CNNGo in Kaohsiung: Taiwan’s largest port and coolest art

Art center, cultural park and Taiwan's best seafood. Kaohsiung isn't just another dull port city

Once known mainly for its industrial harbor — or as a layover spot on the way to somewhere else — the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung has grown into a hub of art and culture.

It’s now one of the most attractive destinations in Taiwan.

A warehouse-turned-art center.

An ancient-village-turned-cultural-park.

An influential two-day outdoor music festival.

CNNGo explores how Kaohsiung has evolved so rapidly while managing to preserve its tradition.

Here are five episode highlights.

Pier-2 Art Center

A former warehouse, Pier 2 is packed with exhibitions and outdoor art.Once a cluster of warehouses, Pier-2 Art Center has helped boost Kaohsiung’s cultural credibility by providing a revamped space for artists and musicians to hold concerts and exhibitions.

Every year Pier-2 hosts events as part of the Kaohsiung Design Festival and Rainbow Bay music festival. The two-day Rainbow Bay Festival is one of the biggest music events in Taiwan.

Pier-2 Art Center, 1 Dayong Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung City; +886 7 521 4899

3080s Apartment

A guest house that tells the story of the owner’s family.A guest house located in one of Kaohsiung’s oldest neighborhoods (Yan-Cheng), the 3080s Apartment was once a wedding dress shop founded by the current owner’s grandmother.

The owner pays close attention to details that honor the history of the owner’s family and of Kaohsiung itself. The 1930s and 1980s — significant decades in Taiwanese history — get special attention.

3080s Apartment, No.226, Wufu 4th Road, Yancheng District,Kaohsiung City, + 886 7 521 5938

Hongmaogang Cultural Park

Hongmao is an ancient Taiwanese term for the Dutch and Spanish who anchored here. It means “red hair.”In 2007, the Hong Mao Gang Village was relocated to make room for the Port of Kaohsiung’s Intercontinental Container Terminal. In order to preserve the history of the village, Hongmaogang Cultural Park was built.

The park includes exhibitions on the Hong Mao Gang community and replicas of old village houses.

The park is a great place to view the harbor.

Hongmaogang Cultural Park, No.2808, Nanxing Road, Xiaogang Distrist, Kaohsiung City

Da Dong Arts Center

The country’s first art library stocks about 200,000 books.Opened in 2012, half of the Da Dong Arts Center venues are outdoor.

A model of architecture and a home for art, the center is home to performance halls, exhibition space and Taiwan’s first art library.

Da Dong Arts Center, No.161, Guang Yuan Road, FengShan District , Kaohsiung City

Shoushan Lover’s Observatory

Cutest place for photos on Shoushan.The highest point on Shoushan Mountain, the observatory offers some of the best views of Kaohsiung and includes a sculpture of the word “love” for romantically inclined models and photographers.

Shoushan Lover’s Observatory

Cijin Island

A half-day cycling tour of Cijin Island is a great way to get outdoors. A quick ferry ride away, Cijin Island is arguably home to the best seafood in all of Taiwan — no small feat or claim.

The beach is a good place to relax.

The island’s centuries-old Matsu Temple is a must-see.

Cijin Island. Ferries run frequently from the Gushan District on the main island. The trip takes about five minutes.

CNNGo in Kaohsiung guests

Melisa Chiao, CEO, Da Da Arts Promotion

Daniel Chiu, owner, 3080s Apartment

Malone Chang, architect

Tiger Huang, singer

Peter Pan, Kaohsiung Sailing School

Ji Zi-hong, author

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