We just released our guide to celebrating Christmas in Taipei, but as the second most populated city in Taiwan we’d be remiss to leave out Kaohsiung. With Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) vowing to ramp up an already fast growing tourism sector there are many people coming to town along with Santa for the Holiday season. If you’re among them, below is a list of places you need to go this December.
Top 3 Things to Do in Kaohsiung to Celebrate Christmas and the Holiday Season
Immerse Yourself in Dream Mall
Location: Qianzhen District, Kaohsiung
We know, “going to the mall” to celebrate the season seems like a copout but this is no standard shopping center. Dream Mall in Kaohsiung is the largest shopping mall in all of Taiwan and the 15th largest in East Asia. If you’re familiar with the scope of shopping centers in East Asia, then you know that distinction is saying a lot. During Christmas, Dream Mall will have visions of sugar plums dancing in your head, even when wide awake. This is due to the insane number of Christmas lights, decorations, displays, and even fake snow found through the district and accompanying amusement park. The best place to view it all (and take photos) is from atop the giant Ferris wheel known as the Kaohsiung Eye. The department stores, shops, eateries, and activity zones go all out during the Holiday season and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better selection of prospective presents and goodies to treat yourself and loved ones to. Santa and his helpers are on deck for photos and carolers and a variety of other Christmas “pop up” events will be found on site through December. Christmasland in New Taipei City may get all of the press when it comes to Christmas in Taiwan but Kaohsiung Dream Mall certainly gives it a run for it’s money, and is considered better by many.
Love River Christmas Cruise
Location: Kaohsiung River, Kaohsiung City Center
Kaohsiung River, more affectionately known as Love River, is one of the most popular places to spend a Holiday season evening Kaohsiung. While a stroll is great, a boat cruise of gondola ride is the only way to go when you want to soak up all of the lovely Christmas lights and decorations found lining the waterway. The comparison to the Thames River (London) or Seine (Paris) is made all of the time, and for good reason. Along the way you’ll view festively decorated boats and illuminated attractions such as Kaohsiung District Court and Kaohsiung Bridge but seeing Holy Rosary Cathedral’s lights reflected in the calm water is a sight to behold during the Holidays. As soon as you get off the metro Orange Line’s Wafu Road exit you’ll find boat and cruise operators waiting to whisk you and your party away. When done, be sure to enjoy a hot chocolate of seasonal glass of wine at one of the many festive cafes located along the riverfront.
Christmas Dinner (and Drinks!) at German Kitchen
Location: German Kitchen Nanping Road, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung City
You’ll find classy Christmas dinners at nearly all of the high end hotels located in Kaohsiung but far too many fall short of the authentic feel demanded by many travelers, especially those coming from Europe. Hit the best traditional Christmas menu in Kaohsiung at German Kitchen in the Zuoying District. This no-frills but extremely genuine establishment has bratwurst, beer, and traditional German fare you want for the Holidays, including turkey dinner with all the fixings. Make a reservation in advance if you want to ensure a table when showing up, and follow their Facebook page for updates through December.
Santa can’t do Christmas without his helpers, and you should follow suit when in Kaohsiung by connecting to a local guide to help you navigate the city during the Holidays. Book the tour today.