Exploring Kaohsiung, What a Place of Beauty!

Pronounced "GOW" (like cow with a g) "shung"
"GOW shung" {and they say Chinese isn't difficult! haha}

This past weekend we had a holiday (yes! I know, we just had one, BUT, I'm not complaining!) This time we had Friday off for 10/10, also know as Double 10 Day.  I didn't have any concrete plans in the books, so I thought what better weekend to check something off my bucket  list (I've always wanted to do this and when I found it was a possibility in Tawain...let's just say I'm shocked I had the willpower to wait 2 months!) I stated  to ask around and Kristin and Brody were fair game for a weekend full of "winging-it" in Kaohsiung.

Kaohsiung is near the south of Taiwan and takes about and hour and a half to reach by the High Speed Rail that runs along the western coast of the country. My weekend was off to a soggy start with having  a scooter as transportation during a nasty rainstorm, but a quick stop for a helmet shield, and I was on my soggy way!

When I met up with Kristin and Brody in Kaohsiung we had little planned other than a contact with a hostel owner that was willing to give us a couple bunks for $490 a night (hello $15.80 USD!!!) We found our hostel, (OK, no really...our hostel driver began driving his bike towards the station and found us and led us back to the hostel) settled in, and asked Jason, the hostel owner the easiest way to get the the nearby mountain. He pulled out a map and began giving us directions and then said never mind, I'll just take you {umm again....exactly why Taiwan is amazing haha}

So Jason drove us up the back side of the mountain and stopped at a little rest area on the side of the road. And guess what?!?! We got out of the car and saw.....MONKEYS. They were behind glass, or in a cage, or behind bars...they were real live monkeys, out in the wild, and SOooo close to me!! Kristin had a little scare when she got out of the car and a little guy came a little too close for comfort when he noticed she had food lol, but she quickly put here belongings back in the car and we began to get to know our new acquaintances 
I mean please, look at THIS!!!

How can you not be in heaven! {the little guy on the right hopped onto someones parked scooter and helped himself to their tea that they left setting out...lesson learned!}
After watching the monkeys for a while (thought I could have stayed forever!) Jason told us it was almost sunset and he wanted to take us to a place to watch it (we were mountains to the right and ocean to the left...umm beautiful!) He drove us a little further up the mountain and dropped us off at the side of the road telling us that the little shop here had great coffee and even better views. We found a front row seat sunset view and glanced at the menu, and imagine our surprise when they listed TACOS!!!

Needless to say, tacos were most definitely had (along with a quesadilla, salsa, jalapenos, and tortilla ships....where have they been hiding this?!?!) and the sunset was more than enjoyed!
Can life get any better than Mexican food, monkeys, mountains, & this beautiful beach sunset?!?
After dinner  we walked around a bit, but seeing as it was already dark (trade off for watching the great 'show'!) and we couldn't find a trail head nearby, we hopped on the next bus down the mountain with no idea where it would stop or where we wanted to head next (remember I said we were winging it!) There was a young couple on the bus with us and in talking to her we figured out  that we would swing by the Dream Mall when the bus reached it's last stop. The 9 story mall was like any other mall (scratch that I just looked it up, it's the largest mall in Taiwan lol), but we didn't go for the mall...the 10th floor "adventure park" and the Kaohsiung Eye that sits atop it!  The views from up there were incredible!

Close up view of the Eye lit up at night. Check the background of the photo of me...look really carefully and you can see the Eye on the left hand side of the picture!

AND...what's an adventure park without at least one corny ride for the night...meet my new BFF Mr. Cow! After some plastic fish fishing and powerwheeels riding for Brody we called it a night and headed back for a well deserved nights sleep!

***Check back tomorrow for part 2 of our journey...it only gets better I promise!***

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