Named one of the best cities to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet, Kaohsiung is fast becoming one of Taiwan’s leading travel destinations. But is the city a good place to visit with children? You bet! Taiwan Scene explores eight kid friendly activities that are fun for the entire family.
1. Visiting Nature and Animals at the Shoushan National Nature Park & Shou Shan Zoo
Located in the southeastern part of the city and open daily, the Shoushan National Nature Park offers plenty of natural views as well as likely monkey sightings.There are numerous footpaths to walk along and unique, beautiful flora and stunning limestone formations. On the park’s northern end, visitors will find the Kaohsiung Shoushan Zoo. Open daily from 9am-5pm, it’s the largest zoo in southern Taiwan, and families can expect to see animals from Asia, Africa, Australia, North America and South America. In addition to a wide variety of animals, the zoo houses over 100 species of global plants. Children under six visit for free.
Shoushan National Nature Park
Add: No.350, Wanshou Rd., Gushan Dist., Kaohsiung City
- Take No.56 Shoushan Zoo Shuttle Bus from the Kaohsiung Main Station or the Kaohsiung HSR Station → Get off at Shoushan Parking Lot
- Take No.219 Bus from Jiachang Station → get off at Gushan Administration Center stop and walk up the hill on Wanshou Rd, pass the Yuan Heng temple, Wanshoushan Bridge and Zoo Parking lot
Contact: 07 262-0610
Shou Shan Zoo
Add: No.350, Wanshou Rd., Gushan Dist., Kaohsiung City
Taking City Bus No. 56 from Yanchengpu MRT Station → Head to Exit No. 4 and walk to Hua Nan Bank along Wufu 4th Road to take the bus
Contact: 07 5215187
2. Finding An Art All Your Own at The Pier-2 Art Center
The Pier-2 Art Center is an icon of Kaohsiung’s transition from industrial to more human-centered. Once an abandoned warehouse, the center was repurposed by local artists. Visitors will find multiple art exhibitions spread across the center, along with large, colorful murals painted on the outside of the buildings, as well as impressive outdoor sculptures to enjoy.
Taking family vacation pictures with sculptures such as an iron trumpet and colorful robot is pretty instagramable. Children will especially enjoy riding the mini on-site train that travels from Hamasen Railroad Historical Park to the Penglai Warehouses (don’t worry, the small train cars are sturdy enough to hold adult passengers too). Visitors who purchase a Pier-2 Pass are eligible for one complimentary train ride.
The Pier-2 Pass is NT$149 for adults and Pier-2 Steam Locomotive Passes cost for NT$199, including the free trade ride. Discounts are available for seniors and children aged 12 and above. The Pier-2 Art Center is open Monday to Thursday from 10am-6pm and Friday to Sunday from 10am-8pm.
The Pier-2 Art Center
Add: No.1, Dayong Rd., Yancheng Dist., Kaohsiung City
1.Circular light rail：
- Take the circular light rail to Penglai Pier-2 Station (C13)
- Or take the circular light rail to Dayi Pier-2 Station (C12)
- Take the metro to Yanchengpu Station (O2) Exit 1 → Walk along Dayong Rd (5 min walk from Yanchengpu Station)
- Or take the metro to Xiziwang Station (O1) Exit 2 → Head East and you’ll arrive at Pier-2 Penglai Warehouse in 2 minutes
3. Learning about Trains at the Hamasen Museum of Taiwan Railway
Kaohsiung Harbor once served as Taiwan’s railway freight center. Hamasen is a Japanese word meaning “shoreline” and the name has being used since the Japanese colonial period. The railroad industry was essential in making Kaohsiung a successful industrial city and the museum was established following the railroad’s closure. There are a diverse range of trains and railways on display, featuring both passenger and freight train designs, highlighting the evolution of Taiwan’s railway system over the last century. Nextdoor, guests can visit the Takao Railway Museum which was originally known as the Kaohsiung Port Station and was the city’s first train station.
Hamasen Museum of Taiwan Railway is open on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am-6pm and Friday to Sunday from 10am-7pm. It is closed on Tuesdays. Adult tickets are NT$149, children and seniors tickets are NT$99, while children under three visit for free. Tickets are available at the Pier-2 Art Center.
Add.: Warehouses B7 & B8, Penglai Warehouses, Pier-2 (No. 99, Penglai Rd., Gushan District, Kaohsiung City
- Take MRT Orange Line to Yanchengpu Station (O2), take Exit No. 1, and walk southward along Dayong Road for about five minutes to the Museum.
- Take MRT Orange Line to Sizihwan Station (O1), take Exit No. 2, and walk eastward along West Side Harbor Line Bike Path for about two minutes to Penglai Warehouses, Pier-2.
4. Riding the Longest Slide in Taiwan at Dengshan 60 Slide
Sometimes called the Hama Star Slide, this attraction is billed as the “longest roller slide in the country.” With an average gradient of 18 degrees, the slide is fast enough to qualify as a fun ride but also slow enough for you to take in the scenery. The 79-meter ride lasts about 30 seconds and costs NT$50. Interested guests can call 0911-728-000 to book a time.
Dengshan 60 Slide
Add: No.48-1, Lane 60, Dengshan St., Gushan Dist, Kaohsiung
HSR Zhouying Station/ Kaohsiung Train Station →Take the MRT to Xiziwan Station (O1) Exit 1→ Walk along Linhai 2nd Road and turn right on Dengshan Street
Contact: 07 525 2000#2371
5. Exploring Cijin Island by Bicycle and Swimming at Cijin Beach
It’s well known that Taiwan is a cyclist’s paradise with enough bike paths and routes to suit a wide range of needs and physical fitness. Cycling around Cijin Island is a perfect, almost worry-free, cycling experience for families due to its light traffic. A fifteen-minute ferry ride from Kaohsiung, the island sits just west of the city. Tickets can be purchased at the ferry terminal for NT$15. Bicycles can be walked aboard the ferry for free but you can also rent them on the island for NT$100 for the day, including a bike lock.
Among the more scenic spots on the island are the Cihou Lighthouse (which dates back to the Qing Dynasty) and Cihou Fort. The Star Tunnel, named after the twelve constellations built into its walls, takes visitors to the entrance of Kaohsiung Harbor and is a great spot to watch inbound ships. Art lovers will appreciate the large sculptures dotted across the island, including a giant golden shell that is a popular spot for wedding and graduation photos. Not to mention Cijin Beach, with its fine, black sands, is very popular in the summer. Be sure to check out the local vendors selling tasty seafood snacks.
Add: No.1, Miaocian Rd., Cijin Dist., Kaohsiung City
- Take the metro to Sizihwan Station (O1) → Walk to Gushan Terminal to take the ferry to Cijin Island.
- Take the metro to Sizihwan Station (O1) Exit 2 → Take a 3-minute walk to Kaohsiung Port warehouse No.2 → Take the ferry to Cijin Island
- Take the circular light rail to Penglai Pier-2 Station (C13) or Hamasen Station (C14) → Take a 3-minute walk to Kaohsiung Port warehouse No.2 → Take the ferry to Cijin Island
6. Feeding Your Sweet Tooth at the Taiwan Pineapple Museum
Visitors to Taiwan often take pineapple cakes home with them as gifts. While you can easily find these classic snacks all across the island, a trip to Kaohsiung’s Taiwan Pineapple Museum is such an enriching experience. The buildings that make up this museum date back to the days following WWII when Taiwan’s prosperous canned pineapple industry dominated the market around the globe.
In addition to pineapple cake, visitors can also buy pineapple-themed souvenirs ranging from bags with colorful pineapple designs to pineapple-shaped pots for you to try and grow your own plant in when you get home.
The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 12 to 5:30pm and Saturday to Sunday from 10:30am to 6:30pm. National holidays are 10:30am to 6:30pm and they are closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
Taiwan Pineapple Museum
Add: No.42, Fuxing St., Dashu Dist., Kaohsiung
Take TRA to Jiuchutang station → Turn right on Fuxing Street →Walk along Fuxing Street for 100 meters
7. Making Your Own oil paper umbrella in Mei-nong
Paper umbrellas are a traditional art form of the Hakka people. As well as for protection from the rain and sun, for the Hakkas, umbrellas are also a symbol of good luck. The township of Mei-nung is considered the traditional birthplace of oil-paper umbrellas in Taiwan. This area used to have numerous oil paper umbrella factories. As more modern fabrics became cheaper and quicker to produce, the popularity of oil-paper umbrellas faded. These days, oil-paper umbrellas are mostly considered works of art.
Making an oil-paper umbrella is a complicated process. Wooden spokes are attached to a hand-carved bamboo frame that has been assembled with cotton thread. Once completed, the paper is attached and multiple coats of tung oil are applied. The tung oil makes the paper umbrella waterproof, and once dry, the umbrella is painted. Designs take inspiration from Chinese paintings and you will often see umbrellas decorated with beautiful landscapes, animals, classic Chinese architecture and sometimes calligraphy.
Add: No. 147, Sec 1, Zhongxing Rd., Meinong Dist, Kaohsiung
Contact: 07 681 0888
8.鈴鹿賽道樂園Suzuka Circuit Park
Suzuka Circuit Park is the only overseas authorized raceway in Kaohsiung. The park offers various facilities from the carousel, Taroko Park Trolley, drift kids racer to Mini Suzuka Circuit etc.
The “Mini Suzuka Circuit” is an international-standard go-kart track that is a one-tenth scaled version of the Japan Suzuka International Circuit, recreating the famous professional track. Suzuka Circuit Park want to create a place where not only kids and adults can have fun but where triggers curiosity and inspires interest in motor sports from an early age.
鈴鹿賽道樂園Suzuka Circuit Park
Add: No. 1, Zhongping Rd., Qianzhen Dist., Kaohsiung City
Take metro to Caoya Station (R4A) Exit 2 → Turn left to Taroko Park → Suzuka Circuit Park is inside the Taroko Park
Contact: 07 796 7766
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