It was such a blessing to be part of the delegates of Kaohsiung Familiarization Trip brought by AirAsia and Jeron Travels and Around the World Travels.
When we arrived at NAIA, Jeron Travel had welcome goodie bags prepared with all my travel documents done already, the departure cards and everything was already filled up for me, all I had to do was to sign it.
The thing that struck me the most throughout the whole tour experience in Kaohsiung was how special accommodating they were towards us. Karla from Jeron Travels, who welcomed us at Taiwan Airport, was extremely nice. She even reminded me that I needed biogesic because I was sick the whole time. I had the flu but of course when they asked me to be one of the travel delegates for Kaohsiung to explore and learn the diverse culture of Taiwan, I couldn’t say no. Nothing can stop me from exploring. Our main tour guide was Chloe, she was kind and very hospitable. As soon as we landed in Taiwan, we already felt the welcoming spirit of everyone. On the bus to get to the tourist spots in Kaohsiung, they reminded us to keep our seat belts on and reassured our safety throughout the whole experience.
AirAsia and Around The World Travels gave us VIP treatment. The flight to Kaohsiung was fast and easy. Their staff was very accommodating and hospitable. The process of checking in and checking out was no hassle at all. They served us delicious food on the plane, so that’s a thumbs-up as well. They were strict for their rules, as all airlines are and should be. Overall, it was such an enjoyable and relaxing travel with AirAsia.
We stayed at Kaohsiung City Suites, the hotel was a cozy one. They accommodated us with extreme care. The food was also amazing! They served us breakfast lauriat style, an everyday Chinese meal. The day we went to Fo Guang Shang Buddha Museum, they served us a vegan meal because in the museum they practice being vegan. We had to try vegan food so we could truly immerse ourselves in the culture they have created.
Now, on to the places we went to. My favorite was the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, mainly because it was such a beautiful sight to see. Pictures don’t do justice to how beautiful it was in person. The façade and the whole look of it is pure serenity. Our tour guide was very informative. He talked about the history and the story behind the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum in a very detailed manner. He toured us around the pagodas till we got to the Buddha. When we got to the top, where the Buddha was displayed, there was a room under where they practice calligraphy. It is also a place where you offer prayers and chants to Buddha and he offers you a blessing in return. The bookmark from the calligraphy session we had was in Chinese characters.
After tracing the Chinese characters, we gave prayers to Buddha and went back to the reception to learn the translations on our bookmarks. I loved what was written on mine. It said “Morality and good deeds are investments that never fail. Giving and helping are permanent assets that are never scarce.”
We also went to the Holy Rosary Cathedral. What I found fascinating in this place was how great the architecture and form was. My favorite part in this place, were the candles on the altar. Instead of lighting it up with a lighter or a match, you offer coins and your candle will light up. I don’t know how they do it but it was an amazing to witness.
Peace and tranquility was all I felt when we arrived at The Love River. It was so pure and clean. During the night time there were lights that make it look even more spectacular, tourist gather in this area because it is such a peaceful place. The story behind the Love River was that way back, there was a Romeo and Juliet kind of story, they loved each other but their families did not want them to be together so they committed suicide on the river. No one really talks about it so they changed the name to Love River to make it sound positive. Also, it is said that the river helps to find your soul mate.
The night market was a sight to behold and it smelled so good because they were a lot of food. Seafood, street food, you name it, they have it. There were seafood and oysters that were really big plus the seafood they sell are fresh because the night market is close to the ocean. In many ways, that is what Kaohsiung is known for. They also have jewelry, bags and clothes. A lot of good finds with cheap prices that made for great Christmas gifts. The market starts at 4 in the afternoon and is open until midnight. There’s so many hidden treasures here, I’d highly recommend a visit.
Pier 2 Art Center is must-see attraction. Since the art center houses many works from local artists, you’ll able to see local talents from all over Taiwan. Moreover, enjoying the day at Pier 2 Art Center does not really have to be expensive, making it a budget-friendly option. So, if you are planning a trip to Kaohsiung, be sure to drop by at Pier 2 Art Center.
We also passed by the Dome of Light. It is situated in the train station. It is largest glass art work and is one of the main tourist spots in Kaohsiung. There were a lot of travel photographers there, and I remember seeing this one photographer being so creative. He poured water on the floor and took a photo of it reflecting the Dome of Light. If you’re looking to add color to your instagram feed, this is the place to go to.
We also went to Vigor Kubo where we were given the opportunity to make our own pineapple cakes. Back in the day when the Japanese brought pineapple farms in Taiwan, they made it a staple food for people to survive off. Pineapple cakes are very known in Taiwan. They are sold in a lot of places and also have a do it yourself pineapple cake making for tourist who want to experience. This time we were given a chance to bake and create own pineapple cake. It is like “hopia” style pastry, where you put the pineapple inside the dough or bun and close it like a dumpling and put it in a baking stencil. We also tried other delicacies which were all good.
I will definitely go back to Kaohsiung, Taiwan. I want to explore Taipei more and go back to Fo Guang Shang Buddha Museum with my family. For me, I believe in peace and relaxation. Visiting Taiwan was a really experience for someone who is busy like me, It was a nice stop to enjoy art, culture, sights and earn new experiences.
I highly recommend the AirAsia and Around The World Travels for being so accommodating and giving travelers like me a hassle and stress free trips. I also would like want to thank Jeron Travels for hosting this wonderful trip. They have great Taiwan tour packages, one of them is a two day trip you can experience yourself of with someone special where you spend majority of your days meditating and experiencing what life is like as a monk.
I enjoyed the whole trip and I learned a lot about the diverse culture of Taiwan. I can’t wait to go back!
For more of what went down on our trip, check out: