takeme2kaohsiung! Day VI

Transiting from Day 5 to Day 6 of our Taiwan Escapade, we took the High Speed Train 高铁, and travelled from Taichung 台中 to Kaohsiung 高雄.

Again, we rushed for the train, hoping to catch the train we planned to take. But when we got to the ticketing machine, only Business Class seats were available on the timing we wanted. In order to save money, we bought tickets for the next scheduled train (which was about half an hour later) and before long, we were on our way to Kaohsiung 高雄!

Tickets to Kaohsiung 高雄!

Tickets to Kaohsiung 高雄!

train

Views along the way…

view 3

view 2

view 1

Kaohsiung 高雄 is the largest municipality by area, located in the southern-western Taiwan and facing the Taiwan Strait. Being more laid-back than the bustling city of Taipei 台北, it is averagely accessible by their MRT system.

Two of Kaohsiung’s MRT stations, Formosa Boulevard Station and Central Park Station, were also ranked among the top 50 most beautiful subway systems in the world! We only managed to visit the latter station by chance, sadly missing out the other as we didn’t know of this information prior to our trip.

Arrival at the High Speed Railway Station at Kaohsiung 高雄

Arrival at the High Speed Railway Station at Kaohsiung 高雄

Upon our arrival at Kaohsiung 高雄, we decided to shift our inital plan for Day 6 to Day 7 instead, hence here is our actual plan for the day.

Check-in to The Icon Hotel > Stroll along the Love River > Lunch
> More Exploring > Night Markets Hopping > Dinner / Supper

The Icon Hotel 艾卡设计旅馆, located adjacent to the Central Park metro station and across the tree-canopy-clad Minsheng Road, is a simply classic structure full of creative twists. Using the colour white as their foundation and embellished with vibrant brushstrokes, The Icon Hotel brings about a visually and aesthetically pleasing feast to our eyes and mind.

The exterior look of the Icon Hotel.

The exterior look of the Icon Hotel.

The reception area of the hotel, all covered in white :) even the lift is given a cute closet design!

The reception area of the hotel, all covered in white :) even the lift is given a cute closet design!

Beautiful potted plant in the resting area.

Beautiful potted plant in the resting area.

They have brilliantly done up their rooms with a different theme design each, allowing their guests to pick their favourite choice during the check-in at the reception. Below are some print screens taken from their website which shows some of the room designs that they have. It’s very creative and so much more exciting and fulfilling when you get to choose a room design that you like to stay in. What’s more, they also have self service laundry services at the top floor of the hotel – greatly helps tourists like us to pack light!

icon room 1 icon room 2 icon room 3 icon room 4

And here is our room choice!

icon room 5

Pretty isn’t it! The room is big enough for luggages as well, so for the experience, the money spent here is well worth it!

After settling down, we made our way back to Central Park station to purchase our 2-days tourist pass (yes, it’s availabe at Kaohsiun 高雄 too, which allows us to take unlimited train and bus rides) to explore the area. Strangely, the station was crowded for a weekday!

And we spotted the reason for the crowd.

The humongous rubber ducky that was travelling around the world, has landed its bottom at Kaohsiung 高雄. Hehe, like typical curious Singaporeans, we started following the crowd to look for it.

Apparently this ducky was located somewhere along the Love River, which is actually very very very long. And ff course, we didn’t forget to grab lunch on the way!

A cosy simple cafe by the river bank.

A cosy simple cafe by the river bank.

Yums Tums, filling our tummy before we continue with our journey to the rubber ducky, hehe. What a view!

Yums Tums, filling our tummy before we continue with our journey to the rubber ducky, hehe. What a view!

Crazy view isn’t it? Something you don’t always get to enjoy in busy Singapore. Great view with lots of time to spare on hand. I’m missing this already!

And here’s the lead – rubber ducky!

Ducky from afar. Can you see the crazy crowd?!

Ducky from afar. Can you see the crazy crowd?!

That's me giving the ducky a peck :D

That’s me giving the ducky a peck :D

With so many people around, we couldn’t get close to the duck and initally had to make do with such a picture, with many photobombers :(

The sky didn’t look too good and it suddenly poured. That’s when everyone ran for shelter and we, umbrella heros, managed to snap a picture up close!

The crowd under thet shelter, hehe..

The crowd under thet shelter, hehe..

Finally, the ducky up close and personal!

Finally, the ducky up close and personal!

The rain was getting heavier, so we slowly made our way back to the MRT station. As we really took our own sweet time, by the time we headed back to the MRT station, night was already setting in.

We walked over to New Jyrejiang / Yansu Market 新堀江商, which is located at Central Park Station, right where we were at. I guess by this time, all the night markets look similar to us, but here’s what I found out on the internet about this night market, extracted from Qitto.

Attention all ladies, this is the best place to satisfy your desire to own the most fashionable clothing at a particular season. Almost 80 to 90 percent of the entire street will be catering for all of ladies’ needs. Do not be fooled by the name night market as it is more like a shopping district. It is highly accessible, situated near a MRT station. The crowds are unbelievable especially dominated by the younger generation. If shopping is not something you might do at that period of time, a huge amount of window shopping can be done instead. There will always be a wide collection of jewels, cosmetics, latest fashion icon and other paraphernalia that you have been desiring for. It is also an ideal place for families, to expose your children to what it is like in the stint of pop culture. In this case, Xin Jue Jiang Night Market is highly influenced by Japanese pop culture and hence, it is one place that will give you an eye opener when you visit.

This place is also known as 新掘江.

Location
Wufu 2nd Road and Jhongshan intersection

Directions
Right at Central Park Station

But due to the earlier downpour, some shops were closed and the crowd was lesser than usual :(

j1

j2

Surprisingly, we were not very hungry, hence after a yogurt, a bubble tea and some walking around, we decided to head over to another night market – Ruifeng Night Market 瑞夜市.

Location
Located next to Yucheng 2nd Road and Nanping Road in the Gushan District, this night market is only opened from 6pm to 12mn, on every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday only (i.e. closed on Mondays and Wednesdays).

Directions
It’s also easily accessible. You’ll just need to take the train to Kaohsiung Arena Station 巨蛋捷运站, take exit number 1. About a 3 minutes walk later, you will be able to spot the bright signage that reads 夜市.

The bright night market signage.

The bright night market signage.

We never got to understand why and how can Taiwanese hang out till late at these night markets, and yet go to work/school the next day. We just figured that this is their lifestyle here.

Other than the yummy food and enticing fashion shopping that you can usually find at night markets, there are also some ol’ school games that you can find here! I guess the night markets owners were smart enough to incorporate such games for the men to play and kill time, while the ladies shop, hehe :D

rf2

rf3

There was another game with many players standing in a circle. They each had a bottle, a rod and string with a ring at the end. To win a prize, they were supposed to ring the bottle’s mouth and make it stand. It looks easy but don’t be tricked! I was mesmerized by the game so much that I didn’t want to make a move and my travel buddy almost killed me, haha. These games really can help people to kill time (and money).

As the night crawled in, we headed back to the hotel to rest for a long day tomorrow :)

Stay tune for my post about our adventure at the scenic Cijin Island 期津岛!

p.s. we skipped Liouhe Night Market a.k.a. Liuhe Night Market 六合观光夜市 as we heard from locals that this night market has jacked up its prices, knowing that tourists will visit them.

p.p.s. for more information on night markets in Kaohsiung 高雄, check out this blog link here!

To travel is to live,
jollygoodjol

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