Last Saturday we made a spontaneous decision to visit the Giant Rubber Duck in Kaohsiung City during its final weekend down south. Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has been spreading joy around the world since 2007 with his massive floating duck sculptures. The duck has already left Kaohsiung and will be making stops in Taoyuan [Oct. 26 – Nov. 10] and Keelung [Dec. 21 – Jan 31].
Zizhu Village [自助新村] is a military dependents’ village located in Kaohsiung City’s Zuoying District. In an attempt to save the village from demolition, a group of students have decorated the village’s buildings and roads to attract visitors. Like Taichung’s Chun An Village, this village has been receiving a lot of attention lately and even has its own Facebook page created by the artists where visitors can post photographs from their visits.
Military dependents’ villages [眷村] are communities throughout Taiwan built in the late 1940s through 1950s for the original purpose of providing provisional housing to Nationalist soldiers and their dependents after the KMT retreated to Taiwan. However, they ended up becoming permanent settlements of mainlander enclaves in Taiwanese cities. These communities were haphazardly constructed and often poorly maintained. Since the 1990s, most of these villages have been bulldozed and replaced by high-rise communities. There are efforts to preserve some of the few remaining dependents’ villages as historical sites.
Here is a small collection of photographs from our visit to Zizhu Village:
The last attraction on our Kaohsiung trip was a stop to the Lotus Pond in Zuoying [蓮池潭龍虎塔]. The man-made pond is a short bus ride from the Zuoying KMRT and HSR Station and is located between Gui Mountain [龜山] and Banping Mountain [半平山]. Here are a few photos of the pond’s Dragon and Tiger Towers:
Kaohsiung’s Urban Spotlight [城市光廊] is located near the KMRT’s Central Park Station. It’s theme is light and is the collaboration of nine local artists. It’s a great place to stroll around after dusk. Here are some pictures from our visit:
Our weekend in Kaohsiung began with a trip on the KMRT to The Ciaotou Sugar Refinery [橋頭糖廠]. The area is characterized by its sugar refinery which has been made into a museum of Taiwan’s sugar industry. There are plenty of old buildings, narrow gauge trains, cafes, bike paths, and artwork by local artists on display for visitors to enjoy.
After breakfast on our second day in Kaohsiung we hopped on the KMRT and got off at Sanduo Shopping District Station [三多商圈站]. We had two things in mind: 1) buy new shoes for my wife because the pair she was wearing was not cut out for the walking we were doing and 2) visit the Tunix Sky Tower [高雄85大樓].
View the large.
This is the first of a series of posts from our recent two-day trip to Kaohsiung [高雄]. Kaohsiung is located in southwestern Taiwan and is the second largest and most densely populated city in Taiwan.
Formosa Boulevard Station [美麗島站] serves as a transfer station for the Red and Orange lines of the Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit System [KMRT 高雄大眾捷運系統]. The station hosts the Dome of Light, which is the work of Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata and is the world’s biggest one-piece stained glass creation.
We arrived in Kaohsiung early Saturday afternoon, after checking into our hotel our first stop was the British Consulate at Takao. Designed by a British architect and built in 1865, this Renaissance-style building was the first Western-style building in Kaohsiung.