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7-figure business coach & course creator helping you build a profitable online biz & become OBSESSED with your life. I'm an Enneagram 3 & love ClickUp, color coded calendars & design. I travel around the world full time and spent most my days in Thailand, Vietnam or Bali.
It’s tropical weather and beautiful scenery attract visitors from all over the world, drawn to stunning beaches and unique pagodas (see #2 of the 6 best things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan!).
We spent several weeks in the area, soaking in the sun and culture and today I’m sharing our favorite spots.
You can do all of these things in 3 days, maybe 4-5 days at a more relaxed pace. If you’re planning a trip to Taiwan, I would recommend spending more time in the north, in Taipei and the surrounding area. But if you’re headed to the south, Kaohsiung is definitely worth a visit!
Let’s get started with the 6 best things to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Also known as Shoushan or Chaishan, Monkey Mountain definitely lives up to its name! We were expecting to see a few monkeys here and there but we did not expect for the path to be flooded with so many monkeys we could barely walk. It was amazing and a little scary all at the same time.
There are several different hiking trails for you to choose from (ours took about 3 hours) and at the top of the mountain there is a small tea house and platforms to admire the view. Be prepared for a lot of steps and make sure you bring water. Keep your food packed away or risk it being stolen by a monkey!
2. Dragon and Tiger Pagodas
In my opinion, this was one of the best things to do in Kaohsiung! Located in the Lotus Pond in the Zuoying District, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are part of the Cihji Palace, located just across the street. Cihji Palace is home to Baosheng Dadi, one of the patron saints of the area.
A zig-zag path takes you up to these two stunning pagodas. If you enter through the dragon’s mouth and exit the tiger’s, you’ll be blessed with good luck (or so the sign says). Climb to the top of the pagodas for a stunning view of the surrounding Lotus Pond.
There are a few other temples and pagodas on Lotus Pond that you can check out as well, including the Pei Chi Pavilion and Spring and Autumn Pavilions.
3. Ruifeng Night Market
Taiwan is famous for its night markets. Ruifeng is one of several night markets in Kaohsiung and my personal favorites (even though the most popular is the Liuhe Tourist Night Market). We preferred Ruifeng because it was a little bit bigger and more local feeling.
They also had some of our favorite foods such as sweet potato balls (地瓜球), Taiwanese pork sausage wrapped in glutinous rice (大腸包小腸), Korean potato spiral, Brown Sugar Boba Fresh Milk (黑糖珍珠鲜奶), and last but not least Angel’s fried chicken.
Some other foods to try (although not our personal favorites) are Taro or fruit milks (香濃芋頭鮮奶) and stinky tofu (臭豆腐).
4. Fo Guang Shan Monastery and Buddha Museum
This is hands down my favorite thing to do in Kaohsiung, Taiwan–or even all of Taiwan. We spent almost an entire day there. You could do it quicker, but the campus is huge, so I would recommend at least a half day to explore.
Entrance is free and there is no dress code, but it’s always best to dress a little more modestly when visiting Buddhist temples. There are tens of thousands of Buddha statues within the monastery, while the newer Buddha Museum has its own Starbucks! You can even book an overnight stay if you want to see all the lights and temples after dark.
Within Fo Guang Shan there are many things to see but our two favorite were:
the Great Buddha Standing Statue – this is the tallest standing Buddha statue in Southeast Asia and is surrounded by hundreds of other smaller Buddhas
The main Big Buddha – this Buddha is 108 meters tall and the walk leading up to it is lined with 8 pagodas. It is truly one of the most spectacular sights I have ever seen.
5. Kenting Beach
Kenting beach is also a National Park, located at the southern tip of Taiwan. The lush tropical scenery and cliffside vistas are reminiscent of Bali. There are numerous white sand beaches, hiking trails and markets to explore. You can even visit the southernmost point in Taiwan!
The best way to see Kenting is to rent a scooter and drive up the coast like we did (just don’t forget your helmet!). You can make it a day trip or spend several days in the area.
6. Cijin Island and Pier 2
Pier 2 is right near where you get on the ferry to go to Cijin Island. Pier 2 is filled with tons of art sculptures, quirky buildings and tons of live art installations and paintings like a air conditioner painted as a turtle or a guy bowling painted on a building and the bowling ball rolling painted on the sideway.
Cijin Island is just a five minute ferry ride from Kaohsiung–buy your tickets at Gushan Ferry Pier. Once you’re on the island, rent a bike and start exploring!
There are art installations all around the island, as well as an old fort and lighthouse. For history buffs, Qijin Old Street dates back to the 1600s. Pack a swimsuit and hit the beach when you’re ready to cool off.
Something tells me you belong here and desire something more.
hi, i'm Amanda
Three years ago, I chose to quit my corporate 9-to-5, sold all my belongings, and booked a one-way ticket to Thailand. I had no real plan—just a burning desire to see the world and a bone-deep certainty that there was more to life than my mind-numbing day job.
Since then I have started multiple business ventures including LLCo. which has scaled to over $1 million dollars in 2 years, and has helped hundreds of women from all over the world build profitable online businesses, defy expectations, and create a freedom lifestyle on their terms—no one else’s.
Every day you get to choose again as to how you will live your life - and every defining moment will come down to just that, a choice.
Here’s the thing - your past story, knowledge, and experiences may have shaped you to be where you are now, but they don’t have to define where you go next.
Hey there, I’m Amanda Kolbye. I’m on a mission to help female entrepreneurs acquire business tools & knowledge so they can create generational wealth and a life where you never think “is this it?” In our world, women become unstoppable. In our world, limitless is the only boundary we adhere to.
7-figure international business coach, online educator, and founder of Laptop Lifestyle Co.