Visiting Dragon-Tiger Pagodas, Kaohsiung.

My trip when going back from Fo Guang Shan ended at Kaohsiung Main Station and was greeted by little drizzle which began to fall.

My time began to be counted down during 2 hours from that time because the next destination would close precisely at 5 pm.

I took my KPP Taiwan Pass out. I got it at Kaohsiung International Airport MRT Station a day before. I immediately moved towards Ecological District Station.

KPP Pass is a cloud-based pass card which used in three regions i.e Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Penghu (three major cities in southern Taiwan)

Finding a bus shelter and waiting for bus no. R35A to get access towards Lotus Lake would be my next step. I waved my hand when bus was fastly running at Bo’ai 3rd Road towards me. Maybe the driver thought that there wasn’t passenger at bus shelter. Nimbly stepping aside, finally bus stopped in front of me.

Apparently the driver was a woman, asking me about where is my destination in Taiwan language made me speechless.

I: “Dragon-Tiger Pagodas, Mam”

Driver: shake her head, her eyes were closed and raised her hand as surrender sign that she didn’t understand my words.

I: “Hahahaha …….”

Driver: looked like a little annoyed when I laugh.

I: “Wait … wait”. I took my smartphone out, I looked for the pagoda image which I meant and I showed it to her.

Driver: “A little shouted excitedly….yeah….yeah….while thumbing up.

After paying USD 0,5 by entering my coin into the fare box, I stood behind.

It took 10 minutes only to arrive at Lotus Lake and finally the twin pagodas were clearly visible.

Kaohsiung bear doll like its image in my KPP Taiwan Pass

Panda is an iconic animal in Taiwan, so you will often meet its profile in public places. I found it at this pagoda also.

If you want buy souvenirs, enter that building!

Visitor Souvenir Center

Entering pagodas area, clearly seen the Dragon statue and the Tiger one:

According to the myth, I must enter from dragon mouth and come out from tiger mouth….And I would luck.

This seven-story pagodas with yellow floors and red pillars emit a solemn aura in the middle of Lotus Lake.

Lotus Lake as far as eye can see.

Opposite in front of Pagodas stand the magnificent Tzu Chi Palace

I left Lotus Lake on 16:45 to looking for dinner at Kaisyuan Night Market.

My confusion was started here, I didn’t know which bus number must I take and where I must go. At that time, I just used map and compass when traveling there, I didn’t use Google Maps just for save my budget because I didn’t need to buy internet quota. So as long as I don’t get WiFi, then my presence in a country willn’t be detected … It’s cool, I am like CIA agent….Hahaha

If I am confused, I will randomly take a city bus….wherever. Then I will stop near famous spots which I’ve learned before visiting that country. Finally, I randomly took a bus that afternoon. And in confusion, I finally saw Kaohsiung Arena (the biggest soccer stadium in Kaohsiung). I stopped at its nearest bus stop. Either it was free or driver didn’t know, I never tap my KPP pass on automatic fare machine.

There is Kaohsiung Arena MRT Station near it.

From this station, I finally managed to find Kaisyuan Night Market.

It was a little crazy adventure, bro …

Visiting Fo Guang Shan Monastery, Kaohsiung

That morning 8:27 am, I was getting ready to deeply explore Kaohsiung. A sliver of toast, a banana and a cup of tea became a free breakfast which provided by the hostel that morning.

felt like at home

Apparently, That Vietnamese and Indo-American backpackers were still asleep in Paper Plane Hostel’s clean and soft beds. They certainly enjoyed traveling in their ways which were different from mine. They looked more relax than me who is always agile everywhere for chasing time. My minimum budget that required me to visit many destinations in shorter vacation time.

Yes, I only slept in this cool hostel for a night because in next morning I would check out and leave my backpack at reception. I would take back it after completing my visitation on my last day in Kaohsiung.

MRT slowly moved away from Houyi Station and drove me to Kaohsiung Main Station.

My eyes were immediately aware from an existence of bus terminal near this MRT station.

Yess … I was indeed hunting for a bus towards the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan i.e Fo Guang Shan.

What is Fo Guang Shan? …..

Based on a reference which I got, It was an order in Buddhism that was very well-known in its efforts to modernize Buddhism in China. Because this order is very technologically literate … That’s about it.

In several minutes, I din’t see yet a bus number 8010 or 8011 which came into terminal, finally I asked someone who I thought he was a bus timer.

Bus station near Kaohsing Main Station

Maybe, because of often ask by tourists, it doesn’t take long time for him to understand my question. And I was asked to wait for the bus at end side of terminal.

Finally, The bus arrived.…got in it from front door, I asked driver whether the bus was really heading there. After saying “yes”, I immediately paid for about USD 2 and he gave me a ticket.

The journey began:

The joy of that day began with a pinky interior.

35 km journey with 45 minutes travel time was unable to make my eyes closed against my preoccupation on observing charms of Kaohsiung streets. Observing local people’s activities and passing various landmarks made me stunned along the way.

The front yard before entering monastery

I finally arrived …

There is no charge for entering this Buddhist monastery. Through front lobby, I found several shops which sell jewelry and souvenirs and several coffee shops (one of them is Starbuck) also.

I wasn’t interested in this area because I didn’t carry an adequate budget….Immediately come out and I found an incredible view:

Size of monastery plaza is very wide and became a camera’s target by anyone who visited this place.

Get close to Buddha statue! … surely you will be more impressed:

Under Buddha statue is location of Buddhist Museum and there are several prayer rooms for visitors.

I was also welcome to entering worship room to just see how worship procession do.

1.5 hours was a very valuable time because I could visit this place.

I closed my hunger by eating a serving of dinsum. I got it from a canteen which located in parking lot in front of monastery.

By the way, it was on 13:15 hrs.… I still had a lot of time … Where was my next destination?

Peeking 3 Night Markets in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Guys.…It’s about Taiwan again.

Taiwan was nicknamed as the land of a thousand night markets. So if you want to be crazy there, you don’t need to go to a pub or a bar. And it doesn’t need to be drunk to spend a night in Taiwan.

You only need to come to night market and enjoy cheap culinary and other unique goods.

When I visited for two nights in Kaohsiung, I tried to visit several markets which generally open on afternoon.

This is it:

1.Shinkuchan Commercial District.

Guys … if you want to find Taiwanese beautiful girls or handsome boys, this place can facilitate your desires. Enchanting 18-20 years old Taiwanese usually gather here from 3pm to 10pm.

I arrived at Shinkuchan on 4 pm

To got here, I just needed to take Red Line MRT (Siaogang-Gangshan corridor) from Houyi Station where my hostel was located to Central Park Station.

From Central Park Station, I only needed to walk 250 meters to find it. Its strategic location is flanked by two very busy arterial roads (Wufu street dan Zhong Shan street)

a corner of Wufu street

Some stall owners who greeted me said that I arrived too early, I should come a bit more night to feel Shinkuchan crowd.

I had plan to visit other culinary market when night fell, so I didn’t have any choice and sacrifice it.

Just tasting some octopus skewers in this place, I started to leaving Shinkuchan at 5pm.

2. Liouhe Night Market

Still using Red Line MRT, I left Central Park Station towards Formosa Boulevard Station. This station is very popular throughout Kaohsiung … but I’ll tell you about it later, guys.

Because of his fame, I was held for 40 minutes at this station.

Peeking station interior…

Well, one of many exit gates of this station, There was a gate which leads to Liouhe Night Market. Here:

You must look for Exit No 9,10 and 11 to get there.

9 degrees Celsius temperature instantly made me cold and starved. Entering this market as far as eye can see, as if all kinds of food were sold, I wanted to taste

Well … back to my backpacker’s instinct again.…I bought the cheapest food. The dinner was only worth USD 1,7 with a fish soup noodles menu.

After dinner, I immediately left this market to go to next destination, Love River.

Bye-bye Liouhe Night Market

3. Kaisyuan Night Market

For this market, I visited it on my second night in Kaohsiung. All you need to know, Kaisyuan Night Market is closed on Tuesday and Thursday. So You must come there besides that day between 6pm and 11pm.

To get there, you only need to take Red Line MRT and get off at Kaisyuan Station. Luckily, I was there when Kaohsiung LRT trial. So I got a free LRT fare.

Just need to a little walk out from Kaisyuan MRT Station to Chianjhen Star LRT Station. Then take the LRT and get off at Rueitian LRT Station.

I didn’t visit this culinary market for a long time. Because in the same night, I had to go to Kaohsiung International Airport which would be “a free hotel” for my second night in Kaohsiung. Staying in airport is certainly warmer than this market, right guys …

Well, this story only tells about Kaohsiung’s night market, guys.… I don’t tell yet about their place of worship … be patient, wait for my next article.

MRT from Kaohsiung International Airport to Downtown

The Southeast Asian LCC giant with flight number AK 0170 smoothly landed me at “Asia Little Dragon” land, through its front yard i.e Kaohsiung International Airport precisely on 1:05 pm.

Thanks Sir. Tony Fernandes, for always providing many cheap tickets to travel around Asia

Taiwan which I have only heard as a country that always opposed China’s superiority. The country which became third destination for Indonesian worker to earn incomes after Malaysia and Saudi Arabia. Taiwan is also known as “A little country with many airports”. Imagine it!, this small island country has 37 airports with Taoyuan International Airport as its best airport. It shows that Taiwan is a very busy country.

And finally on December 27, 2016, I was allowed to visit it.

My arrival in Taiwan was a stopover visitation, before I headed to my main destination, Japan and South Korea. I could say that it is a prestigious trip in my 6th year as a backpacker.

If you don’t know where is Taiwan. You san imagine it: if we are on traveling, it will be further away from Hong Kong but closer than Japan. Well, have you imagined it, right? … If not, then try to see Dora’s map … hihihi

Okay …. In the previous article, I told my story when staying at Kaohsiung International Airport before leaving Kaohsiung towards Tokyo.

If you forget it. See the story here:

Well … Then what will I tell about Taiwan this time?

Better….I’ll show you how I reached Kaohsiung downtown after landing.

Let’s start it, guys.…

Before landing, procedure of every airline in general, they will give you a arrival card and you can fill it during the flight.

Couldn’t wait to enjoy the beauty of Taiwan, my eyes kept stealing glances at plane’s window when landing. Swiftly sweeping the simple architecture of Kaohsiung International Airport from Air Asia cabin.

Once passed an aerobridge, I was faced with a long hallway with various wallpapers with “Welcome to Kaohsiung” theme.

a simple corridor … smart way because its wallpaper makes it beautiful

For your information, Kaohsiung is second largest city in Taiwan after their capital “Taipei”, so you should visit it if you have chance.

After walking down corridor for 10 minutes, I started entering immigration counter area.

let’s stamp my passport

My attention is on Indonesian students. They cheerfully queued….I saw them carrying their passports and e-visa sheets. “Great, Indonesian students have more chance to visit abroad now”, I muttered.

I quickly completed immigration process because I have shown Taiwan e-visa and Japan waiver visa. Oh yes, you must know that Indonesian tourist only need a free e-Visa if they already have a Japanese visa.
Exit from immigration counter, I started to walk down this Arrival Hall:

small and modern minimalist interior

Near Arrival Hall exit, you can find brochures which can help you to explore Kaohsiung. You will also easily find ATM and local SIM Card selling counter in this hallway:

This is last space of arrival hall before you actually leave the airport..

Have you taken some brochures yet? Want to buy a sim card first? Do you want to exchange your USD to eat?

I decided to get in MRT towards downtown. It means I had to find MRT station location.

Heiii.…don’t rush out of arrival hall.…just stop for a moment near exit gate, then look at your front, there is a access building to MRT. There is it.…

Well…that building is at front….

After using lift, I found Kaohsiung International Airport MRT station

I bought a two day pass for my 3D2N journey in Kaohsiung.…MRT had came… let’s see its interior:

Enjoying smooth sound of MRT, I headed to Houyi Station where Paper Plane Hostel where I stayed during traveling to Kaohsiung was located. Within 30 minutes I finally arrived at Houyi Station:

From MRT exit gate, I just walked to its back then turn right around 50 meters to find my hostel:

Swear … this hostel is cheap and cool.

I stayed for two nights and got new friends at dormitory, He is Vietnamese and his friend is from Bandung but live in USA (well, they are in the photo above). They are study in same college in USA and they are traveling together to Taiwan.

After checked-in that afternoon, I immediately went to biggest street culinary market in Kaohsiung….where is that?….wait for the next article!

Wisata Dragon-Tiger Pagodas, Kaohsiung.

Perjalananku kembali dari Fo Guang Shan berakhir di Kaohsiung Main Station dan disambut dengan gerimis kecil yang mulai turun.

Waktuku mulai dihitung mundur 2 jam dari saat itu karena destinasi berikutnya akan ditutup tepat pukul 5 sore.

Kukeluarkan KPP Taiwan Pass yang kudapatkan di Kaohsiung International Airport MRT Station sehari sebelumnya. Aku segera bergerak menuju Ecological District Station.

KPP Pass adalah kartu pass berbasis cloud yg digunakan didaerah Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Penghu (Tiga kota besar di selatan Taiwan)

Menemukan halte dan menunggu bus bernomor R35A untuk mendapatkan akses menuju Lotus Lake menjadi tahapan berikutnya. Kulambaikan tangan ketika bus itu berjalan lumayan kencang di Bo’ai 3rd Road menuju kearahku. Mungkin si sopir mengira di halte tak ada penumpang. Menepi dengan gesit, akhirnya bus berhenti sedikit melewatiku.

Ternyata sopir itu perempuan, menanyakan tujuanku dalam bahasa Taiwan membuatku menjadi speechless.

Aku: “Dragon-Tiger Pagodas, Mam”

Doi: geleng-geleng kepala, matanya terpejam dan sembari mengangkat tangah pertanda menyerah tak mengerti dengan ucapanku.

Aku: “hahahaha…….”

Doi : terlihat sedikit sebal ketika Aku tertawa.

Aku : “Wait….wait”

Kukeluarkan smartphone, kucari gambar pagoda yang kumaksud dan kutunjukkan ke doi.

Doi : “Sedikit teriak girang…..ya…ya..ya…sambil mengacungkan jempol.

Setelah membayar TWD 15 (Rp. 6.000) dengan memasukkan koinku ke fare box, Aku berdiri di belakang.

Hanya perlu waktu 10 menit untuk sampai di Lotus Lake dan akhirnya pagoda kembar itu terlihat dengan jelasnya.

Kaohsiung bear seperti yang ada dalam gambar KKP Taiwan Pass ku

Panda adalah hewan ikonik di Taiwan, jadi Kamu akan sering menemui profilnya di tempat-tempat umum. Aku menemukannya di pagoda ini.

Jika Kamu mau membeli kenang-kenangan masuklah ke bangunan itu:

Visitor Souvenir Center

Memasuki area pagoda, terlihat sangat jelas si Naga dan Si Harimau:

Katanya Aku harus masuk dari mulut Naga dan keluar dari mulut Harimau….biar lucky.

Pagoda tujuh lantai berwarna kuning dan berpilar merah ini memang memancarkan aura kekhusyukan tersendiri di tengah luasnya Lotus Lake.

Lotus Lake sejauh mata memandang.

Diseberang depan Pagoda berdiri megah Istana Tzu Chi

Jam 16:45 Aku meninggalkan Lotus Lake untuk mencari makan malam di Kaisyuan Night Market.

Disinilah kebingungan dimulai, Aku tak tahu harus naik bus nomor berapa dan menuju kemana. Zaman itu, Aku keliling hanya bermodalkan peta dan kompas, paling anti menggunakan google maps. Apalagi kalau tidak untuk berhemat. Jadi selama tak mendapatkan WiFi, maka keberadaanku di sebuah negara tak akan terdeteksi…..Keren kan kaya agen CIA.

Jika sudah bingung begitu, Aku biasanya akan sembarang naik bus kota….kemanapun. Lalu akan berhenti di dekat spot-spot terkenal yang sudah kupelajari sebelum berangkat ke negara itu. Nah kebetulan Aku naik bus secara acak sore itu dan dalam kebingungan akhirnya Aku melihat Kaohsiung Arena (stadion sepakbola terbesar di Kaohsiung). Aku pun berhenti di halte terdekat dan entah waktu itu memang gratis atau sopir yang tidak tahu, Aku tak pernah menempelkan KPP pass-ku di automatic fare machine.

Nah didekat stadium ini terdapat Stasiun MRT Kaohsiung Arena.

Dari stasiun inilah akhirnya Aku berhasil menemukan Kaisyuan Night Market.

Seru sedikit gila ini mah….

Mengunjungi Biara Fo Guang Shan, Kaohsiung

Tepat pukul 8:27 pagi itu, Aku sudah bersiap diri untuk mengekplore Kaohsiung lebih dalam. Sekerat toast, sebuah pisang dan teh manis hangat menjadi sarapan gratis yang disediakan hostel pagi itu.

serasa seperti di rumah

Rupanya Vietnamese dan Indo-American backpacker itu masih terlelap di bersih dan empuknya kasur Paper Plane Hostel. Mereka tentu menikmati jalan-jalan dengan cara yang berbeda denganku. Terlihat mereka lebih santai daripada Aku yang selalu lincah kesana kemari berkejaran dengan waktu. Kondisiku dompetku lah yang mengharuskanku untuk mengunjungi berbagai destinasi dalam waktu liburan yang lebih pendek.

Ya, Aku hanya semalam meniduri hostel keren ini karena pagi harinya Aku akan check-out dan menitipkan backpack di resepsionis. Aku akan mengambilnya setelah menyelesaikan misi di hari terakhirku.

MRT perlahan menjauh dari Houyi Station dan menghantarkanku ke Kaohsiung Main Station.

Mataku segera menyadari akan keberadaan terminal bus di dekat stasiun ini.

Yess….Aku memang sedang berburu bus menuju ke biara Buddha terbesar di Taiwan yaitu Fo Guang Shan.

Apa sih Fo Guang Shan?…..

Referensi yang kudapatkan adalah sebuah ordo dalam Buddhisme yang sangat terkenal dalam upayanya memodernisasi Buddhisme di Tiongkok. Oleh karena ordo ini sangat melek teknologi….Begitulah kira-kira.

Celingukan tak pernah menemui bus bernomor 8010 atau 8011, akhirnya Aku bertanya pada seorang yang kufikir dia adalah seorang bus timer.

terminal bus di dekat Kaohsing Main Station

Mungkin karena sering ditanya turis, tak butuh waktu lama baginya untuk memahami pertanyaanku. Dan Aku diminta menunggu bus di ujung terminal.

Bus datang juga akhirnya….menaikinya dari pintu depan Aku menanyakan ke sang sopir apakah benar bus menuju ke sana. Setelah mengiyakan maka Aku segera membayar TWD 80 (sekitar Rp. 30.000) dan dia menukarnya dengan sebuah tiket.

Perjalanan pun dimulai:

keceriaan hari itu dimulai dengan pinky interior.

Perjalanan 35 km dengan 45 menit waktu tempuh tak mampu membuat mataku terpejam melawan keasyikanku mengamati pesona jalanan Kaohsiung. Mengamati aktivitas masyarakat dan melewati berbagai landmark membuatku tertegun sepanjang perjalanan.

bagian paling depan sebelum masuk

Akhirnya Aku tiba….

Tak dipungut biaya untuk memasuki biara Buddha ini. Melewati lobby depan, Aku menemukan beberapa pertokoan yang menjual perhiasan dan  souvenir serta beberapa coffee shop (Starbuck salah satunya).

Aku tak tertarik dengan area ini karena memang tak membawa budget yang memadai…Segera keluar dan Aku menemukan pemandangan yang luar biasa:

Ukuran plaza biara yang sangat luas dan menjadi sasaran kamera siapapun yang mengunjungi tempat ini.

Mendekatlah ke patung Buddha itu ! ….pasti Kamu akan lebih terkesan:

Dibawah patung Buddha itulah terletak Museum Buddha dan terdapat beberapa ruang peribadatan untuk para pengunjung.

Aku pun sempat dipersilahkan memasuki ruangan peribadatan untuk sekedar melihat bagaimana prosesi peribadatan kaum Buddha disana.

1,5 jam menjadi waktu yang sangat berharga karena bisa berkunjung ke tempat ini.

Aku menutup kelaparanku dengan menyantap seporsi dinsum. Aku mendapatkannya dari sebuah kantin yang terletak di parkiran kendaraan  yang terletak di bagian paling depan biara.

Btw, masih jam 13:15…..masih ada waktu banyak nih….Kemana ya enaknya?.

Mengintip 3 Pasar Malam di Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Guys….Taiwan lagi nih.

Taiwan dijuluki negeri seribu pasar malam. Jadi kalau Kamu mau gila-gilaan disana, gak perlu cari pub atau bar. Dan gak perlu mabok untuk menghabiskan malam di Taiwan.

Kamu hanya perlu datang ke pasar malam dan menikmati sajian kuliner yang murah meriah dan barang-barang unik lainnya.

Nah, ketika berkunjung dua malam di Kaohsiung, Aku mencoba mengunjungi beberapa pasar yang umumnya sudah buka dari sore hari.

Ini dia:

1.Shinkuchan Commercial District.

Guys….kalau Kamu pengen lihat cewek-cewek cantik atau cowok-cowok ganteng Taiwan, tempat ini bisa memfasilitasi keinginan Kamu. Para ABG Taiwan berusia 18-20 tahun nan memesona biasanya pada ngumpul disini dari jam 3 sore hingga jam 10 malam.

Jam 4 sore Aku sudah sampai Shinkuchan

Untuk menuju kesini, Aku hanya perlu menaiki MRT Red Line (koridor Siaogang-Gangshan) dari Stasiun Houyi dimana hostelku berada menuju ke Stasiun Central Park.

Dari Stasiun Central Park, Aku hanya perlu berjalan sejauh 250 meter untuk menemukan Shinkuchan ini. Lokasinya yang strategis diapit dua jalan arteri yang sangat sibuk  (Jalan Wufu dan Jalan Zhong Shan).

Salah satu sudut jalan Wufu

Kata beberapa pemilik kedai yang menyapaku, Aku datang terlalu awal, seharusnya Aku datang sedikit lebih malam untuk merasakan keramaian Shinkuchan.

Aku memang berencana mengunjungi pasar kuliner di tempat lain saat malam tiba, jadi Aku tak ada pilihan untuk mengorbankan salah satu tempat wisata ini.

Hanya mencicipi beberapa tusuk sate gurita di tempat ini, Aku mulai meninggalkan Shinkuchan jam 5 sore.

2. Liouhe Night Market

Masih menggunakan MRT Red Line, Aku meninggalkan Stasiun Central Park menuju Stasiun Formosa Boulevard. Stasiun ini sangat terkenal di seantero Kaohsiung….tapi kuceritakan nanti saja ya guys.

Karena keterkenalannya itu lah Aku tertahan selama 40 menit di stasiun ini.

Ngintip dikit yukksss…..

Nah, salah satu dari sekian banyak exit gate stasiun ini, ada yang mengarah ke Liouhe Night Market. Nih:

Kamu harus mencari Exit No 9,10 dan 11 untuk menuju kesana.

Suhu 9 derajat Celsius membuatku kedinginan sekaligus kelaparan seketika. Memasuki pasar ini sejauh mata memandang, seakan semua jenis makanan yang dijajakan mau Aku cicipin.

Yah….balik ke naluri backpacker lagi ujung-ujungnya….nyari yang paling hemat. Dinner malam itu hanya seharga TWD 60 (sekitar Rp. 24.000) dengan menu mie sup ikan

Setelah makan malam maka Aku segera meninggalkan pasar ini untuk menuju ke destinasi berikutnya yaitu Love River.

Bye-bye Liouhe Night Market

3. Kaisyuan Night Market

Kalau pasar yang ini Aku berkesempatan mengunjunginya di malam keduaku di Kaohsiung. Yang perlu Kamu ketahui bahwa Kaisyuan Night Market ini tutup di hari Selasa dan Kamis. Jadi datanglah selain hari itu ya antara jam 6 sore -11 malam.

Untuk menuju kesana, Kamu hanya perlu naik MRT Red Line dan turun di stasiun Kaisyuan. Beruntungnya Aku pada waktu itu adalah saat ada uji coba Kaohsiung LRT. Jadi Aku mendapat tarif LRT gratis.

Hanya perlu berjalan sedikit keluar dari Stasiun MRT Kaisyuan menuju Stasiun LRT Chianjhen Star. Kemudian naik LRT ini dan turun di Kaisyuan Rueitian LRT Station.

Aku tak lama berkunjung di pasar kuliner ini. Karena malam itu juga Aku harus menuju ke Kaohsiung International Airport yang akan menjadi hotel gratis untuk malam keduaku di Kaohsiung. Di bandara tentu lebih hangat dari pada di pasar ini kan guys……..

Nah, kisah ini hanya menceritakan pasarnya Kaohsiung ya gaes…..belum tempat ibadahnya nya….sabar ya, tungggu tulisanku berikutnya

MRT dari Kaohsiung International Airport ke Tengah Kota

Raksasa LCC Asia Tenggara bernomor terbang AK 0170 itu mendaratkanku dengan mulus di tanah “Naga Kecil Asia”, melalui halaman depannya yaitu  Kaohsiung International Airport tepat pada pukul 13:05.

Terimakasih om Tony Fernandes yang selalu menyediakan tiket murah untuk keliling Asia

Taiwan yang selama ini hanya kudengar sebagai negara yang selalu menentang kedigdayaan “Tirai Bambu”. Negara yang menjadi tujuan ke-3 para pahlawan devisa Indonesia untuk berburu nafkah setelah Malaysia dan Saudi Arabia. Negara yang juga terkenal dengan sebutan “Si Kecil” pemilik banyak bandara. Bayangkan, negara pulau kecil itu memiliki 37 bandara dengan Taoyuan International Airport sebagai bandara terbaiknya. Ini menunjukkan bahwa Taiwan adalah negara yang sangat sibuk.

Dan akhirnya pada 27 Desember 2016, Aku diizinkan untuk menyambanginya.

Kedatanganku di Taiwan adalah sesi singgah, sebelum Aku menuju destinasi utamaku yaitu Jepang dan Korea Selatan di sesi akhir petualanganku kala itu. Boleh dikatakan ini adalah perjalanan prestisius di tahun ke-6 ku menjadi backpacker.

Kalau Kamu ga kebayang dimana Taiwan, Taiwan itu kalau Kita sedang jalan maka akan lebih jauh dari Hong Kong tetapi lebih dekat daripada Jepang. Nah udah kebayang kan?…..Kalau belum, ya coba lihat peta si Dora…hihihi

Okay….Pada artikel sebelumnya Aku menceritakan kisah ketika menginap di Kaohsiung International Airport sebelum meninggalkan kota ini menuju ke Tokyo.

Kalau Kamu lupa. lihat disini kisahnya:

Well….Lalu apa yang akan kuceritakan tentang Taiwan kali ini….

Gini aja….akan kutunjukkan bagaimana ketika aku mulai mendarat hingga mencapai tengah kota Kaohsiung.

Kita mulai ya, gaes….

Sebelum mendarat, maka prosedur setiap maskapai pada umumnya, mereka akan memberikanmu arrival card dan Kamu bisa mengisinya selama flight.

Tak sabar menikmati keindahan Taiwan, mataku terus mencuri pandang ke jendela pesawat ketika mendarat. Menyapu dengan cepat arsitektur sederhana Kaohsiung International Airport dari dalam kabin Air Asia.

Begitu melewati aerobridge, Aku dihadapkan pada sebuah lorong panjang dengan berbagai wallpaper bertema “Welcome to Kaohsiung”.

sederhana ya koridornya….pintar, wallpaper itu membuatnya indah

Sekedar informasi buat Kamu bahwa Kaohsiung adalah kota terbesar kedua di Taiwan setelah ibu kotanya Taipe, jadi Kamu harus mengunjunginya jika ada waktu.

Setelah berjalan menyusuri koridor selama 10 menit, Aku memulai memasuki area konter Imigrasi.

yuk….ngecap passport

Perhatianku tertuju pada siswa-siswi asal Indonesia. Mereka mengantri dengan bercanda riang….Kulihat mereka menenteng passport dan lembar e-visanya masing-masing. “Hebat, siswa zaman sekarang, mainannya keluar negeri, zamanku boro-boro, piknik ke kota sebelah aja langka”, gumamku sedikit ngiri…hihihi

Menyelesaikan proses imigrasi dengan cepat karena aku telah menunjukkan e-visa dan visa waiver Jepang. Oh ya, sekedar Kamu ketahui bahwa untuk memasuki Taiwan kamu hanya memerlukan free e-Visa apabila sudah memiliki Visa Jepang.

Keluar konter imigrasi maka Aku mulai menyusuri Arrival Hall ini:

kecil dan bergaya modern minimalis

Didekat pintu keluar Arrival Hall, Kamu bisa mendapatkan segala brosur untuk membantumu mengeksplorasi Kaohsiung. Kamu juga dengan mudah akan mendapatkan ATM dan konter penjualan SIM Card Local di selasar ini:

Ini adalah ruangan terakhir arrival hall sebelum Kamu benar-benar meninggalkan bandara.

Udah ambil brosur belum? mau beli sim card dulu? Apa mau tuker dolarmu buat makan?

Aku sendiri memutuskan menggunakan MRT untuk menuju ke tengah kota. Berarti Aku harus menemukan dimana letak stasiun MRT nya ya….hahahah

Heiii….jangan buru-buru keluar dari arrival hall….diamlah sejenak dekat pintu keluar, lalu lihatlah di seberang depan ada bangunan lift menuju ke MRT. nih……

Nah….bangunan kaca didepan itu tuh…..

Setelah menaiki lift itu maka Aku menemukan stasiun MRT Kaohsiung International Airport

Aku membeli two day pass untuk kunjungan 3 hari 2 malamku di Kaohsiung….MRT datang nih…yuk lihat interiornya:

woiii…jangan berdiri di sambungan kereta. Danger tau !

Menikmati halusnya suara MRT, Aku menuju ke Stasiun Houyi dimana Paper Plane Hostel tempatku menginap selama berwisata ke Kaohsiung berada. Dalam waktu 30 menit akhirnya aku sampai di Stasiun Houyi:

hampir mirip ya seperti gate MRT kita

Dari pintu keluar MRT ini, Aku hanya perlu berjalan ke belakang lalu berbelok ke kanan sekitar 50 meter untuk menemukan hostelku:

Swear…ini hostel murah dan keren bingit.

Aku tinggal selama dua malam dan mengenal teman-teman baru di dormitory, satu orang asal Vietnam dan satu lagi mahasiswa asli Bandung tapi besar di Amerika (tuh, mereka ada di foto atas) . Mereka adalah teman kampus yang sedang jalan-jalan berdua sepertinya.

Sore itu juga selepas check-in, Aku segera menuju pasar kuliner jalanan terbesar di Kaohsiung…dimanakah itu?….tunggu ya tulisan selanjutnya!

5 Facts of Staying at Kaohsiung International Airport, Taiwan

December 28, 2016 – After Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), Changi International Airport, Nội Bài International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, finally I could try one more airport in East Asia for sleeping. That was Kaohsiung International Airport. Even afterwards I also had time to enjoy beautiful night also at Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan.

But this session is about impression that I got overnight staying at Kaohsiung International Airport, Taiwan.

Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s second largest city. I felt lucky to visit it for 3 days 2 nights before went to next city …. Tokyo, Japan.
I practiced habit of reducing my lodging budget by sleeping in Kaohsiung International Airport on second night.
First night in Kaohsiung, I chose my option of staying at Paper Plane Hostel for TWD 450 (IDR 180K). For me, it could use for 4 until 5x eat budget. So what I did could save my budget if on 2nd night I slept for free at airport.

At 22:30, I arrived at airport.
 Being the 2nd largest airport in Taiwan ….the airport is nice.

irst step that I did, of course, got around in airport to found best place to slept. But the 1st floor of Departure Hall airport was very small, so I tried up to level 2 using lift. When got down from lift, I directly faced to check-in counter and the room has been turned off the lights. I met an airport employee and I asked could I sleep on the 2nd floor?. She said that I could stay but just on  level 1 only. 

So I decided to went on level 1.
Finally free staying action was started ….

And These were 5 experiences and impressions that I got during staying at Kaohsiung International Airport.

1. Sign up for staying

Before staying, I must register to security that I would stay at the airport. I wrote my name, passport number, country of origin, destination city after leaving Kaohsiung and the last was my signature. The airport security checked my passport and matched what I wrote in the airport’s staying register booker. After matched, then I could stay.

In the queue during registration, I had talked to the Japanese tourists who queued behind me. He was smiling to me, he thought what happened was funny and it also been his first registering before staying at the airport. He was staying because he would to go to Vietnam tomorrow morning.

2. All shops / stores in the airport hall were closed at 12pm.

I knew about it after bought tea in the Family Mart Airport. I asked Family Mart employees whether minimarket was open for 24 hours. He said that they would open until 24:00 only and closed afterwards.

So I must prepare some foods/drinks if didn’t want to thirsty or hungry. I only bought 600 ml of tea and didn’t buy any food because before went to the airport, I already ate at Kaisyuan Night Market.

3. The lights would be off at 12 pm.

When I talking some interesting topic with a Indonesian. Suddenly, the main light was turned off. But it seems more interesting, I could sleep soundly …. many people snoring here. I heard that because I didn’t sleep and involved in interesting chatting until 3 am ……

So if you stayed in Kaohsiung International Airport just needed to carefully on keeping your bag or luggage because of the dark hall. I still had tips to secured the backpack …. .I made my backpack as a pillow for my head.

4. Place to staying only one room ie Departure Hall on the 1st floor.
This was the Departure Hall :
Lobby bandara3

Hurry up!….looking for a bench  to slept rather than sleeping without carpet

5. Three sets of benches for sleeping

Every three stools have arms, so I couldn’t sleep normally.
Didn’t need to scrambled benches ….. people who staying could count by fingers.

One more addition, the toilet at the airport was guaranteed clean so didn’t worry about staying here.

At 4:30 am the airport activity could felt. I was still sleepy because of sleeping lately, after brushing teeth and washing I went up to 2nd floor for check-in process.

Konter check in2Sometime I will tell to you about my experience on Vanilla Air flight

After check-in process, let’s see how the situation of Kaohsiung International Airport to Departure Gate:

Koridor ke Gate2Towards Gate 30

Gate 302

get ready to fly to Tokyo

My adventures at Kaohsiung International Airport for 8.5 hours ended at this gate. Hopefully you can landing at this tiny and impressive airport sometime.


5 Fakta Menginap di Kaohsiung International Airport, Taiwan

28 Desember 2016 – Setelah Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2), Changi International Airport, Nội Bài International Airport dan Ninoy Aquino International Airport, akhirnya kali ini Gw bisa mencoba satu lagi bandara di Asia Timur untuk tidur yaitu Kaohsiung International Airport.  Bahkan setelahnya Gw juga sempat menikmati indahnya malam di Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Jepang.

Tapi bahasan kali ini adalah kesan yang Gw dapatkan dalam semalam di Kaohsiung International Airport, Taiwan.

Kaohsiung adalah kota terbesar kedua di Taiwan. Gw merasa beruntung bisa singgah di kota ini selama 3 hari 2 malam sebelum bertolak ke kota berikutnya….Tokyo, Jepang.
Kembali Gw menjalankan kebiasaan mengurangi budget penginapan dengan tidur di Kaohsiung International Airport di malam kedua.

Malam pertama di Kaohsiung, Gw jatuhkan pilihan menginap di Paper Plane Hostel seharga TWD 450 (Rp 180K). Uang segitu buat Gw, bisa buat budget 4-5x makan. Jadi sangat menghemat amunisi kalau malam ke-2 bisa tidur gratis di bandara.

Jam 22:30, gw sudah tiba di bandara.


Menyandang predikat sebagai bandara terbesar ke-2 di Taiwan….OK lah bandara ini.

Langkah yang pertama yang Gw lakukan, tentunya keliling di dalam bandara untuk cari tempat terbaik buat tidur. Tapi lantai 1 Departure Hall bandara sangatlah kecil jadi Gw coba naik ke level 2 menggunakan lift. Begitu keluar lift langsung dihadapkan pada konter check-in dan kondisi ruangan sudah dimatikan lampunya. Gw ketemu seorang ibu karyawan bandara dan menanyakan apakah saya bisa tidur di lantai 2. Dia bilang, Gw bisa tidur di bandara tapi hanya di lantai 1, karena memang tidak ada space buat tidur di lantai 2.
Jadi Gw musti turun ke bawah lagi.
Akhirnya aksi menginap gratis pun dimulai….
Dan berikut ini 5 pengalaman dan kesan yang saya dapatkan selama menginap di Kaohsiung International Airport.

1. Mendaftarkan diri menginap
Sebelum menginap, Gw harus mendaftarkan diri ke security bahwa Gw akan menginap di bandara. Gw menulis nama, no paspor, asal negara, kota tujuan setelah meninggalkan Kaohsiung dan tanda tangan. Petugas bandara memeriksa paspor Gw dan mencocokkan dengan apa yg Gw tulis di buku daftar menginap milik bandara. Setelah cocok maka Gw dipersilahkan menginap.
Dalam antrian sepanjang pendaftaran Gw sempat bicara sama turis jepang yang antri di belakang Gw. Dia senyam-senyum, menurutnya lucu dan dia juga baru pertama menginap di bandara dan harus daftar dulu. Dia menginap karena besok pagi mau ke Vietnam.

2. Semua toko/gerai di dalam ruang bandara tutup pada jam 12 malam.
Gw tahu hal ini setelah masuk di Family Mart Bandara. Gw tanya ke karyawan Family Mart apakah minimarket buka 24 Jam. Eh dia bilang mereka hanya akan buka sampai jam 24:00 dan tutup setelahnya.
Jadi Gw harus menyiapkan perbekalan jika tidak mau kehausan atau kelaparan. Gw hanya beli 600 ml minuman kemasan dan tidak beli makanan karena sebelum ke bandara Gw sudah makan di Kaisyuan Night Market.

3. Lampu akan dimatikan pada jam 12 malam.
Ketika asyik ngoborol dengan WNI asal Batam tiba-tiba lampu utama dimatikan. Tapi sepertinya malah asyik, bisa pulas tidur….banyak terdengar dengkuran disana sini. Gw denger itu karena Gw ga tidur dan keasyikan ngobrol sampai jam 3 pagi……
Jadi kalau kamu menginap di Kaohsiung International Airport hanya perlu hati-hati menjaga tas atau barang bawaan karena ruangan gelap. Gw sih punya tips untuk mengamankan backpack….gw jadikan bantal aja tuh backpack.

4. Tempat menginap hanya satu ruangan yaitu Departure Hall di lantai 1.
Ini ruangannya:

Lobby bandara
5. Tiga set bangku untuk tidur
Setiap tiga bangku terdapat penyangga lengan, jadi gw ga bisa tidur selonjoran sempurna.
Ga perlu berebut bangku…..kebetulan yang menginap bisa dihitung dengan jari.

Satu lagi tambahan, toilet di bandara ini dijamin bersih jadi ga perlu khawatir menginap disini.

Jam 4:30 aktivitas bandara mulai terasa. Gw yang masih ngantuk karena begadang harus bangun, setelah gosok gigi dan cuci muka Gw naik ke lantai 2 untuk proses check-in.
Konter check in
Setelah selesai proses check-in, mari Gw lihatin bagaimana suasana Kaohsiung International Airport menuju Departure Gate:

Koridor ke GateGate 30

Petualangan Gw di Kaohsiung International Airport selama 8,5 jam berakhir di gate ini.
Semoga kamu bisa singgah kapan-kapan di bandara mungil dan mengesankan ini suatu saat.