Sightseeing Kaohsiung with Express Buses／直達美景 幸福遊山海
Sightseeing Kaohsiung with Express Buses
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting ◎Photo by Li Yun-yu
Cishan & Meinong Express Bus
Cishan and Meinong districts boast distinguished culture, scenic old streets, and traditional architecture, as well as local delicacies. The launch of the Cishan & Meinong Express Bus service has made these places even more accessible for out-of-towners. The route makes just three stops: Kaohsiung Zuoying High Speed Railway Station, Cishan Bus Terminal, and Meinong Bus Station. From Zuoying, it takes just 40 minutes to get to Cishan, then another 20 minutes to reach Meinong.
Cishan Bus Terminal is a short walk from the hustle and bustle of the downtown, namely Cishan Old Street. The Old Street has Baroque-style structures which date from the 1920s and 1930s. Among the interesting sights to see around here is Cishan Tianhou Taoist Temple, a local religious center which features captivating craftsmanship. Cishan is also famous for being Taiwan's Banana Kingdom, as back in the 1960s it produced huge crops of bananas. The glorious memories of that era have been transformed into all kinds of delicious sweets now sold along Cishan Old Street. Visitors can also try out various snacks here, then explore Cishan Rice Factory and Cishan Wude Martial Arts Center, both of which embody Japanese architectural styles. Alternatively, visitors can climb the stairs at the century-old Gushan Park and take in panoramic views of Cishan.
Beyond Cishan, the Express Bus makes its next stop at Meising Street in Meinong, which is famous for eateries serving bantiao (broad noodles made of rice flour). Visitors can savor this Hakka signature dish, then stroll or cycle around Meinong's picturesque Jhongjheng Lake. During flower season, which begins in mid-January and lasts a month, both sides of the lake are in full bloom. Other popular sights in Meinong include the East Gate Tower,Jinsing Blue Dress Shop, and Meinong Word-Worshiping Paper Incinerator. All are near Yong-an Street. Those who wish to embrace local cultural heritage can participate in an oil-paper umbrella painting workshop at Meinong K.c.s. Umbrella, an internationally recognized maker and seller of handmade, delicately painted oil-paper parasols. These items make for excellent souvenirs, and painting one is a memorable hands-on experience.
Visitors wishing to escape the bustling metropolis will be thrilled to see the magnificent mudstone badlands of Tianliao District's Moon World. To discover the unique geology of this special place, simply hop on Bus 8012. The route begins at Gangshan South Station on the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit System (KRTS) Red Line, and ends at Cishan North Station. The 8012 runs seven days a week, five times per day. The earliest departure from Gangshan is at 05:40 in the morning; the final one leaves at 17:45. From Gangshan South Station to Moon World takes approximately 60 minutes. From Cishan North Station, the first departure is 05:45 in the morning, and the last one at 17:50. Cishan North Station to Moon World takes around 25 minutes.
Holiday Sightseeing Bus
The Mount Dagang Holiday Sightseeing Bus (Gangshan Holiday Tour Bus) takes visitors to Gangshan's Lamb Restaurants Area, Agongdian Reservoir Scenic Area, Mount Dagang Scenic Area, and Moon World. This journey starts at Gangshan South Station on the KRTS Red Line. The Restaurants Area features many restaurants which specialize in lamb cuisine, such as Yuanzuo Lamb and Mingder Lamb. Customers flock to these restaurants to enjoy lamb hot pot, especially when the weather is cold. At Agongdian Reservoir, visitors can rent a bicycle at the C-Bike Public Bike rental station adjacent to the bus stop. Visitors can enjoy cycling along the waterside bike trail which circumnavigates the reservoir, and crossing the suspension bridges. Mount Dagang spans Tianliao, Alian, and Gangshan districts. Some of the area's famous sights include Panlong Gorge, Stone Breast's Gorge, and ancient Chaofong Temple. When visiting Chaofong Temple during longan season, visitors may see the processing – and relish the wonderful aroma – of the smoked and dried longans for which this temple has become famous. There is more than one way to appreciate Moon World, and many visitors return to witness the spectacular shades of gold which bathe the topography around sunset.
Lovers of seafood may wish to ride Happiness Bus Route 17 between Kaohsiung's Singda Fishing Port and Tainan's Anping Harbor. Popular attractions along the way include Singda Fishing Port, Jiading Coastal Recreation Area, the Eternal Golden Castle, the Golden Coast Visitor Information Center, and Anping Harbor. Happiness Bus Route 17 runs hourly on weekends from 08:00 in the morning to 20:00 at night, and can be boarded at the parking lot of Kaohsiung's Singda Fishing Port or at Tainan's Cahamu Museum and Indigenous Park. Singda Fishing Port can be accessed by the Red 71 bus route, which carries passengers to/from Gangshan South Station on the KRTS Red Line. These and other bus routes offer various possibilities for wonderful day trips that make the most of Kaohsiung's diverse landscapes and cultures.