Day trips from Kaohsiung are a great way to see more of Taiwan’s southern culture and pristine landscape. Thanks to public transportation and speedy trains, many destinations outside of Kaohsiung can be reached in less than an hour. Day tours in southern Taiwan can include trips to nearby Tainan or a day at Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park in Sandimen Township. Each of these five day tours outside Kaohsiung include outdoor activities, historic landmarks and scenic views from some of Taiwan’s most beautiful destinations.
Day Trips from Kaohsiung | 1. Qijin District (Cijin Island)
The black sand beaches are a huge draw to this harbor area on the banks of Kaohsiung, and Qijin District (sometimes known as Cijin Island) is buzzing with tons of other seaside attractions. Keep a whole group happy for hours with some of the top things to do in Qijin, Kaohsiung‘s harbor island district.
What to do in Qijin District
- Qijin Tianhou Temple – the city’s oldest temple was built in 1673 and houses ancient wooden sculptures, mosaics and modern art.
- Kaohsiung Lighthouse – this landmark lighthouse was built by the British in 1883 and offers outstanding views from atop Mount Cihou, the highest point in Kaohsiung. Visitors can also tour Cihou Fort.
- Cijin Tunnel – follow a path of wooden planks through a tunnel that was built during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan and goes under Cihou Mountain.
Check In to In Young Hotel, Step Out to Qijin District
Day Trips from Kaohsiung | 2. Maolin National Scenic Area
Equipped with wooden staircases with handrails, Maolin National Scenic Area takes visitors on treks through Lovers’ Valley, a scenic area full of nature and architecture. The trek takes hikers across Zhuokou River valleys and into nearby mountainous regions. Serious adventurists won’t want to miss a trek across Lovers’ Valley Suspension Bridge to Lovers’ Valley Waterfall. Duonagao Suspension Bridge also is worth exploring for travelers who want to venture a little further north.
Hours: open 24 hours
Check In to Meilonshan Hotspring Resort, Step Out to Maolin District
Day Trips from Kaohsiung | 3. Tainan
Things to do in Tainan
- Anping Tree House (Former Tait & Co. Merchant House) – this woodsy old warehouse used to be the office of Japan Salt Company, but these days it’s a natural architectural wonder wrapped in banyan tree roots and branches.
- Anping Fort & Anping Old Street – Anping Fort is a 17th-century fortress turned museum, and next door is where tourists will find Anping Old Street where the city’s culture comes to life with souvenir shops, traditional houses and religious icons.
- Tainan Confucius Temple – this 17th-century religious temple sits in a simple courtyard near the National Museum of Taiwan Literature.
- Tainan Park – grab a picnic lunch and spend a sunny afternoon in a shady park with a lake and waterfall garden.
Check In to Silks Place Tainan, Step Out to Tainan
Day Trips from Kaohsiung | 4. Moon World Landscape Park (Tianliao Moon World)
An out-of-this-world attraction just 40 minutes north of Kaohsiung, Tianliao Moon World is a backpacker’s paradise with walking trails and a landscape that looks like the moon gone wild! Visitors will want to walk to the lake and stop by the Tianliao Moon World Mud Rock Geology Tourist Center to learn about what they are seeing in this quirky place also known as the Badlands.
Hours: open 24 hours
Check In to Spring Hill Resort, Step Out to Tianliao
Day Trips from Kaohsiung | 5. Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park
Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park in Pingtung County is a great place to study Taiwanese indigenous culture and have loads of fun in the process. The park is located just an hour east of Kaohsiung in gorgeous Sandimen Township, home to the Paiwan and Rukai people. At Taiwan Indigenous Culture Park, visitors will be treated to cultural dances and performances as well as folk stories and a look into native traditions.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday (closed Monday)