Sightseeing in Siaogang District
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting
◎Photos by Yang Hong-sing
Because it has both Kaohsiung International Airport and the Port of Kaohsiung, the city's Siaogang District is a significant gateway into Taiwan, connecting the country to the world. In addition, Siaogang District has much to offer those eager for a day-trip, sauntering through Hongmaogang Historical Park or Dapingding Tropical Botanical Garden.
Hongmaogang Historical Park
Taiwan is surrounded and blessed by the ocean. Throughout the island, the sea has had an enormous influence, manifested in many different ways, such as an ingrained oceanic culture and inhabitants' lifestyles. The western side of Siaogang District faces the Taiwan Strait, and Hongmaogang has long been regarded as a place significant to the culture of fishing. Fishermen and their families dwelt here for generations, starting during the 17th century (when much of southern Taiwan was under Dutch control), until 2007, when they were relocated to facilitate the expansion of the Port of Kaohsiung. However, part of old Hongmaogang was preserved, and turned into Hongmaogang Historical Park.
For cultural tourists, Hongmaogang Historical Park offers a Hongmaogang exhibition center and an outdoor exhibition venue. Here, parts of the original homes of Hongmaogang residents are displayed. In addition, the park has a skyway, an ocean observation deck, and Kaozi Tower Revolving Restaurant. Each of these elements presents various kinds of scenery. If a visitor is in the mood to get on board a yacht, there is one managed by the city government's Bureau of Cultural Affairs. Visitors can hop on and travel between the historical park and Pier-2 Art Center.
Hongmaogang Historical Park
● Add: No. 2808, Nansing Rd., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Operation hours:
Weekdays: 15:00-20:00; Weekends and holidays: 10:00-21:00;
※ Admission Charges:
-Adults: NT$ 99
-Students & Kaohsiung residents: NT$ 79
-Elderly residents and children under 6: NT$ 49
-Children under 1, and certified physically-challenged of all ages: Free
※ Closed every Wednesday
● Tel: 07-8711815
Watching Airplanes Fly and Land
Both photography enthusiasts and couples visit Kaohsiung International Airport, not to board airplanes, but simply to watch and take photos of airplanes coming and going. They often wait in the second-floor corridor which connects the domestic and international terminals. The corridor has large glass windows, giving plane-watchers unhampered views.
Kaohsiung International Airport
● Add: No. 2, Jhongshan 4th Rd., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Opening hours: 06:30-21:00 every day
● Tel: 07-8057630
Kaohsiung Park and Dapingding Tropical Botanical Garden
Kaohsiung Park, across the road from Kaohsiung International Airport, has been decorated in an aviation theme as a salute to the airport. This leafy, tree-filled park is a beloved community space where inhabitants enjoy taking a stroll or doing exercise.
Dapingding Tropical Botanical Garden offers a variety of foliage, including tropical plants, fruit trees, savanna, rain forest, seaside plants, aquatic plants, and screen-house plants. There is also an educational center. The botanical garden has four routes, each of which involves various physical challenges.
● Location: Intersection of Jhongshan 4th and Daye N. roads
● Transportation information:
Take the KRT Red Line, and leave Kaohsiung International Airport Station by Exit 1
Dapingding Tropical Botanical Garden
● Add: No. 2, Gaoping 19th St., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Open 24 hours a day, every day
● Tel: 07-8913546
Four local eateries, Shanxi Province Handmade Noodles, Taro Sweet Specialty Shop, Huasing Roasted Duck House, and Jingang Black-Sugar Syrup Shaved Ice, have become especially popular with local residents and visitors.
．Jingang Black-Sugar Syrup Shaved Ice
Each customer can pick up to five ingredients, such as adzuki beans, grass jelly or chewy tapioca balls. These are placed on a heap of shaved ice, and drizzled with a generous amount of back-sugar syrup. The Jingang Black-Sugar Syrup Shaved Ice stand takes pride in cooking its black-sugar syrup the traditional way; no artificial flavors are added. The long line of customers proves this humble eatery offers something delicious.
● Add: No. 405, Hongping Rd., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Business hours: 11:00- 23:00; opens every day
● Tel: 07-8036678
．Shanxi Province Handmade Noodles
Shanxi Province's chewy, handmade, rough-edged noodles are made by slicing off chunks of dough with a noodle knife. Their beef noodle soup is unanimously praised by regulars. The thick noodles are simmered in beef soup with tender, stewed beef, making customers' mouths water. Other popular dishes include pickled mustard greens, braised side dishes and tomato noodles with fried eggs.
● Add: No. 11, Leli Rd., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Business hours: 11:00-20:30 (The owner sometimes take a day off, so calling ahead is advised.)
● Tel: 07-8031357
．Taro Sweet Specialty Shop
The store offers a wide variety of taro sweets, for instance taro cake, taro ball, taro milk, and taro tapioca-pearl dessert. Portions are generous.
● Add: No. 90, Pingjhih Rd., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Business hours: 14:30- 21:30; closed every Sunday and Monday
● Tel: 07-8037788
Huasing Roasted Duck House
Forty years of accumulated experiences enables Huasing Roasted Duck House to produce a duck with crispy skin and succulent meat, much sought after by Siaogang residents. Customers can purchase either a whole roasted duck or half. The chef will shave the duck into slices, and fry the leftover bones for free to create another additional takeout dish. Huasing Roasted Duck House only offers takeout service. Each order of roast duck is accompanied by thin pancakes for wrapping, sliced scallion, and duck sauces.
● Add: No. 427, Feiji Rd., Siaogang District, Kaohsiung City
● Business hours: 10:30-18:30 while supplies last; closed every Monday
● Tel: 07-8015746