When we did our back-to-back Royal Carribean cruises in July last year, the first cruise included 3 stops in Taiwan – Kaohsiung, Keelung (Taipei) and Hualien. This was the first time to Taiwan and we honestly didn’t know what to expect. Being the thrifty travellers that we are, and the proximity of the various ports to towns we decided to do each of these ports on our own.
Kaohsiung was the first port we stopped at. Once off the ship, it was a bit of a walk even to the exit of the port area. We then walked to the main town area – I’m guessing this took around 30 minutes. It was very hot and very humid. The town was very clean and we didn’t get bothered by anyone in the slightest – no taxis hounding us, no shop keepers spoke to us, in fact no one even looked twice at us.
We wandered around some shops which weren’t very interesting, a mostly closed market and sat outside a church on the steps which was closed.
We returned back through a cultural precinct type park which was very busy with people from the ship and locals. This was a very unusual place – miniature railways, shops and some weird galleries. A very enjoyable albeit slightly sureal experience. We could have saved the first part of our exploration if we had known, as this was probably the most interesting part of our stop in this port.
One of the coolest things we saw was a huge mural which I think was commemorating the Taiwanese railways. Hidden around the mural were a number of cats so visitors were all trying to get their photos with the kitties. A nice idea.