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:

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!

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.
IMG_20161228_223904
 Being the 2nd largest airport in Taiwan ….the airport is nice.

F
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.