Hello, all! Just came back from my Taiwan trip.
One highlight of my trip was my tour of Cijin Island with my colleagues. Cijin Island is a small thin strip of land/ island lying at the entrance to Kaohsiung’s port. This island offers plenty for its visitors both in terms of things to see and do and also offer an opportunity to feast on seafood while in Kaohsiung.
Getting to Cijin Island
There are two main ways of getting to Cijin Island. Both involve taking a short 5 minutes ferry ride from Gushan Ferry Terminal. You can get to the ferry terminal either by the metro and alighting at Sizihwan station or the light rail at Hamasen station.
We took the light rail since there was a stop close to where we were staying. For those who are reading this blog for the first time, I typically stay at 85 Sky Tower Hotel while in Kaohsiung. My review of that hotel can be found here.
The ride was slow paced since its more of a light rail than a metro line. It, however, allowed us to have a good view of the sights along the shoreline including, the Pier 2 Art Centre, the Iron Bridge (crossing the Love River) and Hamasen Railway Cultural Park where you can find disused train tracks!
From Hamasen Station, the ferry terminal is a short walk away. There are a number of ice shaving shops along the way. While you can always grab yourself some ice shavings, there are other shops on Cijin Island as well.
The cost of the ferry is 40 per pax. The cost of the light rail is 30 per pax. This is assuming you pay in cash. If you have their local transport cards, discounted fares apply.
Things to do while in Cijin Island
The most important thing to do is, I think, to hire for yourself a mode of transport. Either grab a bicycle or a battery powered bicycles (either 2 seaters or 4 seaters) as they will allow you to cover great distances while on the Island and allow you to not only explore all of the sights but also feast on cheaper seafood outside of the main tourist belt. My suggestion is to get a battery powered vehicle as it may be too tiring to cycle for long.
Talk to the salesperson who you are renting the bikes from. They will normally offer a short introduction of the things to see along the route and also they own personal suggestions of where to eat.
We covered the many sights along the way in our 4 seater:
One possible itinerary is to go along the coast and hit all of the main sights like the Rainbow Church, the huge ass clam and the Wind Power display before heading for lunch. After lunch you can then turn back towards the other half of the cycling route and finishing off at Cijin Star Tunnel, Fort and Lighthouse.
For lunch, we had it at “Wan Er”. It appears to be a more of a no frills restaurant where their chefs prepare dishes and place them on a counter. You take the dishes that you want and pay for them at the designated counter using vouchers which you can purchase from their main counter for cash (third pic below). Don’t worry, any excess vouchers can be swapped back for cash. You can park your bicycle nearby. The battery powered bikes come with a key so you can just remove it while you feast away. Our little feast here was only a 1000 Taiwan Dollars and we had scallops, abalone, a huge fish, some kind of mock abalone and some broth:
We finished off the day at the main street on Cijin island after returning our bikes. There were plenty of stores there selling both touristy items and also local eats. We decided to pop into a ice shavings shop for our well deserved ice shavings having burnt large amounts of calories climbing up to both the Fort and also the Lighthouse:
For those who still have some time left, you can also consider popping over to the other side and visiting the British Consular Residence which lies on top of a hill also overlooking the small gap leading into the harbour. It is a short walk away from Gushan Ferry Terminal and offers pretty decent scenic views of both the Lighthouse and also the harbour itself.
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