Kaohsiung Gushan District
Day trip to Gushan district. This is the district where I regularly go to Kaohsiung along the coast, but there is much more to do with the Gushan Hills. Indeed you can admire animals like the Taiwan monkeys. There is also the best spot in Taiwan with the view of the city. It is also possible to go further and come across some remote beaches. Easily accessible, I regularly take the self-service bike from Kaohsiung, which allows easy navigation in the district. I was able to drive a few kilometers to discover a small traditional fishing port at the water’s edge. In my opinion it is the best district of Kaohsiung to get away from the city, to appreciate nature and the ocean view, without being far from the city center.
When visitors arrive in Kaohsiung, they can not help but notice the great mountain that borders the western part of the city and creates a green wall between the city and the Taiwan Strait. This green wall is a combination of the longevity mountain called ‘Shou Shan’ and ‘Chai Shan’ or mountain of the monkeys as it is known to foreign visitors.
If you like to hike or if you just need fresh air, greenery and wildlife, Gushan is very nearby the city center, easy and convenient to find. Every morning, the two mountains are occupied early by hikers. At the end of the day new hikers will enjoy the sunset and the lights of the city. Indeed there is a magnificent view of the whole city as well as the coastline of this place. There are many trails, more or less marked, so it is easy to discover new path. However, if you want to stay in the main path, follow the stairs. Indeed the park has built a wooden stair circuit that is safe and easy to follow. It sometimes gets stiff, but you will not get lost if you stay on the stairs.
You can find the macaques of Taiwan. It is not for nothing that the mountain has such a nickname, but for the abundance of macaques from Taiwan who live in the region. There are so many that sometimes we can see them at the street level. It is quite amazing that you can be in a very urban environment for a minute and then walk among a family of monkeys shortly after. For the most part, these monkeys are harmless, but they become less and less shy as more and more hikers make their way through their territory.
The mountain is accessible within walking distance north of the Kaohsiung MRT Sizihwan Station. There is an entrance just east of Shou Shan Zoo, and another entrance next to the building of the College of Liberal Arts at Sun Yat-sen National University. You can take a bike to navigate easily in the district.