Travelling Taiwan gives a new perspective along every corner of the tiny island, and Kaohsiung in the country’s south-west is no exception. But, when you’re done checking out the funky city, a day trip to a beachside island may be just what the doctor ordered.
Cijin Island is exceptionally easy to get to using public transport and is a babin’ retreat from the busy city streets of it’s nearby city. A short ferry trip will take you over to the small island where you can spend your time checking out caves, cycling along the boardwalk, strolling the market, and revelling in an Instagrammers paradise.
While we weren’t sure what to expect from Kaiohsiung, our day-trip to Cijin Island turned out to be one of the highlights of our trip to Taiwan? Curious to explore? Here are the details:
How to Get to Cijin Island
The first step to getting to Cijin Island is to get to Gushan Ferry Station where you can take the ferry across the water. To get to the harbour you can take the MRT orange line to Sizihwan MRT Station, take Exit 1 and walk about ten minutes to the harbour. There are also a multitude of buses that head in the same direction.
The ferry is ultra-cheap at only $30 NTD ($0.95 USD/€0.85 EUR/$1.49 AUD) – or only $20 when using an iCash or EasyPass transportation card. You pay as you board the ferry and then fight to find the best seat possible for the ten minute trip across the water.
How to Get Around Cijin Island
Cijin Island is tiny, so some people choose to walk it. However, I reckon half the fun of the island is renting a bike and whizzing alongside the water! Rentals are affordable and you have a bunch of options – rough pricing is below:
|Type of Transport||Unit of Time||NTD||USD||EUR||AUD|
|Standard Bicycle||Per Day||$100||$3.2||€3||$5|
|Electric Bicycle||Per Hour||$100||$3.2||€3||$5|
|Electric Rickshaw (2 People)||Per Two Hours||$400||$12.7||€11||$19|
|Electric Rickshaw (4 People)||Per Two Hours||$600||$19||€17||$28|
|Electric Scooter||Per Hour||$100||$3.2||€3||$5|
This is the standard pricing – BUT, remember to haggle! We wanted to take the Electric Rickshaw for two people because it looked like a baller experience but didn’t want to pay the $400 NTD price tag for just two hours. We negotiated down to $350 NTD with an extra 1.5 hours included.
Your rental company will give you a map of the island with a bunch of spots marked out and will tell you a general route to go see everything. It’s very easy to drive or bike on the island with heaps of defined bike paths to make your way around.
What to See on Cijin Island
Although it is an island, the beach isn’t much to write home about. Black sand and a lack of waves makes it not ideal. Thankfully, there’s lots of other things to keep you occupied as you zoom around!
Check Out the View at Cihou Lighthouse
A gentle walk will take you to Cihou Lighthouse on the edge of the island. While the lighthouse itself is exactly as you would expect a lighthouse to be, the real star here is the view stretching over to Kaiohsiung City.
Take a Walk Through a Galaxy at the Star Tunnel
The Star Tunnel was originally a military tunnel – but is now an easy walk through darkness lit only by the (painted) stars above you. Romantic, right?
Wander the Market and Indulge in Some Fresh Seafood
Park your bike and take to your feet for the street market. Among the other standard tourist fare, you will also have a chance to stuff your face with fresh seafood, chopped tomato, and scoop up mountains of flavoured ice – all Cijin specialities!
Experience Sculptures Galore in an Instagrammers Paradise
Dotted all along the length of the island are sculptures that seem to exist purely for Instagrammers. Check out the giant gold Sea Pearl and the Rainbow Church to up your Instagram game.
Time for a drink? Always. Check out the water in the ocean while you down the liquid in your glass at the Sunset Bar.
Heading to Kaohsiung and planning to spend a day on Cijin Island? Got a question, comment or tip? Drop it in the comments below!