Southern Taiwan- Alishan、Tainan、Kaohsiung、Dapeng Bay & Little Liouciou、Kenting National Park
About half way up the Alishan Forest Railway stands Fencihu Station, next to which is an old street with stalls selling famous local snacks such as Train Cakes and the famous Fencihu Lunch Box. The railway terminal is situated in the Alishan Forest Recreation Area, which is best known for its spring cherry blossoms. Many people also like to come here in the summer for its cool weather.
The Chihkan Tower stands on the foundation of Fort Provintia, which was built by the Dutch in 1653 and is the oldest historical building in Tainan. Fort Provintia was the political center of the Dutch government in Taiwan. Since then it has passed through many hands and been used for various purposes. In front of the tower stand nine stone turtles bearing stone tablets with engraved characters. In addition to the turtles, a stone horse with broken legs can also be seen here. It is said that the stone horse's legs were broken as a punishment because it was believed that the stone horse turned into a monster at night and harassed the local residents.
The God of War Temple, dedicated to Guan Gong, and Datianhou Temple (Great Queen of Heaven Temple), dedicated to Mazu, are located near Chihkan Tower. Both temples are famed for their exquisite, Chinese-style architecture.
Yanping Jyunwang Temple, also known as the Koxinga Shrine, was built in 1662 to commemorate Koxinga and all his efforts in the development of Taiwan. It is the only Fujianese-style temple in Taiwan. The Eternal Fortress (Yi Zai Jin Cheng) was built in 1874, and was the first place in Taiwan to be equipped with western style cannon. It also marked the modernization of Taiwan's coastal defenses in recent history.
On either side of Tainan's Luermen River stand the two Tianhou Temples, both boasting huge floor spaces and grand architecture. It is said that there was originally only one Tianhou Temple on the river bank, and that it was swept away by a flood. After the flood receded, the remains of the old temple were found scattered on both banks of the river, prompting people living on the two sides to build their own Tianhou Temple. Needless to say, both temples claim to be the only true descendant of the original Tianhou Temple. If you have a chance to visit both temples during your stay in Tainan, don't forget to compare their differences.
The Love River, which runs through the city, is now a major recreation site. The river is lined on either side by well-kept parks and gardens that make romantic walkways of the riverbanks. The riverside area is also a venue for events like the Lantern Festival, the Dragon Boat Festival, and other performances, concerts and folk art festivals.
The new Jyuejiang Shopping Area is the biggest retailer of international goods in Southern Taiwan, displaying fashions from Tokyo, Paris, London, Milan and New York. Liouhe Night Market and Guanghua Night Market are both noted for their large number of food stalls selling delicious Taiwanese snacks, and for great shopping. A stroll through the night markets here will bring you closer to the rhythm of Taiwanese life.
Lotus Lake in Zuoying is surrounded by many temples, which make it the religious and tourist center for the Kaohsiung area. The Spring and Autumn Pavilions, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, and the Confucius Temple are a few of the major attractions in the Lotus Scenic Area.
Tianhou Temple in Cijin was first built in 1691and is one of Kaohsiung's oldest buildings. Taiwan's second lighthouse, Cijin Lighthouse in Houshanding, was built in 1883. The lighthouse is octagonal, snow-white, and fairly petite (only about 16 meters tall). Cijin Coastal Park and Cijin Beach are two other places worth visiting here. On practically every street in Cijin there are seafood restaurants or stalls selling their catch fresh from the sea.
The Sizih Bay Scenic Area centers around National Sun Yat-sen University. It's especially famous for its fine sandy beach and beautiful sunsets. The beach is lined with palm trees and is great for water sports, beach volleyball or just a leisurely sunbath. Other attractions in Greater Kaohsiung include the Chengcing Lake Scenic Area, the Shoushan Scenic Area, and Taiwan's biggest Buddhist center-Foguangshan (Light of Buddha Mountain). Foguangshan is widely recognized as one of the world's most important Buddhist centers. The central feature of the site is a huge golden statue of Buddha 40 meters high surrounded by 480 smaller Buddhas, all replicas of the Great Buddha. Their raised right hands symbolize guiding lights while their lowered left hands represent a receiving gesture to all living beings. These gestures symbolize Buddhism's philosophy of giving light and unconditional mercy to all living things.
Dapeng Bay & Little Liouciou
Kenting National Park
Thanks to the warm Kuroshio current which passes offshore, the sea off Kenting supports all kinds of marine life: coral reefs, tropical fish, shellfish, algae, sea stars, sea cucumbers, sea lilies and sea urchins all flourish in these waters.