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:

https://travelingpersecond.com/2018/03/04/menginap-di-kaohsiung-international-airport-taiwan/

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!