Taiwan Day 2: Kaohsiung’s Pier 2

Today my friend and I explored Pier 2, a really amazing art park!

We started off the morning at a leisurly pace, sleeping in and eating breakfast at home. Then we hopped on her scooter and headed out to start our day. When we arrived at Yanchengpu Station the sky was bright and sunny. I am not used to this intense heat–I gladly used my umbrella as a sun shield,like many Taiwanese people do, as we walked to and around Pier 2.

Pier 2 is very expansive art center near the harbor. It used to be an old shipping yard or something like that, but they renovated it into this really cool space that boasts all kinds of art exhibits, museums, shops, cafes, restaurants, mini train rides, and my favorite: the Upside Down House.

Here are some of my better shots from my visit to the Upside Down House:

The attention to detail was so impressive! It was just as fun taking pictures as it was watching other people pose for their pictures.

After visiting the Upside Down House, we decided to get some lunch at a nice restaurant and cafe within Pier 2, called Now and Then. I ordered the chicken and mushroom “wrapanini” and some 3 color juice. I forgot to take a picture of the juice but it was delicious!

Around the corner was the Sunny Hills cake shop. It’s a famous brand known for their pineapple cake and tea. They have this long dining hall with communal tables and after they seat you, waiters bring you a free pineapple cake and a cup of tea. You can enjoy the free sample and then decide if you want to buy larger quantities at the counter. I was honestly sooo tempted to get a box of the pineapple cake because it was just so good, but I resisted for the sake of my wallet.

You could probably spend your whole day at Pier 2 if you wanted to, but we decided to move on. We were close to Love River, so we decided to take a stroll alongside it and take a rest in the shade. The river has boat tours and gondola rides which seemed like fun but we were too drained from the heat to bother crossing the bridge and checking it out. I heard they’re better at night anyways because of the lights (but I’m just telling myself that to feel better about skipping a fun boat ride).

We headed home after that, and we were pretty lucky that it only rained a little bit as we rode the scooter back. At home, my friend’s parents were waiting for us to take us out to dinner. They took us to a local night market for some standard Taiwanese fare and all of it was delicious! I completely forgot to snap a photo of my meal, but I had beef noodles, rice with bean powder, okra and other simmered vegetables, fried wontons, and dumpling soup. Her mom bought me this jelly drink and I honestly have no idea what it was made of but I enjoyed it immensely. It kind of tasted a bit like sweet iced tea. After dinner, we stopped at a fruit stand and they taught me about lots of tropical fruit that I’d never seen before! And I laid eyes for the first time on a durian! My friend’s dad is a farmer, and really knows his produce, so he was very particular in choosing each fruit. It was fascinating to watch.

(The brown bulbs are something similar to lychee but different, the red one is a dragonfruit but the red flesh variety–which I didn’t know existed, and the bumpy green one is an absolute mystery to me!!! If you know this fruit’s name in English, leave a comment!)

It’s midnight now, which means it is TRULY time for bed. Tomorrow, our plan is to hike up “Monkey Mountain,” which is home to a large population of macaques. Hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to spot a few!

Until next time~

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