The Taiwan Sugar Museum (aka Qiaotou Sugar Factory/Refinery) is a historical sugar refining Factory in Qiaotou District of Kaohsiung City. It was the first sugar factory in Taiwan and lasted nearly a hundred years. Now it has been converted into a museum and cultural center, and is one of the most popular attractions in the area.
The first Han Chinese settlers to Qiaotou came during the late Ming Dynasty, along with Koxinga. The original name of Qiaotou District was was Xiaodianzai (小店仔), a name given because in the olden days there was a few shops near a the Yungui Bridge (允龜橋). Later during the Qing Dynasty, the row of shops became a long street known as Xiaodianzai Street (小店仔街). The Yunchong Bridge crossed a small ditch near the old street, and after a while people referred to the street as Qiaotou Street (literally the street at the head of the bridge). The ditch was later filled in with earth and the bridge was torn down, but it stood near the current stinky tofu stand.
In 1901, during the Japanese era, the first sugar factory in Taiwan was built in Qiaotou. At it's height, it was producing 18,000 tons of sugar per year. After the fall of sugar production in the late 1900s due to the reduction of available land and the growing cost of producing sugar in Taiwan, the factory began to slow production. In 1999, the sugar factory stopped producing sugar, and in 2006 it was converted into a museum.
Due to its convenient transportation from both the MRT and TRA, the Qiaotou Sugar Museum has become a popular attraction, and is especially crowded on weekends.
9 AM to 4:30 PM
Free entrance, different areas inside may require additional entrance fees.
Ten Drum Creative Park 十鼓文創園區: 350 NT
When to go:
Anytime, it never gets really crowded here.
How to get there:
By Scooter/Car: From central Kaohsiung, take provincial highway 1 north (scooters) or national freeway 1 (cars) until you reach Qiatou. There is paid parking in front of the sugar factory.
By MRT/TRA: Take the MRT or TRA to Qiaotou Train Station stop. The old street is just one block south of the train station.
Please see below:
I have been to the Qiaotou Sugar Factory twice. It is really convenient to travel to by both MRT and TRA. If you are in Kaohsiung, it is a nice day trip. The first time I went by MRT but I have no photos of the experience. The second time I travelled by car.
Check out our drone video above for an overview of the area.
Or check out the 360 degree spherical panorama above.
The entire factory is surrounded by a brick wall. The only entrance is on the west side near the train tracks.
You can see remnants of an old KMT military bunker on the east side.
I'm not quite sure what Bay's is, I think they own part of the sugar factory. They definitely own the parking lot.
If you come to take wedding photos, there is a 800 NT fee. If you come to cosplay, there is a 600 NT fee. If you come to make tea, there is a 10 NT fee. One of the weirdest signs I've ever seen in Taiwan, and very confusing for people coming for the first time.
For the ten drums area, there is a 350 NT admission fee.
There is a big grassy area in front of the sugar factory and ten drums area, with some old sugar cane trains on display on the far side.
Very simple map of the ten drums area.
Another view of the sugar factory.
This is the drumming classroom at ten drums. I think there are a little more than ten drums here.
Old kiln or something similar at the front if the complex.
Here you can see the entrance to the ten drums area, which has the old railroad tracks for the sugar train.
Closer look down the tracks.
The ten drums cultural area has a bunch of art displays and restaurants. It is like a hipster paradise, similar to Pier 2.
So what is in the ten drums area?
I don't have any pictures from inside, but I do recall there were quite a few old buildings to explore, and there were some pretty good popsicles and other snacks inside.
The main restaurant at ten drums.
Looking into the ten drum restaurant.
This is known as chimney square. You can also visit parts of the sugar factory from here.
View looking back at the ten drums restaurant.
Full map of the area, including a agricultural machinery exhibition, sugar cane train maintenance shop, and more. The other places outside of ten drums do not require and entrance fee as far as I know.
Drone shot from the east side of the complex.
Another view of the factory from further west. The two long corridors on the right are part of ten drums creative park.
Also if you have time, be sure to check out the nearby Qiaotou Old Street. There are plentiful food options here at better prices than inside the sugar factory. For our full blog on this old street, click here.
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We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling 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.