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One of the things you must do in Kaohsiung is to visit Cijin Island, also known as Qijin Island. Luckily this island is located very close to the mainland so you could do as a day trip from Kaohsiung, but you can also pop there for just a few hours between your Kaohsiung sightseeing.
I’d go as far as saying that Cijin Island was the most touristy place I visited in Taiwan, however, this wasn’t a bad thing because essentially it’s just a really fun place that you can enjoy as a group or solo as I did.
Cijin Island in Kaohsiung is a place where you can ride around on electric bikes and golf buggies alongside palm trees and the ocean, and of course stop for some delicious Taiwanese food whilst at it.
Even though Kaohsiung is right on the coast and it does have a few beaches on the mainland, it is in no way a beach city. Cijin Island is not a tropical island and full of beaches either but it does have a huge black beach in the North of the island and visiting here feels like you’ve left the whole city behind for a bit of beach fun.
You need to get yourself to Gushan Ferry Pier in Kaohsiung which is along the coast as this is where the ferry leaves from Kaohsiung to Cijin Island.
Kaohsiung Travel Tip – Pier 2 which is a really arty and cool part of Kaohsiung is very close by so it’s a good idea to visit there before or after to make the most of going this way. Pier 2 is one of the top things to do in Kaohsiung.
The ferry from Gushan Ferry Pier to Cijin Island leaves very regularly if it’s a nice day or a popular time for tourism in Kaohsiung you may need to queue and wait for a second ferry but this shouldn’t take too long.
The ferry from Kaohsiung to Cijin Island costs 30NTD each way and you can pay using Taiwan’s handy transport card – Easy Card to tap on the ferry. If you don’t have an Easy Card you can pay by cash too.
There’s seating upstairs inside and outside so if you want to get a good view of Kaohsiung be sure to stand outside on the ferry. The journey to Cijin Island from mainland Kaohsiung only takes about 10 minutes. I couldn’t believe how quick it was and I loved seeing the city from the water. It reminded me of Hamburg for some reason!
If you’re wondering how big Cijin island is, it’s actually bigger than you might expect, it’s certainly bigger than I thought. It’s a long rectangle shaped island but the North where Cijin Pier is is where most day tourists to Cijin Island will stay.
You can walk around Cijin Island, I did and I saw enough of the island this way but the most popular way to get around Cijin Island and Cijin Islands famous mode of transport is by hiring an electric golf cart, well, at least that’s what it looks like anyway.
The electric golf buggies look a lot of fun and get you around the island pretty fast but I did see a few people nearly tip them over and get stuck so make sure you can actually drive and are confident and sensible before hiring one.
Another popular way to see Cijin Island is via bike. You can hire electric bikes from shops as soon as you get off the boat at Cijin Ferry Terminal, the locals will be waiting to sell them to you as you get off. Alternatively, you can hire a motorbike for Cijin Island on the mainland and take it over on the ferry which might be cheaper than hiring an electric bike on Cijin Island.
Because Cijin Island is so big and it is a place where a lot of people live, it does have a lot of buses and bus stops too. I didn’t take a bus myself but seen as the island is one long rectangle I can’t imagine you can get too lost on Cijin Island by taking the bus, and it will help if you have an Easy Card to pay with too.
To SEE my trip to Cijin Island in Kaohsiung Taiwan, have a watch of my YouTube video here!
For more idea’s of things to do in Kaohsiung and places to eat in Kaohsiung, have a look at my Kaohsiung Travel Guide here.
Even if it’s not a sunny day or a ‘beach day’ going over to the opposite side of the island to where the ferry docks to see Cijin’s black beach is a must do activity as like I said, it shows a totally different side to Kaohsiung which was and still is, an industrial city.
Even though Cijin Beach only runs along a small section on the North Western side of the island on a map, it is actually huge in length and width with black sand running all the way down to a grassy patch where the Cijin Shell Museum is.
I really enjoyed walking along the path that runs parallel to the beach between all of the palm trees and I could not believe that 30 minutes before I was in a busy city!
Looking for an Instagram spot on Cijin island? Well, there’s what I can only describe as a Rainbow Bridge on the grass next to Cijin Shell Museum, but it’s real name is the Rainbow Church on Cijin Island which will work as the perfect Instagram picture with the ocean in the background.
If you’re wondering what is there to do on Cijin Island, on the Northern part of the island close to Cijin Ferry Terminal is Cihou Fort and Lighthouse which are popular places to visit on Cijin Island. It’s good to walk up the hill and see these as they are historical monuments but to be fair I’d say the reason to climb the hill is to see the view of Cijin Island and Kaohsiung together from above which is really impressive.
Note that even if you have hired a bike or golf cart you will need to park these at the bottom and walk up the hill still.
Taiwan is famous for its food and Cijin Island sells some very local foods too. Being on the coast the seafood that’s sold on Cijin Island is meant to be some of the best in Kaohsiung and if seafood isn’t your thing you can get Taiwan’s famous shaved ice dessert as I saw this on offer in a lot of restaurants in Cjin Island.
If you’re not hiring a bike on Cijin Island and happy to walk, once you have visited the Fort and Lighthouse I’d suggest walking around the tip of the island which is where Kaohsiung Port is located as it was a really nice walk to see more of the island and it ends by the ferry port.
You can read more of my Kaohsiung blog posts here to help you plan your trip further:
I’m Ellie Quinn!
I’m a travel addict who has been travelling on and off since 2010. In the Summer of 2018 I quit my office job in London, left my flat and I now travel and blog full time! Yes, I’m living that dream!
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