Explore Kaohsiung’s Reimagined Warehouse District From Every Angle
Recent years have seen the Port of Kaohsiung, long a source of local pride, blossom with numerous new sites and attractions in the district, including Pier-2, the Hamasen Railway Cultural Park, and Kaohsiung Port Warehouse No. 2 (KW2). The area is easily accessible and enjoyed via bikeways, the MRT, the light rail, and the newly christened KW2 Ferry Terminal, bringing the century-old port district into the new century.
Explore Kaohsiung’s Reimagined Warehouse District From Every AngleBy Kaohsiung City Government Information Bureau
Kaohsiung’s Incomparable Coastal Beauty Awaits You This Summer
Every few months, it seems, there are new hotspots and new ways to have fun in Kaohsiung, especially around the city’s port, which was for years fenced off and unapproachable. However, recent years have seen such developments as the opening of marinas, the creation of new bikeways, the development of the Pier-2 Art Center, the commencement of the light rail service, and establishment of the Hamasen Railway Cultural Park.
This year, Kaohsiung Port Warehouse No. 2, an old railway warehouse, has been reimagined and repurposed to combine cultural creativity, dining, and exhibition spaces within a completely open port area. Thanks to these exciting changes, today’s Kaohsiung Port is much more than a major port; it is also a destination for locals and visitors alike to enjoy and experience the port city’s unique character.
The Port of Kaohsiung was founded in 1858, when Takao Harbor (“Takao” is the former name of Kaohsiung) became a foreign trading port under the Treaty of Tientsin signed by Britain and China. The port grew steadily to become southern Taiwan’s most important commercial port, ranking the world’s third-largest port in 1999 in terms of container throughput.
For well over a century, the Port of Kaohsiung has witnessed sweeping changes to Taiwan’s economy.
When the port perimeter railway ceased operation in 2006, several lines were converted into light rail lines, constituting Asia’s newest bay region access network after coming online in 2015.
Now, visitors to Kaohsiung can get a taste of Kaohsiung Port’s history, arts and culture, coastal scenery and fine food along the path of the light railway.
Passengers alighting at the light rail Dayi Pier-2 stop arrive on the doorstep of the Pier-2 Art Center’s Dayi warehouse cluster. Pier-2 derives its name from the No. 2 Tender Pier in the Kaohsiung Port No. 3 Channel. The warehouse, constructed in 1973, had become dilapidated from disuse before being refurbished and reopened in 2002, a transformation through the efforts of numerous artists, local cultural activists and the Kaohsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs of the complex into a collection of local restaurants, cultural creative enterprises, arts and culture exhibitions, and artistic creations, becoming southern Taiwan’s most distinctive arts zone.
Moving westward from the Pier-2 Dayi warehouse cluster along the West Harborside Bikeway, one can enjoy outstanding local public art before filling up on culture at the Dayong warehouse cluster, arthouse cinema, and Eslite bookstore. Further along Kaohsiung Port is the Pier-2 Penglai light rail station, which drops passengers off right at the Pier-2 Penglai warehouse cluster, the Hamasen Railway Cultural Park, and Kaohsiung Port Warehouse #2.
Hamasen Railway Cultural Park
Tracing the Port, Remembering History, Eating Locally, Browsing Arts & Culture
When Taiwan’s first north-south railway went into service in 1908, the site of today’s Takao Railway Museum was the city’s first Kaohsiung Port Station, an important milestone in the modernization of southern Taiwan. Subsequent improvements saw the Hamasen regional land reclamation, Takao harbor and downtown street development, laying the foundation for Kaohsiung’s development.
In the effort to preserve the Hamasen coastal area’s transformation from salty fish and sugar production and manufacturing to international trade, the city established the Hamasen Railway Cultural Park and the Hamasen Taiwan Railway Museum. From kite flying along the old railway spur line to riding the mini train around the grounds on a journey into the past, both sites are now especially popular destinations for fun-filled family recreation.
Kaohsiung Port Warehouse No. 2
The Kaohsiung Port Warehouse No. 2 (KW2), newly opened to the public this spring, connects the attractions of Yancheng, Hamasen, and Cijin. Port Warehouse No. 2, situated at the Port of Kaohsiung’s Pier 2, started out in 1914 during the Japanese period as a small warehouse with brick walls and a tiled roof for a sugar export company. Severely damaged by bombing during World War Two, it was reconstructed with concrete support pillars and rebar by the Nationalist government. The obstruction-free design was a unique feature of the specialty warehouse for sugar and banana exports.
After a full year of renovations by the Kaohsiung Port Land Development Corporation, the century-old warehouse was transformed into a multi-functional space combining cultural creative industries, exhibitions and dining while maintaining the vintage character of the original walls and windows. The large cultural creative-themed wall and giant tree dining table area have become the latest hotspots for selfies, and the floor-to-ceiling windows facing the sea make it the best way to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding bay as well as the spectacular sunsets.
The KW2 Ferry Terminal is where passengers can take the CiFu No. 1, a locally designed and built electric-powered ferry and the first of its kind in Asia, across the bay to Cijin. There, a host of activities and attractions includes cycling, a windmill park, a seaside park, the shell museum, a painted church, Old Cijin Street, and the Cihou Lighthouse.
Another quick ferry trip on a different line goes to Gushan, where, after cooling off with a large helping of shaved ice, visitors can ascend to the former British Consulate at Takao for a panoramic view overlooking metropolitan Kaohsiung.
Top Itineraries for Touring Kaohsiung By Land and Sea
A. Light Rail / Dayi Pier-2 Stop →Pier-2 →Pier-2 Art Center
B. Light Rail / Hamasen Stop →KW2
C. Ferry / KW2 Ferry Terminal →Cijin
D. Ferry / Gushan Ferry Terminal →Former British Consulate at Takao, Xizi Bay
Translated by David Toman
Edited by HanSheng Huang
This content is sponsored by Kaohsiung City Government Information Bureau.