Kaohsiung , also called Gaoxiong, is the second largest city of Taiwan. Kaohsung City is situated at the southwestern part of Taiwan. It faces the south outlet of the Taiwan Strait . Kaohsiung is enclosed by Kaohsiung County. Kaohsiung, officially named Kaohsiung City, is divided into eleven districts. With a population around 1.5 million, Kaohsiung is the most densely populated and the scond largest city in China's Taiwan Province
History of Gaoxiong
Founded near the end of the Ming Dynasty in the 17th century, the village was known as Takau in the Hoklo language spoken by most of the early immigrants. The name originates from the Makatao language of the local aboriginal tribe and translates as “bamboo forest”. The Dutch established Fort Zeelandia in 1624 and defeated the local tribes in 1635. They called the place Tancoia. The Dutch were later expelled by the Kingdom of Tungning government founded by Ming Dynasty loyalists of Koxinga in 1662. Zheng Jing, the son of Koxinga, renamed the village Wannian Zhou in 1664. The name was restored to Takau in the late 1670s, when the town expanded dramatically with immigrants from mainland China. In 1684 the Qing Dynasty annexed Taiwan and renamed the town Fengshan County, considering it a part of Taiwan Prefecture. It was first opened as a port during the 1680s.
Kaohsiung began in the 17th century as a small fishing village named "Takao" (打狗), derived from the local aboriginal name meaning "bamboo forest". The name was changed to "高雄" (meaning: "high hero") by the Japanese in 1895, also pronounced "Takao" in Japanese, as they found the original name of 打狗 ("beating the dog") to be vulgar. The modern name of "Kaohsiung" is the pronunciation of "高雄" in Mandarin. In 1863 (the 2nd year of Emperor Tong Zhi's reign of the Qing Dynasty), it was opened up as a commercial port, and then it was formally developed into a seaport after 1895 (the 21st year of the reign of Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing Dynasty). Thus in 1920, it was named Kaohsiung.
An important military base and industry center, the city was heavily bombed by Task Force 38 and FEAF during 1944–1945. After control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China in 1945, the official romanization of the city name came to be “Kao-hsiung”, based on the Wade–Giles romanization of the Standard Mandarin reading of the kanji name. Kaohsiung was upgraded to a municipality on July 1, 1979, by the Executive Yuan, which approved this proposal on November 19, 1978. The Kaohsiung Incident took place in Kaohsiung on December 10, 1979.
What to see in Gaoxiong?
Kaohsiung is a beautiful city well-known for its scenic beauty, a place for sightseeing. You have the Longevity Hill Park, Zuoying Lotus Pond, Banping Mountain, Lovers' River and other such scenic spots as Seawater Outdoor Bathing in the Xizi Bay with snow-white fine sand beach and dark blue seawater. There are coconut palms towering into the sky and the flamboyant trees with red blossom and evergreen graceful foliage, all of which present a wonderful picture of radiant and enchanting scene and agreeable weather. For Kaohsiung travel, The key Kaohsiung Tourist Spots, the scenery and scenic spots are Fuguang Mountain and the surrounding tourist spots such as Sun Moon Lake.
|Liuhe Night Market||Chengcing Lake|
Whent to visit Gaoxiong?
Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan and is located in the south of the island. Kaohsiung is known for its harbor, although more for commercial than tourism reasons. Hence it is also known as the Harbor Capital of Taiwan. Its year-round fine weather and the low cost of living makes Kaohsiung the place to visit.
Kaohsiung International Airport is the second largest airport in Taiwan Province.The Kaohsiung International Airport, which is located in the Siaogang District in southern Kaohsiung City.
The city is served by the Taiwan Railway Administration’s Western Line and Pingtung Line. Taiwan High Speed Rail also serves Kaohsiung City via its new Zuoying Station in northern Kaohsiung City. Future plans include extending high speed rail to the new Kaohsiung Station in the city centre. The new Kaohsiung Station will be an underground station, replacing the current ground level station. Additionally, these two stations will also be served by Red line of Kaohsiung Rapid Transit System when the line opened for revenue service in early 2008.
Also known as the “Harbour Capital” of Taiwan, Kaohsiung has always had a strong link with the ocean and maritime transportation. Ferries play a key role in everyday transportation, and often play the role that buses do in other cities, especially for transportation across the harbour. With five terminals and 23 berths, the Port of Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s largest container port and the 6th largest in the world. In 2007 the port reached its handling capacity with a record trade volume of 10.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU). A new container terminal is under construction, increasing future handling capacity by 2 million TEU by 2013. The Port of Kaohsiung is not officially a part of Kaohsiung City, instead it is administrated by Kaohsiung Port Authority, under Ministry of Transportation. There is a push for Kaohsiung City to annex the Port of Kaohsiung in order to facilitate better regional planning.
By Rapid Transit
A new metro system, the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit opened for revenue service in March 2008. A light rail line that circles central Kaohsiung City was also approved in 2007. In 2004, the Kaohsiung City Government and Siemens built a temporary two-station circular light rail line, along with one trainset, in Central Park, in order to demonstrate the feasibility of building a light rail system in Kaohsiung City. It was meant to alleviate some residents’ concerns, such as producing excessive noise and hindering normal traffic flow, that light rail would negatively impact their surroundings. This Siemens Combino vehicle was later used as part of the defunct M>Tram network in Melbourne, later transferring to Yarra Trams.
Buses run the length of the island, with stops in major towns. They feature fully reclining seats, baggage transportation and, on most, video game consoles or televisions for each seat. Prices run around NT$1000 per trip, give or take, depending on the initial and final destination. Most major bus companies have their office and stops close to the train station. They are located on the same road as the train station, about half a block down the street.
Gaoxiong Travel Tips
1. Dining in Gaoxiong
The snacks served at night market in the Liuhe Street ofKaohsiung city are also extremely attractive to visitors. There is a great variety for you to choose and you will enjoy such delicious food as Carp Louse Soup, Shelled Fresh Shrimp Soup, Cantonese Porridge, Noodle in Soup and what not. In addition, you will also find Fried Cricket, Snake Meat and other delicacies. "Liquou Snail" famous all over the island, is really one of the special local flavours. You should not let the opportunity slip out of your fingers.
2. Top Things to do in Gaoxiong
Kaohsiung Lantern Festival: Join the Kaohsiung Lantern Festival on the middle of Chinese New Year near by the Kaohsiung harbour and famous Love River,fill with variety traditional lanterns, excellent firework, delicious Taiwan food, and great art program and live concert.(The 2010 Kaohsiung Lantern festival it will start at Feb. 20th to Mar. 07th.).
Urban Spotlight, During the day it is a normal city park with coffee shops. In the evening local live bands perform on the venues and nice lighting is turned on. After a hot day it is most enjoyable to sit in one of the outdoor coffee shops and listen to one of the music bands.
Feast on fresh seafood in the Qijin District.
Visit the Liuho Night Market.
Enjoy a coffee in one of the waterfront-side cafes along the Ai River.
Visit the Dream Mall