After a 20 minute train ride, Kris and I met Carolyn (Kansas) and Rosezina (Michigan) at McDonalds at the train station in Kaoishoung.  We all work in different cities in the southern part of Taiwan and had originally planned this outing for the previous weekend. Carolyn and her dad graciously provided rooms for this celebration weekend and since I was the birthday girl, I got to decide what we were going to do!  After checking into the hotel, Kris and Rose mapped out our routes and we caught a taxicab to the Kaohsiung Museum of History where we explored how Kaohsiung got its name and its role during the Japanese occupation.  Two of us got to be “Mayor for the Day of Kaohsiung City”.  We received a personal guided tour from one employee who had a lot of civic pride, history, and information about Kaohsiung City as well as a wonderful grasp of English spoken with a Japanese accent. Next, we took a short bus ride to the seaport area where we took a ferry boat from the Hsitzuwan Bay to Cijin Seaside Park and beach. We walked along the shops and street vendors where we saw more seafood, vegetables and fruits than we could recognize.  Without a doubt, the selection of seafood was the most amazing we’d seen!

Next, Kris and Rose selected a path that led us to the  Star Tunnel located at the foothills of the Cihou Fort and its lighthouse. After walking through the tunnel, we had a wonderful view of the harbor and the Taiwan Strait. The entire time we were at the beach area, dive boats and helicopters circled the area.  We don’t know if it was a practice drill or if someone was indeed missing. 

Close to sunset, we returned by ferry to the Love River area. We didn’t stay to see the sunset because we would have to walk though the tunnel in the dark if we had done so.  We really regretted a rare opportunity to see a Taiwanese sunset!  

We took a taxi to the Dream Mall, where we ate dinner at TGI Fridays!!!!  Oh so good….We decided to see a movie Ang Lee’s new movie.  It was a deep movie, very moving, and thought provoking, and it was quite interesting to see this movie with an Asian audience.

Our Sunday was spent at a HUGE department store in the downtown area.  It was still early in the and many stores had not yet opened. 

 Kristen had watched a show on the travel network about this city and share with us that it is the largest port and second largest city in Taiwan and one of the top five container ports on the world.  Chances are if you’ve bought something that traveled through this part of the globe, it went through Kaoishoung.  The population is close to that of New York City’s.  Most people who come to Taiwan stay up north and they never make it to any of the attractions down here in the south.  They say Kaoishoung is an ugly, industrial city.  It reminds me a lot of Tokyo and I really enjoy the opportunity to travel there!  We hope to make it back in a few weeks for a performance at the Culture Center. 

Rose, thanks for the details I blatantly lifted from your email to help me compose the entry!!