions, and some of Taiwan’s best-known landmarks, the Chung Hsing Pagoda, the Moon Pavilion and a Road of Orchids. The Kaohsiung Golf and Country Club course lies near the Chung Hsing Pagoda.
Much of the southern tip ofthe island of Taiwan is studded with coral reefs, and a large part of the total of 32,631 ha/113,230 acres of land here forms part of the Kenting National Park, which also takes in the coastal waters.
The southernmost point is the holiday town of Oluanpi, where traces of prehistoric settlements have recently been discovered. One prominent feature is the local lighthouse, built in 1882, from which on a clear day it is possible to see as far as the Philippines, on the far side of Bashi Strait. The beaches of Oluanpi and other places nearby, especially Kenting north-west of Oluanpi, are excellent for bathing, snorkelling, diving and collecting shells. However, beware of sea snakes which hide in the rocks and coral reefs both on and off the coast.
Halfway between Oluanpi and Kenting towers the very impressive coral rock known as Chuan Fan Hsih; it is 18m/60ft high and 115ft wide.
A short distance inland lies Kenting Wild Life Park, on the site of a tropical botanical garden which was laid out in 1906. Here visitors can admire more than 1200 different species of plants and lumps of coral retrieved from the sea.
Kaohsiung Map Photo Gallery
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