An island nation surrounded by sea, it won’t surprise you that Taiwan’s seafood industry is alive and well. And in Kaohsiung, at Kezailiao Wharf Fish Market (蚵仔寮港觀光魚市), boatloads of fresh fish pull into the port every morning ready to sell their catch to the hungry public. Known for its plentiful offerings of squid, tuna and pacific saury, as well as popular delicacy mullet roe, Kezailiao’s name has Taiwanese-language origins and refers to the oyster fields that used to produce the market’s primary source of income. The area is an ideal place to explore as part of your cruise Kaohsiung Taiwan experience. (You might also like: Just Passing Through: 5 Taiwan Urban Layovers)
Located in Kaohsiung’s Tzukuan district (梓官區), the market sits right next to the wharf, ensuring the fish sold is as fresh as can be. As well as the fresh catch, visitors can purchase seafood dishes such as sashimi and oyster omelets, while there are street stalls outside the market selling fruits, vegetables and more. The local area is also home to various seafood restaurants, a sandy beach and a traditional Taiwanese temple. Read on for your cruise Kaohsiung Taiwan Kezailiao tour itinerary.
Tzukuan Fisheries Association (梓官區漁會)
Tzukuan Fisheries Association is best known for the production of mullet roe – essentially the ovaries of the mullet fish. Get firsthand experience of how the roe is pressed for a week under gradually increasing weight and then air-dried to remove moisture, thus preparing it for consumption. Tzukuan is also home to an ice production factory. Witness how huge blocks of ice are produced and sent down the ice slide for use in the on-site fish freezer that keeps fish fresh and cool at temperatures of -24 Celsius. Step inside if you dare! While at Tzukuan, you’ll also take part in a DIY class where you’ll craft your own paper gift basket, perfect for stuffing with souvenir treats.
Kezailiao Fish Market
Head to the port to see how the freshly caught fish makes it from the boats to the market stalls. Watch vendors bid for baskets of fish auction-style, all keen to get to best price to sell at the market. A sensory overload, the hall is packed with sights, sounds and colors as fishermen whizz baskets of fish across the floor and auctioneers blow whistles to alert the masses of the chance to come and bid. Then, after seeing how it gets there, browse the fish on sale at the market for yourself. The fish market is packed full of stalls selling the freshest produce, ranging from crabs to tuna to crayfish. Some of the catches are so fresh they’ll literally jump off the stalls at you. Now that you have an appetite for seafood, head for lunch at local restaurant Tian Ma Ma (田媽媽) and sample some of the best food Kezailiao has to offer. (You might also like: Seven Taiwan Night Markets Everyone Needs to Visit)
Chao Tian Gong Temple (朝天宮) and Kezailiao Beach
After lunch, visit nearby Chao Tian Gong Temple, a Taoist temple that worships the goddess Mazu – the goddess and patroness of the sea; the mother of boats. A gorgeous temple full of impressive art works and statues, remember to be respectful by entering through the door on the right and exiting through the door on the left. Following your temple experience, wander over to Kezailiao Beach, home to black sands and a picturesque sea front where you can stroll to your heart’s content.
A stop off at Kezailiao Wharf is the perfect addition to your cruise Kaohsiung Taiwan experience. Nowhere else will you get such an up close and behind the scenes look at Taiwan’s fishing industry and get to try the freshest seafood the island has to offer.
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