Day Two (Taipei to Kaohsiung)
0930-1130 High Speed Rail from Taipei to Zuo Ying (In Kaohsiung)
1130-1200 Navigate your way to hotel (at New Jue Jiang Shopping Area)
1200-1600 Left luggage at hotel and went to have lunch+shopping
1600-1800 Return to Hotel to check-in and rest
1800-2000 Dinner at Mexican Restaurant + Shopping @ New Jue Jiang
2000-2300 Liu He Night Market
Embarked on our journey towards Kaohsiung. Note: Do leave your baggage with the Taipei hotel if you plan to deviate from Taipei for just a night or two. Only bring the essentials you require for the day or you’ll be burdened by the excess luggage. Usually, keeping your luggage at the hotel is free, but the hotel will remind you that they are not liable for any losses.
We walked to Taipei Main Station to catch an early train to ZUO YING station which is basically where Kaohsiung is situated. Do make sure that you are buying tickets from the right place because there are many automated machines. If unsure (like us) purchase at the counter instead of the machines and make sure you enter the entrance for HSR and not the normal taipei metro since the entrances are quite close to each other.
Pricing and Selecting timings
If you want to take the high speed rail (GAO TIE/ HSR), the rule of thumb here is that the earlier the train ride is the cheaper the price. Tickets on Fridays are expensive too(peak period). We took the 0942 ride and got to ZUO YING station in 1.5 hours and the ticket price was 1265NT (about S$60) per person. Do note that some trains take 2 hours because they stopover at more stations and here’s a gentle reminder to get the NON-RESERVED seats if you are on a budget because usually there are plenty of seats for you to choose from.
The HSR is the fastest mode of transport to get from city to city in Taiwan but you have to pay a price for that of course:) Comfort on the train is acceptable and the ride felt like Japan’s Shinkansen (if that gives you any more security!)~~~In fact it was the japanese who helped built the railway for taiwan HSR in the first place, so no worries!
So we reached Kaohsiung and took the local MTR (its different from Taipei’s MTR) from Zuo Ying station to our destination, Central Park Station where our hotel was located. The hotel name is Citistar Hotel (for a weird reason, we go there to find they have another name: Hotel Kindness) and it is a 7-8min walk from the station itself. (Would take 15min if you have a poor sense of direction, but after finding it, its easy to navigate yourself around the area) The hotel was fantastic. Do refer to HERE , scroll down the page to find brief details on the hotel.
After putting down our luggages and watching some local TV……..it was shopping time! MTR in Kaohsiung is convenient and for us we didn’t buy the transportation card there (since we’ll only be there for 2 days) but bought single trip tickets everytime we travelled by train because it’s just cheaper.
1. Shinkuchan/New Jue Jiang/Xin Jue Jiang (fully opens at about 1500) you can get there by walking from CitiStar hotel or Central Park Station. An ideal shopping haven for the young and young at heart. Offers fashionable clothes/accessories at prices cheaper than in Taipei. Funky place!
At this area, you may also find a Mexican Restaurant ran by a caucasion and the food is really good. I forgot to take a photo of its signboard but its in Shinkuchan and is next to a 50lan bubble tea shop. Ask the waitress for recommendations and if you don’t take beef, ask before you order. One of the most delicious platter! There is a side dish on it which looks like prata and tastes heavenly!!!
2. Liouhe Night Market which opens from 1700 to 0500. you can get there by train to Formosa Bolevard station. A fantastic place to try all the local Taiwan and non-local delights! Very wide variety to choose from and lots of people to add fun to the atmosphere! We tried the Smelly Tofu (Chou Dou Fu, not for the faint hearted,but just try for fun) Vermicelli (Mian Xian, quite good!) Do note that everything may not be prepared under the most hygenic ways.
And that’s it for day 2! Stay tuned to the Travelers Blog for more travelling tips in Taiwan!^^