Cheng Ching Lake (aka Cheng Cing Lake or Ching Qing Lake) in Kaohsiung is one of the most beautiful parks in Taiwan. Much of the lake is full of traditional Chinese gardens and architecture. Because of its size, it cannot be properly appreciated by only going there for one afternoon; there are simply too many things to see and do there.
People often don’t realize that Kaohisung has a lot to offer to tourists. Many of the places down south aren’t represented as well as sites in Taipei, which is why we want to help everyone realize what a great place it is. I used to live in Kaohsiung and exercise at Cheng Ching Lake daily, and boy do I miss it! There are many lucky elderly Kaohsiung residents that visit the lake daily for free, and I envy them.
How to Get There:
From the Weiwuying MRT station, you can take the 70A bus straight to the main entrance.
100 NT per person, 50 NT for students, 60/100 NT for cars (there is a discount for cars on weekdays), and 30 NT for scooters. If your ARC or National ID has a Kaohsiung address, you can enter the park for free!
Hours: 4 AM - 9 PM (no entry after 6 PM)
Fo Guang Shan (aka Buddah Light Mountain, Buddah's Light Mountain, or Buddha Memorial Center) is a Buddhist sect based in Dashu District of Kaohsiung. The headquarters in Dashu feature the largest Buddhist monastery in the country along with a 8 pagodas, a large pyramid, huge sitting buddha statue, and Buddha museum. The massive complex can fill a tourists itinerary for more than a day, and is TripAdvisor's top ten tourist landmarks in Taiwan.
The Fo Guang Shan religion was established by Hsing Yun in 1967, begning with the development of the monastery in Dashu. The religion is focused on Humanistic Buddhism, with an emphasis on technology.
Fo Guang Shan has since grown to be one of the largest charitable organizations in Taiwan. Currently it has established medical programs, several colleges, one university, and has presence in 173 countries.
The Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum started construction in 2008 and was completed in 2011.
One of the most precious artifacts in the museum is the tooth of Sakyamuni Buddha. The grounds feature eight pagodas, hundreds of statues, 4 different museums, an auditorium, Jade and Golden Buddha Statues, and 48 underground palaces (time capsules).
How to get there:
From Kaohsiung, take provincial highway 29 north to Dashu, and it will be right in front of the National Highway 3 bridge. You can also travel there via public buses.
9 AM to 8 PM
Please see below:
Qijin Island (aka Cijin Island or Chijin Island) has one of the most accessible sandy beaches to any urban area in Taiwan. Besides the nearly 10 Km stretch of sandy shores, the island also has an old street with tasty snacks, a seafood market, a lighthouse, an ancient fort, a star tunnel, a shell museum, and much more. It is one of the most popular destinations in Khaosiung and definitely worth a trip.
Qijin Island was first settled by a Chinese fisherman named Hsu Ah-hua (徐阿華) in the 1600's, discovered after he took shelter there during a typhoon. He brought many families with him from Fujian to settle there. They created the first Mazu temple there, Chi Jin Mazu Temple in 1673.
The lighthouse dates from 1883 and was built in the English style.
The fort on the hill to the north of the Island was completed in 1875 during the Qing dynasty.
After WWII, Qijin was made a district of Kaohsiung City. In 1979, Taiping Island and Dongsha Island were added under the district's administration.
Qijin Island used to be a sandbar peninsula, but was separated from mainland Taiwan at its southern tip to make a second entrance into Kaohsiung Harbor in 1967.
There were plans for a cross harbor gondola but they were scrapped due to the height needed to cover the harbor.
How to get there:
By Passenger Ferry: Ferry's leave from Gushan near Xiziwan MRT station about every 10 minutes 24/7 (every half hour at after midnight).
By Car/Scooter: Take the underwater tunnel on the south side of the island. Scooters can cross, but not bicycles.
Passenger ferry crossing: 40 NT
Bicycle ferry crossing: 50 NT
Motorcycle ferry crossing: 80 NT
Map: Please see below:
Where is the best view of the second biggest city in Taiwan? Some may say it is the 85, or Shoushan, but actually I think that the best vie can be found at Dongzhaoshan Coffee in Dashu District.
The first time I came across Dongzhaoshan Coffee was while riding my bike through the hills of Dashu. When I saw it, my immediate thought was 'this is where I want to live for the rest of my life.' The coffee shop sits directly on a hilltop that offers veiws from Pingtung to Tainan, with K-town in center view.
You have to buy something from the restaurant there in order to enter. A meal can be anywhere from 150-200 per person. Well worth it in my opinion.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the view from the road in front for free, although you can't see as much from there.
10 AM - 10:30 PM. Closed on Tuesdays.
How to get There:
By Car or Bike：Take county highway 186 to Dashu, then turn left on Zhongyi Road. Once you pass the Guandi Temple, there is a small road to the right next to the parking lot. Dongzhao Coffee is at the top of the hill, and there is free parking!
By Bus: Go to Dadong MRT station and take the bus all the way to Guandi Temple (this will take about an hour and a half). After that, it's a five minute walk up the hill to Dongzhao Coffee.
Please refer to the map below:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living and working in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.