佛光山 Fo Guang Shan Monastery is one of the most famous sights near Kaohsiung and the biggest Monastery in Taiwan. The premises cover a huge area and include the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, the Sutra Repository and the Monastery. There are different museums, art galleries, gardens, restaurants, cafés (even Starbucks) and shops to explore. A bit like a cross between a hotel and a museum, but nonetheless worth a visit.
Kaohsiung has some really awesome street and urban art to offer. The Hamasen Railway Cultural Park and Pier-2 Art Center are old industrial areas being transformed into new cultural spaces. Street artists created the largest mural village in Taiwan in Lingya District near Weiwuying, breathing new life into the blocks of houses – now bursting with color!
Taking the Gushan Ferry to Cijin ( 旗津 ) Island, walking along the long strip of beach, observing crabs moving on the rocks, hiking up to the lighthouse, walking to the Rainbow Church, looking over to Kaohsiung, exploring Cihou Fort and searching for the Mazu temple…
Impressions of Kaohsiung the metropolis of South Taiwan.
It would be a shame to miss out on a night stroll in Valletta or the Three Cities – once everything turned a mysterious dark, colorful lights illuminate hidden spots of the city, bringing new features to life.
The Three Cities lie opposite of the capital of Malta, divided by the Grand Harbour, hence offering a perfect view of the city. The naming of the Three Cities can be quite confusing: The Three Cities together can also be called Cottonera, and each of the individual cities has two names it can go by: Il-Birgu (Vittoriosa), Senglea (L-Isla) and Cospicua (Bormla) in between.
Go there for the amazing view of Valletta, go to Senglea for the best views from La Guardiola, for balconies galore and sandstone churches, go to Birgu for Fort St. Angelo and the yacht harbour, for good traditional food and religious decorations, go to Cospicua for exploring markets and peaceful promenades.
South Malta has a lot to offer – the rugged coast has a wild beauty that is hard to miss. Walking on top of Dingli Cliffs is a very rewarding pastime. The famous Blue Grotto can only be reached via boat from Wied iż-Żurrieq, a small harbour and one of the few places in South Malta suitable for sea access. The bus stop on top of the hill offers a stunning view from above overlooking the grotto.
The megalithic temples of Malta are some of the oldest free-standing structures on earth that survived till today and part of the Unesco World Heritage sites. Most of the artefacts found at the temples were removed to be displayed in museums.
The Mdina Gate is famous for being used as a filming location for Game of Thrones, but more importantly, it stands between the two cities of Mdina and Rabat (arabic: suburb as it was outside the old capital Mdina). Here, it can be seen how differently life inside and outside the city gates was. The St. Paul’s Cathedral is located in Mdina while St. Paul’s Catacombs – burial grounds – are located in Rabat.
Tired from escaping the crowds at Senso-ji temple? The nearby street food stalls might not be less frequented but provide some much-needed fuel for a sightseeing day. Fried stuff, pancakes, the ever-so-popular seafood, there is something for everyone. Of course, each district will have plenty of takeaway food to satisfy you.
Harajuku (原宿) is just a short walk away from central Shibuya, it features shopping streets (just like almost every other district in Tokyo) but also the heart of Japanese subculture and street fashion. To escape the crowds, enter Tokyu Plaza and enjoy the beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking lively Harajuku.
Shibuya (渋谷区) is probably most known for the Shibuya crossing where you can watch a cluster of people heading this way and that way. Hachiko’s statue is overlooking the buzzing street. Center-gai, the main shopping street in Shibuya, can be easily accessed from here.