2017年9月12日 星期二

Kaohsiung, According to the MRT and My Faulty Memory (Red Line)

Going down the Red Line.  I was in Kaohsiung just last weekend, so some of the memories are fresher.

1. Gangshan South 南岡山.  We drove up to the top of Gang Shan not so long ago.  Last year?  There are many temples up there, and the view of the city at night is amazing.  Scary drive though - and I should know, because I was the one driving.

2. Ciaotou Sugar Refinery 橋頭糖廠.  I haven't actually been inside the place, but we passed by it on the train many times.  We used to take the train to Da Hu 大湖, not far from where my mom-in-law lived in Lu Jhu District 路竹區.  On the way to Lu Jhu we'd often remark that it looked interesting.

Kaohsiung University.

3. Nanzhi Export Processing Center 楠梓加工區.  I've never gotten off at this stop, but Kaohsiung University is near here.  New campus.  Very strange area.  My wife has taken the TOEFL test there many times, and my daughters and I have explored the area on foot.  Really not much to do in that area.

Only in Kaohsiung would you encounter an "Oil Refinery Elementary School" 油廠國小.  I'd love to own their school uniform.  Got lost really bad in the industrial area a few times.  A lot of roads that led nowhere.

4. The World Games (Stadium) 世運.  Ran a half marathon around that area once.

Shin Kong Mitsukoshi in Shin Dzuo Ying.

5. Zuoying 左營.  Now this area I know much better.  Back when my mom-in-law lived in Lu Jhu, we often met her at the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi 新光三越 Department Store.  

I still think this is one of the best department stores in Taiwan.  The parking's easy, and it's an easy drive over from the freeway.

Near the Dzuo Ying Station you'll also find Lian Chr 蓮池, a famous lake with temples all around its perimeter.  Definitely one of the most photogenic places in Kaohsiung.

6. Ecological District 生態園區.  Another place I've run through.  I remember it being pretty, but not astoundingly so.  It would help to get there early in the morning.

Ruei Feng Night Market.  If you're in the right mood, this place is a blast.

7. The Kaohsiung Arena 巨蛋.  It's kind of cool to walk around that stadium, but it won't blow your mind.  Wound up there on New Year's one time and had a good evening.  The Ruei Feng Night Market 瑞豐夜市 is nearby, and there are also some newer restaurants and microbreweries in that area.

8. Kaohsiung Main Station 高雄車站.  This is the only train station in Taiwan where I've seen prostitutes working openly on the street.  I don't know if they cater to Taiwanese, guys from the Philippines, or what, but what they were doing was VERY obvious.

In my opinion, the only real point of interest here is the Old Kaohsiung Train Station, located next door to the new train station.  It's more than a hundred years old now, and was built by the Japanese Colonial Administration.

Street behind Kaohsiung Train Station.

If you plan on staying around here (Hey, it can be convenient!), try the area behind the train station (on the other side of the tracks).  Some of the hotels back there are super sketchy, but they're also very cheap.

Otherwise get the hell out of there as fast as you can.  Your lungs will thank you.

9. Formosa Boulevard 美麗島.  This is the station where you switch to the Yellow Line.  It seems very counter-intuitive, but yes, the switch off for the Yellow Line is one stop removed from Kaohsiung Main Station.

Formosa Boulevard MRT Station.

There's an astrologically-themed roof in that station that's locally famous.  I wouldn't bother with it if I were you.

I really miss that "Sandwich" restaurant that used to be around there.  They made good burgers!

10. Central Park 中央公園.  Here's a KMRT stop worth visiting for its own sake.  The park is nice in the evening, and there's a fun little shopping center/night market across the street.

San Duo Shopping District.  85 Skytower to the right.

11. Sanduo Shopping District 三多商圈.  The wife and kids drag me here all the time, and I know it better than any other part of Kaohsiung.  They have a Sogo 太平洋, they have a Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, and they have an FE 21 遠東百貨.  From the roof of the FE 21 there's an excellent view of downtown Kaohsiung, which should be sort of visible through the smog (ha ha).

Incidentally, single guys or girls in Kaohsiung ought to visit the Eslite 誠品 bookstore in that same FE 21.  That place is a total meat market.  Wall to wall single men and women, all looking for love...

12. Shihjia 獅甲.  This is the stop for Costco and Ikea.  I've never been inside Costco because F*CK CHINA, but I've been to the Ikea plenty.  The American "Consulate" is located behind the Ikea, and there's also a nice little park across from the MRT station.  

In this "Old People's Park" there's a teacher's hostel.  If you teach in a public school (and can prove it), you can stay there for CHEAP.

Dream Mall: awesome back in the day.  Now?  Not so much.

13. Kaisyuan 凱旋.  This is the stop for Dream Mall 夢時代.  Be warned, however, that after leaving the station you still need to walk down a long street to the mall.  I used to love Dream Mall, but I'm sick of it now.  We still visit the T.G.I. Friday's on occasion.

14. Caoya 草衙.  This is the stop for Taroko Park 大魯閣, the "new" indoor sports facility/shopping mall.  I went bowling there last weekend.  As department stores go it's disappointing, but the theme park outside is a good place for kids, and there are some interesting options with regard to sports.  The restaurants?  Not very good.

Hey, Kaohsiung has an international airport!  I've never used it, but back in the day I drove my father-in-law there a few times.  He was always flying to Hong Kong, and then transferring to weird places like Myanmar and North Korea.  If you're a foreigner, odds are that you've never used this place.

Shiao Gang, the end of the line.

15. Siaogang 小港.  It really doesn't look like much.  It's like a poor man's Kenting 墾丁.  There are some seafood restaurants, and I believe some kind of big temple festival is hosted there once a year.

Related Entries:

台灣西方文明初體驗 The Influence of Western Civilization on Taiwan (1 of 4)
The Airport MRT
What's Going on with the Taitung County Government 台東縣政府最近動向 2
Different Angles

Note: I did my best to adhere to the (K)MRT spellings where possible.  Just be aware that some of these spellings sound almost nothing like the Chinese words they're supposed to represent.