No, none of us could’ve said we’ve had enough of the water because our little ride at the Love River was still due. The Love River, which is actually a canal is said to be a focal point of the Kaohsiung city. This peaceful narrow river is surrounded by bike paths and walkways along with a whole lot of eateries. As we made our way to get on to a ‘loveboat’, we crossed a long-hair octogenarian singing a Chinese version of what I could possibly call an old school ‘love’ ballad while the sun was about to set. So, I see why the locals never ever get bored of this place.
The lights started to glisten across the water, as we stepped onto the boat with neon lights towards the ‘love bridge’, where the lights changed colour every few bunch of seconds, creating light rainbows on the river. Clearly, this is my second most favourite memory of Taiwan.
On our way back to our hotel 85 Sky Tower, which itself is a landmark of a skyscraper (about 1100 ft and 85 floors up), we saw another little detail at the bank – stuffed toys next to the trees lining the riverbank.
We didn’t have any of the famous night markets on our itinerary but I did get a glimpse of a narrow little night market close to my hotel (Yuansu Yujhu Shopping area) on my last evening.
Apart from the trinkets and such, they are a great place to try out local delicacies if you’re a person who likes to explore local taste and most importantly unlike me, don’t have any food allergies. I just enjoyed the sights and sound of a busy market, made my last trip to the local drugstore Watson, for a final round of get them all. Yes, the only real shopping I did in Taiwan was at drugstores like Cosmed, Watsons or Family Mart. I got a good deal on EOS’ quaint lip balms shaped like table tennis balls (they often have good deals running), a whole lot of sheet face masks, foot masks and Cheery Blossom body lotions. Most of them were really cheap in comparison to shipping these international brands to India. Top of my list: masks from My Beauty Diary, Dr. Morita, Naruko, lip balms Vaseline rose, caramel basic, organic face sponges and Biore products.
Of course they have some pretty mementoes (keychains & magnets) as well shaped like lanterns and Taiwan’s famous foodstuff, the latter make for great gifts, so do look around for a delicious looking miniature dim-sum platters.
Before we left for the airport our last stop in Taiwan, took us to the port of Kaohsiung’s Pier 2 Artzone, where behind old, abandoned warehouses and an out of use train line, have found a new lease of life in art. Modern Art to be specific, that makes use of reclaimed land and materials from the harbour, train stations of the years gone by, turning them into appealing installations. Another fantastic initiative that makes for a good public space and a fantastic opportunity for artists to not only showcase their craft but also use hardware which has lived out its existing life.
This combination of art, culture, technology and natural beauty is enough to say, why not
I visited Taiwan on the invitation of the Taiwan Tourism Board in India.