How to Plan a Day Trip to Cijin Island from Kaohsiung

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Cijin Island is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and you don’t want to miss visiting it!

Seriously, no trip to Kaohsiung is complete without experiencing Cijin Island!

Cijin Island is the perfect way to spend a day in Kaohsiung. It is right next to the city, easy to get to by public transportation, and has breathtaking sights.

This post is the ultimate guide to Cijin Island. It has all the information you need to plan the perfect day and tips to get the most out of your day on the island.

How to Get to Cijin Island from Kaohsiung City

It is incredibly easy to get to Cijin Island from Kaohsiung! It involves taking the MRT, Light Rail, or bus then a ferry.

Taking the MRT

Taking the MRT is the easiest way to get to the ferry that takes you to Cijin Island.

You take the metro all the way to the end of the Orange line and get off at O1 (Sizihwan).

If your hotel is along the Red line, you’ll have to transfer

Once you get off the metro, follow the signs in the station for Exit 1. Exit 1 is the closest exit to Gushan Ferry where you will depart for Cijin Island.

There are signs at Exit 1 with instructions on how to get to Gushan Ferry, and they are very easy to follow. The instructions are written in both English and Mandarin, so you won’t have any trouble reading them!

The ferry is about a five minute walk from the metro station. It is impossible to get lost on the walk. Don’t worry about that!

Cijin Island Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Taking the Light Rail

The Light Rail system is a new addition to the Kaohsiung transportation game. It modern, new, and quite enjoyable. I would highly recommend you use it at least once while you’re in Kaohsiung.

You ride the Light Rail to stop C14 (Hamasen).

From there, you need to walk to the ferry station.

The easiest way to do that is to walk to Exit 1 of the MRT station and follow the written instructions at the station to walk to the ferry station.

The Light Rail station is connected to the MRT station via an underground walkway. Using the underground walkway is the easiest way to get from the Light Rail station to the MRT station without getting lost.

You can also walk above ground. You simply leave the Light Rail station, cross the main street, turn right, and follow it until you get to the MRT station.

Easy as that!

Taking the Bus

The bus would be my last option to get to Gushan Ferry. It isn’t as fast as the MRT and Light Rail systems, and the quickness of the journey depends on the traffic.

The bus system in Kaohsiung is good and well developed, so it isn’t an issue if you are staying in an area that is better served with buses than with the MRT or Light Rail systems.

I would just try to use one of the other two options before taking a bus.

There are tons of different buses that have stops at or near Gushan Ferry. I don’t want to give any specific advise on what bus to take because that is highly dependant on what part of Kaohsiung you’re staying in.

I do recommend that you put Gushan Ferry into your Google Maps and follow the app’s instructions on what bus to get on, when the next bus will arrive, and when to get off.

Google Maps is incredibly accurate in Taiwan, so you can trust that it is telling you to get on the correct bus going in the right direction.

Just be sure you’re putting Gushan Ferry as your destination not Cijin Island. The app isn’t the best at figuring out how to get to Cijin Island and often makes it more complicated than it needs to be.

Taking the Ferry

Now that you’re at the ferry station, it is time to take the ferry to Cijin Island!

The ferry ride is only five minutes long, and you can see the island from the pier. Don’t worry if you’re prone to seasickness. The ferry ride isn’t nearly long enough for you to start feeling sick!

The ferry departs every 10 to 15 minutes, so you don’t have to worry about showing up at a specific time to catch the ferry.

Simply show up whenever you want to explore Cijin Island, and there will be a ferry there shortly!

The one-way fare is $25 NTD, which is less than $1 USD! You can pay your fare by tapping your transportation card (highly recommended) or with cash.

There are two queues to board the ferry. One is for passengers without scooters and one is for passengers with scooters.

Make sure you’re in the right line!

Once you’re on the ferry, I recommend you go up to the second floor. There are a lot of seats to choose from if you want to sit and viewing areas if you want to take photos while on the ferry.

The ferry only makes one stop, so you just need to get off when the ferry stops, and you’re on your way to explore Cijin Island.

A note of caution: if you paid with your transportation card, be sure to tap it when you get off as well!

Cijin Lighthouse Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Looking for transportation guides between cities in Taiwan? Check these out!

Getting Around Cijin Island

Cijin Island isn’t huge, so it is quite easy to see the entire island in a single day.

There are two main ways to get around Cijin Island:

  • Bike
  • Walking

Bike

You can rent a bike on the main road as soon as you get off the ferry. The bikes are fairly inexpensive and a good investment if you don’t want to walk around the island for hours.

The bikes are motorized, so you don’t have to worry about pedalling yourself around Cijin Island! You just hop on your bike and motor around the island.

There are a few attractions on Cijin Island that you can’t get to on your bike, so you’ll still have to walk a little bit. You can’t take your bike up to the lighthouse or the fort.

But you’ll be able to use your bike to get to most of the sights. A bike will certainly save you a lot of time walking and get you places quickly.

Pro tip: the bike rentals at the start of the street right after you get off the ferry are most expensive. If you’re looking to save a few dollars, walk halfway down the street and rent your bike from on of those vendors.

Walking

It is very doable to walk around the island. I personally walked around Cijin Island, so I know it can be done!

I will admit that it got a bit daunting to walk around the island at points. Taiwan is extremely humid and hot, so the heat really takes it out of you.

Well at least it does for me as a Canadian who is used to spending eight months of the year bundled up in jacket and scarves trying to avoid frostbite.

But if you’re used to walking around for hours in Taiwan, walking around Cijin Island won’t be any different than any other day wandering around Taiwan.

The Top Attractions on Cijin Island

There are tons of things to see and do on Cijin Island. Luckily you’re able to see everything the island has to offer in a single day- especially if you rent a bike!

These are the top attractions on Cijin Island that you don’t want to miss!

Cijin Island Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Kaohsiung Fort

Kaohsiung Fort is my favourite attraction on Cijin Island! I could spend hours there taking in the sights and sounds.

The fort is one of those pesky sights that you need to walk up a hill to get to even if you have a bike, but it is well worth it!

The fort was built in 1883 by the British. It was built with red brick in a traditional Chinese style, but it is mostly just ruins now.

You walk on the ruins of the fort along the walls and get the most spectacular views of Kaohsiung, Cijin Island, and the harbour.

It is absolutely incredible! One of the highlights of the island for sure.

The Lighthouse

The lighthouse is just a short walk up the hill from Kaohsiung Fort. You walk along a small pathway with flowers lining the way.

The lighthouse was also built in 1883 by the British and was used extensively but the Japanese during their occupation of Taiwan. It is an important piece of Taiwan and Kaohsiung history.

The lighthouse is another place to get incredible views of Kaohsiung and Cijin Island.

I highly recommend you taking the effort to walk up to the lighthouse. The views are well worth the effort!

Rainbow Church

Rainbow Church is one of the most popular sights on Cijin Island.

It isn’t a religious church but, rather, a colourful piece of artwork that people visit to get an amazing Instagram photo. It is extremely popular, and there is always a queue you have to wait in to get a picture.

Rainbow Church is quite pretty, but I personally didn’t think it was worth my time to wait in the long queue to get a photo there. Plus I was traveling alone, so I wouldn’t have been able to get a very nice picture.

But it does make a really nice backdrop and a great place to get the perfect Instagram photo to mark your time on Cijin Island.

Rainbow Church Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The Beach

Cijin Island is an island, so it obviously has a beach!

The beach is at the end of the main road, so it is impossible not to stumble on it. You can rent surf boards and enjoy the water or just relax in the sand and soak up the sun.

The portion of the beach at the end of the main road is the start of the main section of the beach and is a great spot to choose to hang out.

It isn’t too crowded there most of the time and close enough to the main road that you can pop over and get a snack or drink whenever you feel like it.

Cijin Tunnel

Cijin Tunnel is my second favourite place on the island.

You walk through the tunnel that opens onto a viewing point of the water. This is the closest you can get to the wild water surrounding the island.

The waves crash on the rocks, and you get to appreciate the natural beauty of the water and island. You can also walk through a forested area to get a better appreciation for the nature of Cijin Island.

I highly recommend taking the time to explore what’s on the other side of Cijin Tunnel.

A note of caution: it can be a bit difficult to find the entrance to Cijin Tunnel. It is a little bit off the beaten track and not in clear view. Be sure to follow the signs carefully, and you’ll have no problem finding the entrance.

Chi Jin Mazu Temple

I hadn’t heard about Chi Jin Mazu Temple when I visited Cijin Island, but I’m so happy I stumbled on it! The temple is one of the most famous attractions on the island, so I’m not sure how I didn’t know about it before I went to Cijin Island (face palm).

The temple opened in 1673 and is dedicated to the Chinese goddess of the sea Mazu. It was built by the first settlers who washed up on the island and was used to house the Mazu idol they brought with them.

It is said that Chi Jin Mazu Temple was the first building built on Cijin Island, and the community grew from there.

It is a beautiful temple located just off the main street. It isn’t always open, so you might not be able to go inside the temple. But it is well worth viewing the outside of the temple at a minimum.

Indulge in Shaved Ice

Shaved ice is a traditional Taiwanese dessert. It can be found throughout the county, but I think the best shaved ice can be found on Cijin Island.

I don’t know why it tastes even more delicious on Cijin Island, but it does. So delicious!

There are many different shaved ice stores on the main road, so it is easy to stop in for a quick treat before you get on the ferry to return to Kaohsiung. All the shaved ice restaurants on the main road are great, and you can’t go wrong choosing any of them.

I highly recommend you opt for the traditional mango shaved ice. You can’t beat it!

Shaved Ice Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Conclusion

Cijin Island is unmissable for anybody visiting Kaohsiung!

It has a number of different sights for you to visit, and you can find the perfect attraction for you no matter what your interests are. Whether you’re searching for the perfect Instagram photo, want to explore historical sights, or want to connect with nature, Cijin Island has something for you!

The best part about Cijin Island is that all the sights are free to visit! The only thing you’ll spend money on during your day trip to Cijin Island is the ferry ride, renting a bike, and food!

You can’t ask for more than that when looking for an inexpensive activity in Kaohsiung.

I suggest dedicating at least 3/4 of a day to Cijin Island, but if you’re in a rush, you can visit the major sights in half a day.

No matter how long you choose to spend on Cijin Island, be sure to bring your camera because you’ll want to capture the beauty of the island for yourself.

How to Plan a Day Trip to Cijin Island from KaohsiungHow to Plan a Day Trip to Cijin Island from Kaohsiung

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