Kaohsiung (Taiwanese Romanization: Ko-hiông; Hakka PFS: Kô-hiùng; old names: Takao, Takow, Takau) is a special municipality located in southwestern Taiwan facing the Taiwan Strait. As of 2018, Kaohsiung has a population of approximately 2.77 million people, making it Taiwan's third most populous city.[4] It is Taiwan's largest municipality by area at 2,951.85 km2 (1,139.72 sq mi), stretching from Yushan to Taiping Island. Since its start in the 17th century, Kaohsiung has grown from a small trading village into the political, economic, transportation, manufacturing, refining, shipbuilding, and industrial center of southern Taiwan.

The Kaohsiung International Airport is the second largest airport in Taiwan, while the Port of Kaohsiung is the largest harbor in Taiwan. The city is served by Freeway 1, Freeway 3, and Freeway 10, as well as the TRA Western and Pingtung railway lines. The Taiwan High Speed Rail also provides fast and frequent railway connection to Taipei. The Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit, the city's subway system, was launched in early 2008. Kaohsiung was the host city of the World Games 2009, a multi-sport event primarily composed of sports not featured in the Olympic Games. The city is also home to the Republic of China Navy fleet headquarters and its naval academy.


Kaohsiung City
Skyline of Kaohsiung
Flag of Kaohsiung
Official logo of Kaohsiung
Etymology: Takao Prefecture
The Harbor City (Gangdu), The Maritime Capital, The Waterfront City
Kaohsiung City shown within the Taiwan islands
Kaohsiung City shown within the Taiwan islands
Satellite image of Kaohsiung
Satellite image of Kaohsiung
Coordinates: 22°38′N 120°16′E / 22.633°N 120.267°ECoordinates: 22°38′N 120°16′E / 22.633°N 120.267°E
Country Republic of China (Taiwan)
RegionSouthern Taiwan
SeatLingya District and
Fongshan District
 • MayorHan Kuo-yu (Kuomintang)
 • Deputy MayorsLee Shu-chuan, Yeh Kuang-shih
 • Special municipality2,951.85 km2 (1,139.72 sq mi)
 • Urban
363 km2 (140 sq mi)
Area rank4 out of 22
9 m (30 ft)
 • Special municipality2,773,093
 • Rank3 out of 22
 • Density940/km2 (2,400/sq mi)
 • Urban2,540,000
 • Urban density7,000/km2 (18,000/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (National Standard Time)
Postal code
Area code(s)(0)7
ISO 3166 codeTW–KHH
FlowerChinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
TreeCotton Tree (Bombax ceiba)
Websitewww.kcg.gov.tw/EN (in English)
Kaohsiung City
Kaohsiung Chinese Characters
"Kaohsiung" in Chinese characters
Chinese name
Literal meaningHigh Bravery (Original meaning is a famous scenic spot of Kyoto, Japan.)
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinGāoxióng Shì
Bopomofoㄍㄠ   ㄒㄩㄥˊ   ㄕˋ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhGaushyong Shyh
Wade–GilesKao¹-hsiung² Shih⁴
Tongyong PinyinGaosyóng Shìh
Yale RomanizationGāusyúng Shr̀
MPS2Gāushiúng Shr̀
IPA[káu.ɕjʊ̌ŋ ʂɻ̩̂]
Yue: Cantonese
JyutpingGou1hung4 Si5
Southern Min
Hokkien POJKo-hiông-chhī
Japanese name

Etymology and names

Hoklo immigrants to the area during the 16th and 17th centuries called the region Takau (Chinese: 打狗; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tá-káu). The surface meaning of the associated Chinese characters was "beat the dog". According to one theory, the name Takau originates from the aboriginal Siraya language and translates as "bamboo forest". According to another theory, the name evolved via metathesis from the name of the Makatao tribe, who inhabited the area at the time of European and Hoklo settlement. The Makatao are considered to be part of the Siraya tribe.

During the Dutch colonization of southern Taiwan, the area was known as Tancoia to the western world for a period of about three decades. In 1662, the Dutch were expelled by the Kingdom of Tungning, founded by Ming loyalists of Koxinga. His son, Zheng Jing, renamed the village Banlian-chiu (Chinese: 萬年州; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Bān-liân-chiu; literally: "ten-thousand-year region (zhou)") in 1664.

The name of "Takau" was restored in the late 1670s, when the town expanded drastically with immigrants from mainland China, and was kept through Taiwan's cession to the Japanese Empire in 1895. In his 1903 general history of Taiwan, US Consul to Formosa James W. Davidson relates that "Takow" was already a well-known name in English.[5] In 1920, the name was changed to Takao (Japanese: 高雄, after Takao (Kyoto)) and administered the area under Takao Prefecture. While the new name had quite a different surface meaning, its pronunciation in Japanese sounded more or less the same as the old name spoken in Hokkien.

After Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China, the name did not change, but the official romanization became "Kaohsiung" (pinyin: Gāoxióng) after the Standard Chinese pronunciation of 高雄.

The name Takau remains the official name of the city in Austronesian languages of Taiwan such as Rukai, although these are not widely spoken in the city. The name also remains popular locally in the naming of businesses, associations, and events.


Harbor Takao
Port of Ta-kau (1893)

The written history of Kaohsiung can be traced back to the early 17th century, through archaeological studies have found signs of human activity in the region from as long as 7,000 years ago. Prior to the 17th century, the region was inhabited by the Makatao people of the Siraya tribe, who settled on what they named Takau Isle (translated to 打狗嶼 by Ming Chinese explorers); "Takau" meaning "bamboo forest" in the aboriginal language.

Early history

Sketch of the Makatao people during the Qing Dynasty

The earliest evidence of human activity in the Kaohsiung area dates back to roughly 4,700–5,200 years ago. Most of the discovered remnants were located in the hills surrounding Kaohsiung Harbor. Artifacts were found at Shoushan, Longquan Temple, Taoziyuan, Zuoying, Houjing, Fudingjin and Fengbitou. The prehistoric Dapenkeng, Niuchouzi, Dahu, and Niaosong civilizations were known to inhabit the region. Studies of the prehistoric ruins at Longquan Temple have shown that that civilization occurred at roughly the same times as the beginnings of the aboriginal Makatao civilization, suggesting a possible origin for the latter. Unlike some other archaeological sites in the area, the Longquan Temple ruins are relatively well preserved. Prehistoric artifacts discovered have suggested that the ancient Kaohsiung Harbor was originally a lagoon, with early civilizations functioning primarily as hunter-gatherer societies. Some agricultural tools have also been discovered, suggesting that some agricultural activity was also present.

The first Chinese records of the region were written in 1603 by Chen Di, a member of Ming admiral Shen You-rong's expedition to rid the waters around Taiwan and Penghu of pirates. In his report on the "Eastern Barbarian Lands" (Dong Fan Ji), Chen Di referred to a Ta-kau Isle:

It is unknown when the barbarians (Taiwanese aborigines) arose on this island in the ocean beyond Penghu, but they are present at Keeong Harbor (nowaday's Budai, Chiayi), the bay of Galaw (Anping, Tainan), Laydwawan (Tainan City), Yaw Harbor (Cheting, Kaohsiung), Takau Isle (Kaohsiung City), Little Tamsui (Donggang, Pingtung), Siangkeykaw (Puzi, Chiayi), Gali forest (Jiali District, Tainan), the village of Sabah (Tamsui, Taipei), and Dwabangkang (Bali, New Taipei City).

Dutch colonial period

Taiwan became a Dutch colony in 1624, after the Dutch East India Company was ejected from Penghu by Ming forces. At the time, Takau was already one of the most important fishing ports in southern Taiwan. The Dutch named the place Tankoya, and the harbor Tancoia. The Dutch missionary François Valentijn named Takau Mountain "Ape Berg", a name that would find its way onto European navigational charts well into the 18th century. Tankoia was located north of Ape's Hill and a few hours south from Tayouan (modern-day Anping, Tainan) by sail.[6] At the time, a wide shallow bay existed there, sufficient for small vessels. However, constant silting changed the coastline.

During this time, Taiwan was divided into five administrative districts, with Takau belonging to the southernmost district. In 1630, the first large scale immigration of Han Chinese to Taiwan began due to famine in Fujian, with merchants and traders from China seeking to purchase hunting licenses from the Dutch or hide out in aboriginal villages to escape authorities in China.

Qing Dynasty

2010 07 鳳山縣舊城南門圓環
South Gate of Fengshan County

In 1684, the Qing dynasty annexed Taiwan and renamed the town Fengshan County (Chinese: 鳳山縣; pinyin: Fèngshān Xiàn), considering it a part of Taiwan Prefecture. It was first opened as a port during the 1680s and subsequently prospered fairly for generations.[7]

Empire of Japan

Gallery of Vision for Kaohsiung (old Kaohsiung Station building)
Old Kaohsiung Train Station, built during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan

In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan as part of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Administrative control of the city was moved from New Fongshan Castle to the Fongshan Sub-District of Tainan Chō (臺南廳). In November 1901, twenty chō were established in total; Hōzan Chō (鳳山廳) was established nearby. In 1909, Hōzan Chō was abolished, and Takow was merged into Tainan Chō.

In 1920, during the tenure of 8th Governor-General Den Kenjirō, districts were abolished in favor of prefectures. Thus the city was administered as Takao City (高雄市 Takao-shi) under Takao Prefecture.

The Japanese developed Takao, especially the harbor that became the foundation of Kaohsiung to be a port city. Takao was then systematically modernized and connected to the end of North-South Railway. Kaohsiung Harbor was also developed starting from 1094. The city center was relocated several times during the period due to the government's development strategy.[8] Development was initially centered on Ki-au (Chinese: 旗後; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kî-āu) region but the government began laying railways, upgrading the harbor, and passing new urban plans. New industries such as refinery, machinery, shipbuilding and cementing were also introduced.

Before and during World War II it handled a growing share of Taiwan's agricultural exports to Japan, and was also a major base for Japan's campaigns in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Extremely ambitious plans for the construction of a massive modern port were drawn up. Toward the end of the war, the Japanese promoted some industrial development at Kaohsiung, establishing an aluminum industry based on the abundant hydroelectric power produced by the Sun Moon Lake project in the mountains.

The city was heavily bombed by Task Force 38 and FEAF during World War II between 1944-1945.

Republic of China

After control of Taiwan was handed over from Japan to the government of the Republic of China on 25 October 1945, Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County were established as a provincial city and a county of Taiwan Province respectively on 25 December 1945. The official romanization of the name came to be "Kaohsiung", based on the Wade–Giles romanization of the Mandarin reading of the kanji name.[9] Kaohsiung City then consisted of 10 districts, which were Gushan, Lianya (renamed "Lingya" in 1952), Nanzi, Cianjin, Cianzhen, Cijin, Sanmin, Sinsing, Yancheng, and Zuoying.

During this time, Kaohsiung developed rapidly. The port, badly damaged in World War II, was restored. It also became a fishing port for boats sailing to Philippine and Indonesian waters. Largely because of its climate, Kaohsiung overtook Keelung as Taiwan's major port. Kaohsiung also surpassed Tainan to become the second largest city of Taiwan in the late 1970s and Kaohsiung City was upgraded from a provincial city to special municipality on 1 July 1979, by the Executive Yuan with a total of 11 districts. The additional district is Siaogang District, which was annexed from Siaogang Township of Kaohsiung County.

The Kaohsiung Incident, where the government suppressed a commemoration of International Human Rights Day, occurred on December 10, 1979. Since then, Kaohsiung gradually grew into a political center of the Pan-Green population of Taiwan, in opposition to Taipei where the majority population is Kuomintang supporters.

On December 25, 2010, Kaohsiung City merged with Kaohsiung County to form a larger special municipality with Lingya District and Fengshan District becoming the capital city, ending the administration of Kaohsiung County.

On 31 July 2014, a series of gas explosions occurred in the Cianzhen and Lingya Districts of the city, killing 31 and injuring more than 300. Five roads were destroyed in an area of nearly 20 square kilometres (7.7 square miles) near the city center. It was the largest gas explosion in Taiwan's modern history.[10]


The city sits on the southwestern coast of Taiwan facing the Taiwan Strait, bordering Tainan City to the north, Chiayi and Nantou County to the northwest, Taitung County to its northeast and Pingtung County to the south and southeast. The downtown areas are centered on Kaohsiung Harbor with Qijin Island on the other side of the harbor acting as a natural breakwater. The Love River (Ai River) flows into the harbor through the Old City and downtown. Zuoying Military Harbor lies to the north of Kaohsiung Harbor and the city center. Kaohsiung's natural landmarks include Ape Hill and Mount Banping.


Located about a degree south of the Tropic of Cancer, Kaohsiung has a tropical savanna climate (Köppen Aw), with monthly mean temperatures between 20 and 29 °C (68 and 84 °F) and relative humidity ranging between 71 and 81%.

Kaohsiung's warm climate is very much dictated by its low latitude and its exposure to warm sea temperatures year-round, with the Kuroshio Current passing by the coast of southern Taiwan,[11] and the Central mountain range on the northeast blocking out the cool northeastern winds during the winter. The city, therefore, has a noticeably warmer climate than nearby cities located at similar latitudes such as Hong Kong, Guangzhou as well as various cities further south of northern Vietnam, such as Hanoi. Although the climate is classified as tropical, Kaohsiung has a defined cooler season unlike most other cities in Asia classified with this climate but located closer to the equator such as Singapore or Manila. Daily maximum temperature typically exceeds 30 °C (86 °F) during the warmer season (April to November) and 25 °C (77 °F) during the cooler season (December to March), with the exception when cold fronts strikes during the winter months, when the daily mean temperature of the city can drop between 3 to 5 °C (5.4 to 9.0 °F) depending on the strength of the cold front. Also, besides the high temperatures occurring during the usual summer months, daytime temperatures of inland districts of the city can often exceed above 33 °C (91 °F) from mid-March to late April before the onset of the monsoon season, with clear skies and southwesterly airflows. Average annual rainfall is around 1,885 millimetres (74.2 in), focused primarily from June to August. At more than 2,210 hours of bright sunshine, the city is one of the sunniest areas in Taiwan.[12]

The sea temperature of Kaohsiung Harbor remains above 22 °C (72 °F) year-round,[13] the second highest of Southern Taiwan after Liuqiu island.[14] According to recent records, the average temperature of the city has risen around 1 degree Celsius over the past 3 decades, from about 24.2 °C (75.6 °F) in 1983 to around 25.2 °C (77.4 °F) by 2012.

Climate data for Kaohsiung City
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 31.6
Average high °C (°F) 23.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.3
Average low °C (°F) 15.7
Record low °C (°F) 5.7
Average rainfall mm (inches) 16.0
Average rainy days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3.2 3.7 4.0 5.8 9.3 13.8 12.9 16.3 11.2 3.5 2.6 2.3 88.6
Average relative humidity (%) 72.7 73.5 73.2 75.1 76.9 80.1 78.7 80.5 78.9 75.5 73.3 71.9 75.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 174.7 165.8 187.0 189.1 198.5 199.9 221.4 193.7 175.7 182.4 162.2 161.8 2,212.2
Source: Central Weather Bureau (Normals 1981–2010, Extremes 1931–present)[12]
Climate data for Kaohsiung International Airport (2010–2014 Temperatures)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 30
Average high °C (°F) 25.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 19.8
Average low °C (°F) 15.4
Record low °C (°F) 9
Source: Wunderground[15]


Kaohsiung's skyline viewed from Kaohsiung Lighthouse in Cijin District, with the 85 Sky Tower right of center.
Kaohsiung's skyline viewed from Kaohsiung Lighthouse in Cijin District, with the 85 Sky Tower right of center.


Historical population
1985 2,379,610—    
1990 2,505,986+5.3%
1995 2,619,947+4.5%
2000 2,725,267+4.0%
2005 2,760,180+1.3%
2010 2,773,483+0.5%
2015 2,778,918+0.2%
Source:"Populations by city and country in Taiwan". Ministry of the Interior Population Census.

As of December 2018, Kaohsiung city has a population of 2,773,533 people, making it the third largest city after Taipei and Taichung, and a population density of 939.59 people per square kilometer.[4] Within the city, Fongshan District is the most populated district with a population of 359,519 people, while Xinxing District is the most densely populated district with a population density of 25,820 people per square kilometer.

Ethnic composition

Han People

As in most Taiwanese cities or counties, the majority of the population are Han Taiwanese. The Hans are then divided into 3 subgroups, Hoklo, Hakka, and Waishengren. The Hoklo and Waishengren mostly live in flatland townships and the city centre, while the majority of the Hakka population live in the suburbs or rural townships of the northeastern hills.

Taiwanese Aborigines

The Taiwanese aborigines of Kaohsiung, who belong to various ethnic groups that speak different languages belonging to the Austronesian language family similar/related to those of Maritime Southeast Asia and Oceania, mostly live in the mountain townships such as Taoyuan or Namasia. The main aboriginal groups living within the city center include the Bunun, Rukai, Tsou and the Kanakanavus.

Other ethnicities

As of December 2010, Kaohsiung city hosts around 21,000 foreign spouses. Around 12,353 are Mainland Chinese, 4,244 are Vietnamese, around 800 Japanese and Indonesians and around 4,000 other Asians or foreigners from Europe or the Americas.

As of April 2013, Kaohsiung hosts 35,074 foreign workers who mainly work as factory workers or foreign maids (not including foreign specialists such as teachers and other professionals). Within around half of which are Indonesians, and the other half being workers from other Southeast Asian countries mainly from Vietnam, the Philippines or Thailand.


Kaohsiung Skyline
The skyline of downtown Kaohsiung

Kaohsiung is a major international port and industrial city in the southwest of Taiwan. As an exporting center, Kaohsiung serves the agricultural interior of southern Taiwan, as well as the mountains of the southeast. Major raw material exports include rice, sugar, bananas, pineapples, peanuts (groundnuts) and citrus fruits. The 2,200-hectare (5,400-acre) Linhai Industrial Park, on the waterfront, was completed in the mid-1970s and includes a steel mill, shipyard, petrochemical complex, and other industries. The city has an oil refinery, aluminum and cement works, fertilizer factories, sugar refineries, brick and tile works, canning factories, salt-manufacturing factories, and papermaking plants. Designated an export-processing zone in the late 1970s, Kaohsiung also attracted foreign investment to process locally purchased raw materials for export.

The ongoing Nansing Project is a plan to reclaim 250 hectares (620 acres) of land along the coast by 2011.[16] The Kaohsiung Harbor Bureau plans to buy 49 hectares of the reclaimed land to establish a solar energy industrial district that would be in the harbor's free trade zone.[16]

The gross domestic product (GDP) in nominal terms of Kaohsiung City is estimated to be around US$45 billion, and US$90 billion for the metropolitan region. As of 2008, the GDP per capita in nominal terms was approximately US$24,000.



Kaohsiung Tuntex Sky Tower
The 85 Sky Tower seen from the Love River

Main landmarks of Kaohsiung city include the 85 Sky Tower, the ferris wheel of the Kaohsiung Dream Mall, the Kaohsiung Arena and Kaohsiung Harbor. The newly developed city is also known for having a large number of shopping streets, organized night markets and newly developed leisure parks such as the Pier-2 Art Center, E-DA Theme Park, Metropolitan Park, the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts and Taroko Park.

Natural attractions of the city include Shoushan (Monkey mountain), the Love River, Cijin Island, Sizihwan, the Dapingding Tropical Botanical Garden and Yushan National Park at the northeastern tip of the city. The city also features various historical attractions such as the Old City of Zuoying, a historical town built during the early 17th century, the Former British Consulate at Takao built during the late 19th century, and various sugar and crop factories built during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan.

Natural attractions

Kaohsiung city includes a wide range of different natural attractions due to its large size and geographical variation, as it is bordered by the Central Mountain Range in the northeast and the warm South China Sea to the west and southwest. The year-round warm climate allows coral reefs to grow along the coasts around Kaohsiung Harbor, with Shoushan Mountain being a small mountain completely made up of coral reefs and calcium carbonate, while the mountainous districts in the northeast include Taiwan's highest mountain, Yushan. Other notable natural attractions include the Mount Banping, Lotus Lake, and Dongsha Atoll National Park, which is currently inaccessible by the public due to military occupation.

Historical sites

A large number of historical sites and monuments were left in the city after the colonization of the Dutch in the 17th century, the Qing dynasty during the 18th and 19th century and the Japanese empire from the late 19th century to the mid 20th century. The city government has protected various sites and monuments from further damage and many have been opened to the public since the early 1980s. Notable historical sites include the Cemetery of Zhenghaijun, Former British Consulate at Takao, Former Dinglinzihbian Police Station, Meinong Cultural and Creative Center, Former Sanhe Bank, and the Cihou Lighthouse, one of the oldest lighthouses of the city.


Kaohsiung is home to many museums, including the Chung Li-he Museum, Cijin Shell Museum, Jiaxian Fossil Museum, Kaohsiung Astronomical Museum, Kaohsiung Hakka Cultural Museum, Kaohsiung Harbor Museum, Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung Museum of History, Kaohsiung Museum of Labor, Kaohsiung Vision Museum, Meinong Hakka Culture Museum, National Science and Technology Museum, Republic of China Air Force Museum, Soya-Mixed Meat Museum, Taiwan Sugar Museum, Takao Railway Museum and YM Museum of Marine Exploration Kaohsiung.

Parks and Zoos

As the largest municipality in Taiwan, Kaohsiung has a number of newly built leisure areas and parks. Notable parks or pavilions in the city include the Central Park, Siaogangshan Skywalk Park, Fo Guang Shan, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, the Love Pier, Singuang Ferry Wharf and Kaohsiung Fisherman's Wharf.


Kaohsiung is home to many night markets, such as Jin-Zuan Night Market, Liuhe Night Market Ruifeng Night Market and Zhonghua Street Night Market, and the Kaisyuan Night Market. Other attractions include the Dome of Light of Kaohsiung MRT's Formosa Boulevard Station, the Kaohsiung Mosque and the Tower of Light of Sanmin District.


The majority of those living in Kaohsiung can communicate in both Taiwanese Hokkien and Standard Chinese. Some of the elderly who grew up during the Japanese colonization of Taiwan can communicate in Japanese, while most of the younger population has basic English skills.

Since the spread of Standard Chinese after the Nationalist Government retreated to Taiwan in 1949, Hakka Chinese and various Formosan languages are gradually no longer spoken with the new generation and many Formosan languages are therefore classified as moribund or endangered languages by the United Nations. Nowadays, only elder Hakka people mostly living in Meinong, Liouguei, Shanlin and Jiasian districts can communicate in Hakka and elder Taiwanese aborigines living mostly in the rural districts of Namasia and Taoyuan can communicate with the aboriginal languages. The Taiwanese government has established special affairs committees for both the Aboriginals and the Hakkas to protect their language, culture, and minority rights.


Kaohsiung has rich resources of ocean, mountains and forests which shape a unique and active multi-faceted art and cultural aesthetic in public infrastructure and transport, public art, and city architecture, from MRT stations and city space to art galleries. The "Dome light" in the concourse of Formosa Boulevard Station of Kaohsiung MRT is one of the world's largest public glass works of art.[17] The city also has the Urban Spotlight Arcade spanning along the street in Cianjin District. In October 2018, Weiwuying (the National Kaohsiung Centre for the Arts), designed by Mecanoo, opened.[18]


Religion in Taiwan (Government statistics, 2005)[19]

  Buddhism (35.1%)
  Taoism (33%)
  Christianity (3.9%)
  Yiguandao (3.5%)
  Tiandism (2.2%)
  Miledadao (1.1%)
  Zailiism (0.8%)
  Other or undeclared (2.4%)
  Non-religious (18.7%)

The religious population of Kaohsiung is mainly divided into five main religious groups: Buddhist, Taoist, Muslim and Christian (Catholicism and Protestantism). As of 2015, Kaohsiung City has 1,481 temples, the second highest in Taiwan after Tainan. Kaohsiung has also 306 churches.[20]


Buddhism is one of the major religions in Taiwan, with over 35% of Taiwan's population identifying as Buddhist. The same applies to Kaohsiung city. Kaohsiung also hosts the largest Buddhist temple in Taiwan, the Foguangshan Temple.


Around 33% of the Taiwanese population are Taoist, making it the second largest religion of Taiwan. Most people who believe in Taoism also ascribe to Buddhism at the same time, as the differences and boundaries between the two religions are not always clear. Many residents of the area also worship the folk sea goddess Mazu, who is variously syncretized as a Taoist immortal or avatar of the bodhisattva Guanyin. Her temple on Cijin Island is the oldest in the city, with its original bamboo-and-thatch structure first opened in 1673. The area surrounding it formed the center of the city's early settlement.[21]


Christianity is a growing religion in Taiwan. It was first brought onto the island when the Dutch and Spanish colonized Taiwan during the 17th century, mostly to the aboriginals. Kaohsiung currently hosts around 56,000 Christians.


Besides the majority population of Buddhists and Taoists, Kaohsiung also includes a rather small population of Muslims. During the Chinese Civil War, some 20,000 Muslims, mostly soldiers and civil servants, fled mainland China with the Kuomintang to Taiwan. During the 1980s, another few thousand Muslims from Myanmar and Thailand, whom are mostly descendants of Nationalist soldiers who fled Yunnan as a result of the communist takeover, migrated to Taiwan in search of a better life, resulting in an increase of Muslim population within the country. More recently, with the rise of Indonesian workers working in Taiwan, an estimated number of 88,000 Indonesian Muslims currently live in the country, in addition to the existing 53,000 Taiwanese Muslims. Combining all demographics, Taiwan hosts around 140,000 Muslims, with around 25,000 living in Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung Mosque is the largest mosque in Kaohsiung and the main gathering site of Muslims within the city.

Cijing Tianhou Temple



Han Kuo-yu(cropped)
Han Kuo-yu, the incumbent Mayor of Kaohsiung.

Kaohsiung is sometimes seen as the political opposite Taipei. While northern Taiwan leans towards the Pan-Blue Coalition in the state-level elections, southern Taiwan, including Kaohsiung, leans towards the Pan-Green Coalition since the late 1990s. Frank Hsieh of the Democratic Progressive Party was reelected twice as Mayor of Kaohsiung, where he was widely credited for transforming the city from an industrial sprawl into an attractive modern metropolis. Hsieh resigned from the office of mayor to take up the office of Premier of the Republic of China in 2005. The last municipal election, held on December 9, 2006, resulted in a victory for the Democratic Progressive Party's candidate Chen Chu, the first elected female mayor of special municipality in Taiwan, defeating her Kuomintang rival and former deputy mayor, Huang Chun-ying. The current mayor of Kaohsiung City is Han Kuo-yu of the Kuomintang.

Kaohsiung City Hall (Dec 2010)

Kaohsiung City Government – Sihwei Administration Center

Fongshan Administration Center, Kaohsiung City Government 20140720

Kaohsiung City Government – Fongshan Administration Center


Kaohsiung District Court


Kaohsiung is directly divided into 35 districts and 3 mountain indigenous districts. There are a total of 651 villages in which each village is subdivided into neighborhoods (鄰). There are 18,584 neighborhoods in Kaohsiung City. Lingya and Fengsha districts are the administrative centers of the city while Lingya and Xinxinging Districts are the two most densely populated districts of the city. Kaohsiung has the most numbers of districts among other special municipalities in Taiwan.

Population density map of Kaohsiung (Dec 2009)
Kaohsiung City's population density 2009
Kaohsiung Districts
Kaohsiung City with its districts before merger with Kaohsiung County in 2010
Note: For the inconsistency of the romanization systems in Taiwan. This table contains both Hanyu Pinyin (the official standard of the central government),[22] and Tongyong Pinyin (the official standard of the Kaohsiung City Government). The major order of districts referred to the code of administrative area. [1]
Region Name Chinese Taiwanese Hakka Formosan Area (km²) No. of villages Population (2016)
Yancheng 鹽埕區 Iâm-tiâⁿ Yàm-thàng 1.4161 21 24,997
Gushan 鼓山區 Kó͘-san Kú-sân 14.7458 38 136,679
Zuoying 左營區 Chó-iâⁿ Chó-yàng 19.3888 44 196,362
Nanzih (Nanzi) 楠梓區 Lâm-chú Nàm-chṳ̀ 25.8276 37 180,113
Sanmin 三民區 Sam-bîn Sân-mìn 19.7866 88 345,968
Sinsing (Xinxing) 新興區 Sin-heng Sîn-hîn 1.9764 32 51,953
Cianjin (Qianjin) 前金區 Chiân-kim Chhièn-kîm 1.8573 20 27,369
Lingya 苓雅區 Lêng-ngá Lìn-ngá 8.1522 69 174,419
Cianjhen (Qianzhen) 前鎮區 Chiân-tìn Chhièn-chṳ́n 19.1207 61 192,484
Cijin (Qijin) 旗津區 Kî-tin Khì-chîn 1.4639 13 28,992
Siaogang (Xiaogang) 小港區 Sió-káng Seú-kóng 45.4426 38 156,220
Fongshan (Fengshan) 鳳山區 Hōng-soaⁿ Fung-sân 26.7590 78 356,507
Linyuan 林園區 Lîm-hn̂g Lìm-yèn 32.2860 24 70,423
Daliao 大寮區 Toā-liâu Thai-liàu 71.0400 25 111,675
Dashu 大樹區 Toā-chhiū Thai-su 66.9811 18 43,158
Dashe 大社區 Toā-siā Thai-sa 26.5848 9 34,585
Renwu 仁武區 Jîn-bú Yìn-vú 36.0808 16 82,696
Niaosong 鳥松區 Chiáu-chhêng Tiâu-tshiùng 24.5927 7 43,937
Gangshan 岡山區 Kong-san Kông-sân 47.9421 33 97,843
Ciaotou (Qiaotou) 橋頭區 Kiô-thâu Khiâu-thèu 25.9379 17 37,328
Yanchao 燕巢區 Iàn-châu Yèn-tshâu 65.3950 11 30,074
Tianliao 田寮區 Chhân-liâu Thièn-liàu 92.6802 10 7,457
Alian 阿蓮區 A-lian Â-lièn 34.6164 12 29,297
Lujhu (Luzhu) 路竹區 Lō͘-tek Lu-tsuk 48.4348 20 53,081
Hunei 湖內區 Ô͘-lāi Fù-nui 20.1615 14 29,604
Cieding (Qieding) 茄萣區 Ka-tiāⁿ Kâ-tin 15.7624 15 30,498
Yong-an (Yong'an) 永安區 Éng-an Yún-ôn 22.6141 6 14,118
Mituo 彌陀區 Mî-tô Mì-thò 14.7772 12 19,657
Zihguan (Ziguan) 梓官區 Chú-koaⁿ Tsṳ́-kôn 11.5967 15 36,417
Cishan (Qishan) 旗山區 Kî-san Khì-sân 94.6122 21 37,749
Meinong 美濃區 Bi-long Mî-nùng 120.0316 19 40,776
Liouguei (Liugui) 六龜區 La̍k-ku Liuk-kuî 194.1584 12 13,435
Jiasian (Jiaxian) 甲仙區 Kah-sian Kap-siên 124.0340 7 6,252
Shanlin 杉林區 Sam-nâ Tsham-lìm 104.0036 7 12,382
Neimen 內門區 Lāi-mn̂g Nui-mùn 95.6224 18 14,953
Maolin 茂林區 Bō͘-lîm Meu-lìm TeldrekaRukai 194.0000 3 1,893
Tauyuan (Taoyuan) 桃源區 Thô-goân Thò-ngièn NganiBunun 928.9800 8 4,232
Namasia (Namaxia) 那瑪夏區 Namasia Namasia NamasiaBunun, Kanakanabu 252.9895 3 3,146

Colors indicate the common language status of Hakka and Formosan languages within each division.

Part of South China Sea Islands are administered by Kaohsiung City as parts of Cijin District:

Name Chinese Mandarin Taiwanese Hakka Other name Note
Taiping Island 太平島 Tàipíng dǎo Thài-pêng Tó Thai-phìn Tó Itu Aba Island in the Spratly Islands
Zhongzhou Reef 中洲礁 Zhōngzhōu jiāo Tiong-tsiu Ta Tsûng-tsû Tsiâu
Dongsha Islands 東沙群島 Dōngshā Qúndǎo Tang-soa Kûn-tó Tûng-sâ Khiùn Tó Pratas Islands


Port of Kaohsiung

Ddm 2004 028 Kaohsiung Harbor
Northern portion of Kaohsiung harbor viewed from Cijin island lighthouse hill.

A major port, through which pass most of Taiwan's marine imports and exports, is located at the city but is not managed by the city government. Also known as the "Harbour Capital" of Taiwan, Kaohsiung has always had a strong link with the ocean and maritime transportation. Ferries play a key role in everyday transportation, especially for transportation across the harbour. With five terminals and 23 berths, the Port of Kaohsiung is Taiwan's largest container port and the 13th largest in the world.[23] In 2007 the port reached its handling capacity with a record trade volume of 10.2 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU).[24] A new container terminal is under construction, increasing future handling capacity by 2 million TEU by 2013.[24]

The Port of Kaohsiung is not officially a part of Kaohsiung City, instead it is administrated by Kaohsiung Port Authority, under Ministry of Transportation. There is a push for Kaohsiung City to annex the Port of Kaohsiung in order to facilitate better regional planning.

Kaohsiung is one of the biggest ports in the world for importing shark fins, sold at high prices in the restaurants and shops of Taiwan and China. They are brought in from overseas and are placed out to dry in the sun on residential rooftops near the port.

Kaohsiung International Airport

Kaohsiung City is also home to Taiwan's second largest international airport, the Kaohsiung International Airport, located in Siaogang District near the city's center. It one of the three major international airports of Taiwan, serving passengers of the entire southern and southeastern part of the country. However, the size of the airport is relatively small with short runways compared to other major airports of Taiwan due to its age and its location near the city center, making large aircraft such as the Airbus A380 or Boeing 747 impossible to land in the airport. As a result, plans for runway expansion or building a new airport in replacement have been proposed.

Rapid transit

Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit opened for service in March 2008.

Notably, two of Kaohsiung's MRT stations, Formosa Boulevard Station and Central Park Station, were ranked among the top 50 most beautiful subway systems in the world by Metrobits.org in 2011.[25] In 2012, the two stations respectively are ranked as the 2nd and the 4th among the top 15 most beautiful subway stops in the world by BootsnAll.[26] The K.R.T. Girls are the official mascots of the system.

Circular Light Rail

The Circular Light Rail Line (also known as the Kaohsiung LRT, Kaohsiung Tram) for Kaohsiung City is a planned light rail line. Construction of Phase 1, known as the Waterside Light Rail began in June 2013 and is in full operation since September 2017. To combat air pollution, usage of the light rail, was well as buses, was made free of charge for electronic ticket holders from December to February, when air pollution is at its peak.[27]


The city is served by the Taiwan Railways Administration's Western Line and Pingtung Line. Taiwan High Speed Rail also serves Kaohsiung City at Zuoying Station in northern Kaohsiung City. The station is an underground station, replacing the old ground level station. Additionally, these two stations are also served by Red Line of Kaohsiung Rapid Transit System.


Kaohsiung is home to Taiwan's largest stadium, Kaohsiung National Stadium, and Kaohsiung Arena. National Stadium is Taiwan's largest international-class stadium with a maximum capacity of 55,000 seats.

Kaohsiung hosted the 2009 World Games at the National Stadium. Nearly 6,000 athletes, officials, coaches, referees and others from 103 countries participated in the 2009 Kaohsiung World Games.

Kaohsiung was also home to the Kaohsiung Truth of the ASEAN Basketball League. They were the first team in the history of the league that was based outside Southeast Asia. The team folded in 2017.


Kaohsiung has a number of colleges and junior colleges offering training in commerce, education, maritime technology, medicine, modern languages, nursing, and technology, as well as various international schools and eight national military schools, including the three major military academies of the country, the Republic of China Military Academy, Republic of China Naval Academy and Republic of China Air Force Academy.


High Schools and Junior High Schools

  • Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Girls' Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Sinsing Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Vocational High School of Commerce
  • Sansin High School of Commerce And Home Economics Kaohsiung
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Jhongjheng Senior High School
  • The Affiliated Senior High School of National Kaohsiung Normal University
  • FUHWA Senior High School
  • Saint Dominic's Catholic High School
  • Kaohsiung Dah Yung Senior High School
  • Chung-Hwa School of Arts
  • Taiwan Kaohsiung St. Paul's High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Gushan Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Chung-Cheng Industrial High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Cianjhen Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Rueisiang High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Senior High School
  • Lichih Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Kaohsiung Industrial High School
  • Shu-Te Home economics&Commercial High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Chungshan Senior High School
  • Guoguang Laboratory School, National Sun Yat-sen University
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Nanzih Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Senior High School
  • Kao-Feng Vocational High School
  • The Affiliated Hospitality Senior High School of National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Sanmin Home Economics & Commerce Vocational High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Tsoying Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Haiching Vocational High School of Technology and Commerce
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Renwu Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung MunicipalHsin Chuang Senior High School
  • National Kangshan Senior High School
  • National Kangshan Agricultural & Industrial Vocational Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Lujhu Senior High School
  • Chung Cheng Armed Forces Preparatory School
  • Cheng Yi Senior High School
  • National Feng-Shan Senior High School
  • National Fongshan Senior Commercial & Industrial Vocational School
  • National Feng-Hsin Senior High School
  • Kaohsiung Municipal Fu Cheng High School
  • Chung Shan Industrial & Commercial School
  • Sin-Guang Senior High School

International Schools

Military Schools

(Note: The lists above are not comprehensive.)

Conferences and events

The Kaohsiung Exhibition Center, built by the Kaohsiung City Government, was opened on 14 April 2014. It includes an exhibition space for 1,500 booths, and a convention hall for 2,000 pax.

The center hosted the Taiwan International Boat Show in May 2014.[28] Another conference and event-related venue is the newly renovated International Convention Center Kaohsiung in 2013.

Sister cities and twin towns

Kaohsiung is twinned with the following locations.

See also


  1. ^ 《中華民國統計資訊網》縣市重要統計指標查詢系統網. Statdb.dgbas.gov.tw (in Chinese). Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Demographia World Urban Areas PDF (April 2016)" (PDF). Demographia. Retrieved 2016-06-06.
  3. ^ 高雄市政府主計處全球資訊網 – 首頁. dbaskmg.kcg.gov.tw (in Chinese). Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  4. ^ a b "人口統計查詢:本市各區里戶口數月統計". 高雄市政府民政局. Retrieved Jan. 4, 2019. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ Davidson, James W. (1903). The Island of Formosa, Past and Present : history, people, resources, and commercial prospects : tea, camphor, sugar, gold, coal, sulphur, economical plants, and other productions. London and New York: Macmillan. p. iii. OCLC 1887893. OL 6931635M.
  6. ^ Campbell, William (1903). "Explanatory Notes". Formosa under the Dutch: described from contemporary records, with explanatory notes and a bibliography of the island. London: Kegan Paul. p. 548. OCLC 644323041.
  7. ^ "History of Kaohsiung". HotelTravel.com. 1999. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
  8. ^ "Discover Kaohsiung > History". Welcome to Kaohsiung City. 2013.
  9. ^ What's in changing a name? Archived 2007-06-30 at Archive.today Taiwan Journal Vol. XXVI No. 19 May 15, 2009 "...while name Kaohsiung is technically the Mandarin pronunciation of the Japanese written version of a Holo Taiwanese rendition of an old aboriginal name..."
  10. ^ "Many dead in Taiwan city gas blasts". Taiwan's News.Net. Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Taiwan sea temperatures of February 2012". Central Weather Bureau.
  12. ^ a b "Climate". Central Weather Bureau.
  13. ^ "Kaohsiung Average Sea Temperatures". Central Weather Bureau.
  14. ^ "Liuqiu island Average Sea Temperatures". Central Weather Bureau.
  15. ^ "Climate". Wunderground.
  16. ^ a b "Kaohsiung City to open solar energy industrial zone". Focus Taiwan News Channel. 2010-06-27. Retrieved 2010-07-09.
  17. ^ "Art&Culture". Kaohsiung City Government. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  18. ^ Wainwright, Oliver (2018-10-20). "Grand vision: The world's biggest arts venue opens in Taiwan". The Guardian (53545). London. p. 19. Retrieved 2018-10-21.
  19. ^ "Taiwan Yearbook 2006". Government of Information Office. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  20. ^ Lee Hsin-fang; Chung, Jake (15 Jul 2015). "Tainan has most of nation's 12,106 temples". Taipei Times. p. 5.
  21. ^ "Tianhou Temple at Cihou", Official site, Kaohsiung: Bureau of Cultural Affairs of the Kaohsiung City Government, 2008, archived from the original on 2016-10-06, retrieved 2016-12-16. (in Chinese) & (in English)
  22. ^ "Glossary of Names for Admin Divisions" (PDF). placesearch.moi.gov.tw. Ministry of Interior of the ROC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-08-19. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Top 50 World Container Ports | World Shipping Council". www.worldshipping.org. Retrieved 2019-01-04.
  24. ^ a b Dale, Jamie (2008-01-17). "Kaohsiung container port hits full capacity". Lloyd's List Daily Commercial News. Informa Australia. p. 16.
  25. ^ "A guide to the fifty most beautiful subway systems in the world". Metrobits.org. 2011-12-01.
  26. ^ "15 of the Most Beautiful Subway Stops in the World". BootsnAll. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  27. ^ "Kaohsiung makes public transport free - Taipei Times". www.taipeitimes.com. Retrieved 2017-12-01.
  28. ^ "Kaohsiung's new venue". TTGmice. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  29. ^ "Kaohsiung, Panama City forge sister city relations - Politics - FOCUS TAIWAN - CNA ENGLISH NEWS". Focustaiwan.tw. Retrieved 3 December 2017.

External links

85 Sky Tower

85 Sky Tower, formerly known as the T & C Tower or Tuntex Sky Tower (Chinese: 高雄85大樓; pinyin: Gāoxióng 85 Dàlóu; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ko-hiông 85 Tōa-lâu), is an 85-story skyscraper located in Lingya District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The structure is 347.5 m (1,140 ft) high. An antenna increases the pinnacle height to 378 m (1,240 ft). Constructed from 1994 to 1997, it is the tallest skyscraper in Kaohsiung, and was the tallest in Taiwan until the completion of Taipei 101.

There is no 44th floor in the building (see Tetraphobia); the 43rd floor connects directly to the 45th floor. The pyramid shaped crown is the equivalent of 3 stories high and hence marketed as 83-85 to arrive at a round number. There is no elevator access to floors above 80.

The building was designed by C.Y. Lee & Partners and Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, and has an unusual 'prong' design with two separate 39-floor sections, which merge into a single central tower rising to a spire. This unique design leaves a substantial space below the central part of the tower. The design was inspired by the first Kanji and Chinese character of the city's name (changed to Takao (Japanese: 高雄) during Japanese rule). John W. Milton was Project Director on behalf of Turner International Inc (New York), a subsidiary of Turner Construction.

The building was owned by the now defunct Tuntex Group, and is mainly offices, but includes residential space, a department store and the 85 Sky Tower Hotel occupies the 38th to 70th floors. An observation deck on the 74th floor offers views over the Kaohsiung City, the Love River and the Kaohsiung Harbour, and is accessed by high speed elevators, capable of speeds of 10.17 m/s.

Daliao District

Daliao District (Chinese: 大寮區; pinyin: Dàliáo Qū; Wade–Giles: Ta4-liao2 Ch'ü1) is a suburban district in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Conurbated with Kaohsiung, it has 111,675 inhabitants in 2016. It is linked with Kaohsiung Downtown by the Orange Line of the KMRT.

Dashu District

Dashu District (Chinese: 大樹區; pinyin: Dàshù Qū; Wade–Giles: Ta4-shu4 Ch'ü1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Toā-chhiū-khu) is a suburban district located in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan and shoring Kaoping River. Fo Guang Shan is one of largest travelling spot in Dashu District. It is also the base of E-Da World, a new lifestyle destination that encompasses the upscale Crowne Plaza Kaohsiung E-Da World hotel, the E-Da Skylark hotel, the E-DA Theme Park, the E-Da Mall, E-Da City (Real Estate Development) and I-Shou University.

Fengshan District

Fengshan District (traditional Chinese: 鳳山區; simplified Chinese: 凤山区; Hanyu Pinyin: Fèngshān Qū; Tongyong Pinyin: Fòngshan Cyu; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hōng-soaⁿ-khu) is a district located in southern Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Fengshan is one of the administrative centers of Kaohsiung and is home to the Chinese Military Academy. There are three military units currently located in Fengshan. Both Chinese Military Academy and R.O.C. Army Infantry School were migrated from mainland China and re-established here in 1950. Chung Cheng Armed Forces Preparatory School was established in 1976. These three units used to be the main economic driving force, but their importance seems to diminish gradually as Fengshan has established itself as a conjunction between Pingtung City and Kaohsiung.

Although there are several industrial zones at the rim or outskirt of the city, the major life style in Fengshan seems to be very residential. Lots of apartments were built near the proximity of Kaohsiung City as a result of shifting economic weight. Like most of areas in Taiwan, it also has many night markets scattered around within the city. Most of the night markets run until 2:00 am. Some of them run business on different days of a week, but some others are all year round. Some of them are temporary, while others have become permanent establishments.

Gushan District

Gushan District (Chinese: 鼓山區; pinyin: Gǔshān Qū; Wade–Giles: Ku3-shan1 Ch'ü1) is district of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

Kaohsiung Challenger

The OEC Kaohsiung is a tennis tournament held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan since 2012. The event is part of the ATP Challenger Tour and is played on hard courts.

Kaohsiung International Airport

Kaohsiung International Airport (Chinese: 高雄國際航空站; pinyin: Gāoxióng guójì hángkōngzhàn; commonly 高雄國際機場; Gāoxióng guójì jīchǎng) (IATA: KHH, ICAO: RCKH), also known as Kaohsiung Siaogang Airport (高雄小港機場; Gāoxióng xiǎogǎng jīchǎng) for the Siaogang District where it is located, is a medium-sized commercial airport in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Kaohsiung International is the second busiest Taiwanese airport, after Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, in passenger movements.

Kaohsiung Medical University

The Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU; Chinese: 高雄醫學大學), originally known as Kaohsiung Medical College, is a private university located in Sanmin District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Kaohsiung Rapid Transit

Kaohsiung Rapid Transit System (Chinese: 高雄大眾捷運系統, 高雄捷運), is a rapid transit and light rail system covering the metropolitan area of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The metro lines are commonly known as Kaohsiung MRT for "mass rapid transit". Construction of the MRT started in October 2001. The MRT opened in 2008 and the Circular light rail in 2015. KRTS is operated by the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit Corporation (KRTC; Chinese: 高雄捷運公司) under a BOT contract the company signed with the Kaohsiung City Government.

Two of Kaohsiung's MRT stations, Formosa Boulevard Station and Central Park Station, were ranked among the top 50 most beautiful subway systems in the world by Metrobits.org in 2011. In 2012, the two stations respectively are ranked as the 2nd and the 4th among the top 15 most beautiful subway stops in the world by BootsnAll.

Luzhu District, Kaohsiung

Lujhu District (Chinese: 路竹區; Hanyu Pinyin: Lùzhú Qū; Tongyong Pinyin: Lùjhú Cyu; Wade–Giles: Lu4-chu2 Ch'ü1) is a suburban district of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan.

Namaxia District

Namaxia District (Tsou language: Namasia; Chinese: 那瑪夏區; Hanyu Pinyin: Nàmǎxià Qū; Tongyong Pinyin: Nàmǎsià Cyu; Wade–Giles: Na4-ma3-hsia4 Ch'ü1), formerly Sanmin Township (三民鄉; Sānmín Xiāng), is a mountain indigenous district located in the northeastern part of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It is the second largest district in Kaohsiung after Tauyuan District.

National Kaohsiung Normal University

The National Kaohsiung Normal University (NKNU;Kaohsiung Normal University), founded in 1967, is a public university located in Lingya District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The university has two campuses — Ho-Ping and Yen-Chao. The University currently has five colleges: College of Education, College of Humanities, College of Science, College of Technology, and College of Arts.

Qianjin District, Kaohsiung

Cianjin District (Chinese: 前金區; Hanyu Pinyin: Qiánjīn Qū; Tongyong Pinyin: Ciánjin Cyu; Wade–Giles: Ch'ien2-chin1 Ch'ü1) is a downtown district of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. It is the third smallest district in Kaohsiung City.

Qijin District, Kaohsiung

Qijin District (Chinese: 旗津區; Hanyu Pinyin: Qíjīn Qū; Tongyong Pinyin: Cíjin Cyu; Wade–Giles: Chʻi²-chin¹ Chʻü¹; Hokkien POJ: Kî-tin-khu) is a district of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, covering Qijin Island. It is the second smallest district in Kaohsiung City after Yancheng District.

Qishan District

Cishan District (also spelled Qishan; Chinese: 旗山區; Hanyu Pinyin: Qíshān Qū; Tongyong Pinyin: Císhan Cyu; Wade–Giles: Ch'i2-shan1 Ch'ü1) is a suburban district in northeastern Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Special municipality (Taiwan)

A special municipality (Chinese: 直轄市; pinyin: zhíxiáshì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ti̍t-hat-chhī) is an administrative division unit in Taiwan. Under the administrative structure of Taiwan, it is the highest rank of division and is equivalent to a province. Since the streamlining of provinces in 1998, the special municipalities along with provincial cities and counties have all been directly led by the central government. Currently there are six special municipalities in Taiwan: Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei and Taoyuan.

Taoyuan District, Kaohsiung

Taoyuan District (Bunun: Ngani; Chinese: 桃源區; pinyin: Táoyuán Qū) is a mountain indigenous district of Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. It is the largest district in Kaohsiung City by area.

Xiaogang District

Siaogang District (Chinese: 小港區; pinyin: Xiǎogǎng Qū; Wade–Giles: Hsiao3-kang3 Ch'ü1; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Sió-káng-khu) is the southernmost district of Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan. The second largest airport in Taiwan, Kaohsiung International Airport, is located here.

Yong'an District

Yong'an District (Chinese: 永安區; pinyin: Yǒng'ān Qū) is a coastal suburban district of Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan.

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