Taiwan’s second-largest city is a hub of industry. It’s also a modern landscape of wide streets, airy cafés, sultry jazz dens and riverside parks. Beaches skirt the urban area, more than 2,400 acres of forest bristle on its doorstep, and the Cijin fishing village is just a ferry ride away. Like the rest of Taiwan, the city teems with temples, ranging from fun, shrill-colored kitsch to elegant edifices by masters of folk art. A massive arts center and 1 million-plus-square-foot music complex, complete with banyan-caressed plazas and wave-lapped walkways, is emerging on Kaohsiung’s balmy harborfront, Taiwan’s showcase for experimental architecture from around the world. Adding to this will be a spectacular cruise terminal, for those favoring an Odyssean approach to the port city. A sleek 36-station light-rail system links these monuments to the rest of Kaohsiung.
» Don’t Miss Along two sweeping boulevards by a stark blue harbor, banana and bicycle warehouses from the 1970s shelter Pier-2 Art District, an array of galleries, boutiques, cafés and entertainment spots.
Spring and Autumn Pavilions, a Taoist temple complex by Lotus Pond, is a top sight in Kaohsiung.