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16 Best Things To Do In Kaohsiung, Taiwan – Sakura Glamping, Local Night Markets & ~$2 Zoo Entry

Things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Those who love Taiwan would have made several trips to Taipei by now, but if you’re down for a trip that’s more laidback and slower-paced, Kaohsiung should be next on your travel bucketlist.

Kaohsiung shows off a unique and artsy and cultural side of Taiwan, coupled with scenic views of the port. Visit a nearby island, glamp in an area with hot springs or admire the beauty of traditional pagodas and pavilions – here are 16 things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

1. Admire the free wall art & installations at Pier2 Art Centre

pier2 art centre transformer
Image credit: @pier2art via Instagram

Located along one of the channels in Kaohsiung Harbor, Pier2 Art Centre is perfect for a leisurely stroll. You’ll be able to admire art installations and browse pop-up shops here – most noticeably the Transformer installation and wall murals of the Kaohsiung Train Station.

kaohsiung - pier2 art centre junji ito
Fans of mangaka like Junji Ito can visit the exhibit that has a VR experience and pop-up shop.
Image credit: @pier2art via Instagram

Most of the exhibits are within warehouses, with over 20 to go through, so plan for a full day of exploration. Some of the exhibits they currently have on display include one on a popular Japanese mangaka Junji Ito, a Jurassic x Dinosaur Snow World, and a dive into the history of the warehouses at Pier 2.

There’s also a weekend market and several pop-up stores if you want to check out some merch, keychains, clothes and even NFTs to take home as a keepsake of the trip.

The Pier2 Art Center
Google Reviews
No. 1號, Dayong Rd, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 803
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 06:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

2. Bring the kids to Dinosaur theme park atop Dream Mall

kaohsiung - dinosaur theme rooftop park dream mall
Image credit: @_quynhnhi0110_ via Instagram

Families looking for a place to shop, eat, and entertain the little ones can make a stop at Dream Mall which has a Dinosaur Theme Park on the rooftop. The mall itself has over a hundred different shops spanning 12 themed floors that might leave you spoilt for choice, so be sure to wear comfy walking shoes.

The fun continues at the rooftop, with 12 different rides and attractions to check out at the dinosaur theme park. From only TWD100/~S$4.32 per ride or attraction, you don’t have to break the bank to take the little ones on a prehistoric adventure. The Ferris Wheel also is a great vantage point for views of the city skyline, which is especially beautiful in the evenings.

Dinosaur Theme Park opening hours: Mon-Thu 12pm-10pm | Fri & Eve of PH 12pm-10.30pm | Sat & PH 10.30am-10.30pm | Sun 10.20am-10pm

Dream Mall
Google Reviews
No. 789號, Zhonghua 5th Rd, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 806
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

3. Stay in one of the Sanrio-themed rooms at Grand Hi Lai Hotel

kaohsiung - grand hi-lai sanrio room
Image credit: Grand Hilai Hotel

For Sanrio fans who feel like splurging on accommodations, Grand Hi Lai Hotel has 18 different themed rooms for guests to choose from. Some fan favourites like Hello Kitty and Kuromi may be tough to secure, so book your rooms early.

kaohsiung - sanrio themed merch
Limited edition merch for guests.
Image credit: GrandHiLaiHotelKaohsiung via Facebook

These rooms also come with themed accessories like toiletries, refreshments, and postcards for you to take home. There’s also a small shop in the lobby that sells other limited edition merch fans and collectors would go crazy for. These rooms will be available till 31st Dec 2023 so diehard fans planning a trip to Taiwan should book theirs soon.

Admission Fee
From S$383/night.
Google Reviews
No. 266號, Chenggong 1st Rd, Qianjin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 801
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

4. Spot a free public art installation at Formosa Boulevard Station

formosa boulevard station
The installation has 4 different sections representing water, earth, light and fire.

Image credit: @benniiskandarr via Instagram

If you’re taking public transport to get around Kaohsiung, plan a stop at Formosa Boulevard Station to gaze at the beautiful art installation on the ceiling. This is the world’s largest public art installation made from individual pieces of stained glass put together.

Those who are lucky can catch one of the 4 light shows here that happen throughout the day that illuminate the stained glass, making it an even greater sight to behold.

Address: No. 115號地下一樓, Zhongshan 1st Road, Taiwan, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 800

5. Have a drink & peruse the knick-knacks at TimeS Antique & Bar

times bar & antique
Image credit: TimeS Antique & Bar via Google Maps

A lesser-known watering hole tucked away in an alley, TimeS Antique & Bar is a quirky bar filled to the brim with antiques from America. Vinyl records, gramophones, antique cameras – everything you see in the shop is for sale. Except for Mojo, the owner’s cute dog that will greet guests enthusiastically.

Enjoy the peace and quiet away from the city with a craft beer (from TWD180/~S$7.77) or a Taiwanese Weissbier beer (TWD150/~S$6.47). Grab some bar snacks like their salty popcorn (TWD100/~S$4.32) or try them all with the combo sampler (TWD300/~S$12.95). 

Even if you don’t walk away with a new antique item, you can take home some aesthetic pics and memories of the peaceful drinking sesh.

TimeS Antique & Bar 時光古董酒吧
Google Reviews
No. 20-7號, Linhai 1st Rd, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 80441
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 06:00 PM - 01:00 AM Show More Timings
Contact Information

6. Take bae to a local’s paktor spot, Sizihwan Bay

kaohsiung - sizihwan bay sunset
Image credit: @listen_to_lu via Instagram

A romantic stroll or a beach date at Sizihwan Bay should be on the list if you’re travelling to Kaohsiung with bae. The sunset here is also known as one of the 8 famous scenes of Kaohsiung, so come snap some pics even if you’re riding solo. 

Although Taiwan isn’t really a beach destination, you can get your fix with just a 20-minute drive from the city or stay at Sizihwan Sunset Beach Resort if you’re really in the mood for the beach experience in Kaohsiung.

Address: No. 70, Lianhai Road, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804

Google Reviews
No. 51號, Lianhai Rd, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 804
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

7. Head out of town to go glamping at Bao Lai Hot Springs

kaohsiung - bao lai hot spring glamping
Image credit: 遠山望月溫泉villa via Google Maps

Outdoorsy types can book a glamping overnight stay at Bao Lai Hot Springs. It is quite a ways from the city, about a 1-hour 45-minute drive from the city. However, it’s worth the drive for fans of natural hot springs and nature. There are a variety of hot springs to choose from, both public and private. 

All the accommodations come with private or semi-open air baths that have water from the hot springs. There are also public foot baths to soak your weary feet in and a public bath with bicarbonate soda spring water. The bicarbonate soda spring water has a soapy feel to it and a slightly high pH level of 7-7.4, which is safe for the skin and makes it smoother.

sakura blossom
They have their own cherry blossom season in April.

Image credit: 洪士媜 via Google Maps

If you happen to plan your trip during March or April, you might be lucky enough to catch cherry blossoms. They’re just like the ones in Japan and bloom at roughly the same time. Plus, you can glamp out here overnight to take in sights of them as much as you want. 

Baolai Public Hot Springs
Google Reviews
844, Taiwan, 高雄市六龜區寶來里
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 05:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

8. Admire the views from the highest point of Tardy Hill Nature Park

kaohsiung - tardy hill nature park rock formation
Image credit: @yumirah_ann via Instagram

Another spot to check out for nature lovers, Tardy Hill Nature Park has unique rock formations that make the land rather inhospitable. While they may be dangerous to live on, they are interesting to check out while on a stroll or a hike at the nature park.

tardy hill nature park bridge
Image credit: @jayemisme via Instagram

There’s also a long suspension bridge that brings you high above a sea of greenery which makes a great spot for photos. The observatory is also at one of the highest points of the park, about 53m above sea level and makes for a great spot to enjoy the view of nature and beaches in the surrounding area.

Address: 827, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Mituo District, 漯底里山頂路

9. Meet the animals at Kaohsiung City Shou Shan Zoo for only S$1.73

shou shan zoo
Image credit: @hueicihjhong & @jirawan_gad via Instagram

Is it really a holiday if you don’t pay a visit to the local zoo? You can see an array of animals at Kaohsiung City Shou Shan Zoo for only TWD40/~S$1.73 per visitor. There’s no need to tire yourself out here – just hop aboard the mini train that’ll take you around at TWD50/~S$2.17 per person, surprisingly costing more than the entrance fee itself. 

If you bring the little ones from 10am-11am and 2pm-3pm on Tuesdays to Sundays, they’ll have a chance to feed some cute zoo animals for free, as long as there’s food available. And no, you can’t feed them with the food you’ve brought. If you yourself get hungry, there’s a Western cafe in the zoo to get some munchies after having visited all the different enclosures.

Kaohsiung City Shou Shan Zoo
Admission Fee
TWD40 (~S$1.73)
Google Reviews
No. 350號, Wanshou Rd, Gushan District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 80444
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 09:00 AM - 04:30 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

10. Enjoy mains under $10 with city views at Gooday Cafe & Roof

gooday cafe & rooftop view
Image credit: @baze_chang via Instagram

There’s something calming and peaceful about watching the traffic and people walking below from a rooftop cafe like Gooday Cafe & Roof. Get one of their classic cafe drinks with a twist like the Orange Cider Latte (TWD130/~S$5.61), then kick back and relax.

kaohsiung - gooday cafe & rooftop spicy scallion noodles
Spicy Scallion Noodle.

Image credit: YW J via Google Maps

Fill up on their mains that cost below $10 like their Spicy Scallion Noodles (TWD200/~S$8.63), which are said to be a must-try for those who want a little heat in their lives. And to end it off, get something sweet like their Cinnamon Rolls (TWD140/S$6.04).

Gooday Cafe & Roof
Google Reviews
No. 76號, Kunming St, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 806023
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Closed Show More Timings
Contact Information

11. Feed & play with some furry friends at Jing Yuan Leisure Farm

jing yuan leisure farm horse
Image credit: @bubbleyu via Instagram

Only 20 minutes away from the city, Jing Yuan Leisure Farm lets you reconnect with nature with its beautiful lakes and pine forest. Buy some fish food from the vending machines near the pond and feed the fish or watch the graceful swans taking a dip in the water. There are small huts on the edge of the lake for you to relax and take in the sights of nature as well.

kaohsiung - Jing Yuan Leisure Farm feeding
Image credit: @bubbleyu via Instagram

Visit the mini petting zoo where you can play with and feed furry friends like baby cows, rabbits, and even alpacas. The kids can also play in the large playground or hop on the mini train for a ride around the farm. They even have a stage area with bean bags for you to laze around and with some live music from local artists.

Jing Yuan Leisure Farm
Admission Fee
TWD300/adult (~S$12.95) | TWD200/child (~S$8.63)
Google Reviews
No. 12, Alley 10, Lane 135, Mingsheng St, Xiaogang District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 812
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 09:30 AM - 09:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

12. Get on a ferry to Cijin Island for art & ornate architecture

cijin island rainbow church
Snap an aesthetic pic at the Rainbow Church

Image credit: @nomad.ivonne via Instagram

Visit some colourful temples and art installations or chill at the beach on Cijin Island, which is less than a 10-minute ferry ride from Gushan Ferry Pier. Take a stroll down Cijin Old Street to hunt for some fried seafood, freshly caught from the waters nearby. And if you walk a little further, you’ll find food stalls like those at night markets selling desserts, snacks and drinks.

kaohsiung - cijin island temple
Image credit: @mingjinam via Instagram

The rainbow arches of Rainbow Church make for a great photo opp, especially with the sunset and the sea in the backdrop. If you like architecture, make sure to pay a visit to the Cijin Tianhou Temple which has colourful and intricate designs like dragons and peacocks that rest on its rooftop.

Cijin Ferry Station
Tickets: TWD30/adult (~S$1.29) | TWD15/child aged 5-12 (~S$0.65)
Opening hours: Ferry service 5am-2am every 10 mins, Daily
Address: 805, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Qijin District

13. Satisfy your snack cravings at Ruifeng Night Market

kaohsiung - ruifeng night market
Image credit: @jonnyrouse7 & @cathy_li_tw via Instagram

What’s a trip to Taiwan without getting some nomz at a night market? With over 300 different stalls at Ruifeng Night Market, you can surely find something to satisfy your cravings. You can find some of the night market staples like stinky tofu, bubble tea, and papaya milk but they also have hotpot stalls with decently sized seating areas.

Once you’ve eaten to your heart’s desire, check out the carnival-like game stalls to score some stuffed animals or browse the stores that sell cheap clothing.

Ruifeng Night Market
Google Reviews
804, Taiwan, Kaohsiung City, Zuoying District, Yucheng Rd, 南屏路
Opening Hours:
Tuesday Open 24 Hours Show More Timings
Contact Information

14. Shop cheap clothing at the aesthetic Hou Yi Shopping District

hou yi shopping district
Image credit: @jerry_ting_travel via Instagram

Shop in style and under the shade of colourful umbrellas at Hou Yi Shopping District. Take your time to cover the entire 1km length of the shopping district that has clothes from all over the world, including local brands and those from Japan, Korea, and even Europe. 

Pro tip: It’s worth paying a visit in the evenings when it’s less crowded and the umbrellas are lit up by fairy lights.

Hou Yi Shopping District
Google Reviews
Anning St, Sanmin District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 807
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 08:00 PM Show More Timings

15. Learn more about local history and religious beliefs at Lotus Pond

kaohsiung - lotus pond overview
Take pics that scream “main character energy”.

Image credit: @palmppt via Instagram

Comprising 42,000sqm of stunning temples and pagodas, Lotus Pond has so much to explore that you might want to rent a bike to cover the entire area. 

Right at the entrance, you’ll be greeted by the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas where you’ll have to walk into the mouths of the beasts to get inside the pagodas. Climb to the top on the 7th story and you’ll be able to catch glimpses of the Cihji Palace, Spring and Autumn Pavilions, Pei Chi Pavilion and of course the beautiful pond.

lotus pond pagoda sunset
Image credit: @mayliss_mike_aroundtheworld via Instagram

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the culture and heritage and snap some pics. If you go during sunset, you’ll be able to see the reflection of the sun on the surface of the pond which just adds a magical touch to the photos you can take there.

Book a tour of Zuoying district, including the Lotus Pond

Lotus Pond
Google Reviews
Lotus Pond, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 813

16. Try IKEA Taiwan’s Pork ribs & chawanmushi

kaohsiung - ikea food
Image credit: @clouds_foods_24 via Instagram

It might be a Singaporean thing, but there’s just something about checking the food at IKEA in different countries. IKEA Taiwan is no different, with unique menu items such as Grilled Pork RiIbs in Honey Sauce (TWD360/~S$15.54) and Chawanmushi (TWD35/~S$1.51). Or you could compare the 10-piece Swedish Meatballs (TWD139/~S$6) with the ones back home.

Google Reviews
No. 1201號, Zhonghua 5th Rd, Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 806
Opening Hours:
Tuesday 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM Show More Timings
Contact Information

Ultimate guide to things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

If you weren’t planning a trip to Kaohsiung before, we hope this list of things to do has you raring to plan a trip over – especially if you’re looking for a more laid-back alternative to the hustle and bustle of Taipei. A good mixture of must-sees and hidden gems makes for a great itinerary, so make sure you include some lesser-known spots on your list to make for a fulfilling trip.

To see them all at one go, book a day tour of Kaohsiung to see all the city’s highlights. 

For more things to do on holiday, check out: 

Cover image adapted from: Grand Hilai Hotel, @palmppt & @_quynhnhi0110_ via Instagram