Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Easy Trips -

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.

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