Kaohsiung City: Taiwan’s Hidden Gem for Digital Nomads

Kaohsiung City offers digital nomads an affordable option while exploring southern Taiwan
Aerial View Kaohsiung City With Blue Sky Background And Kaohsiung Harbor, Taiwan.

We recently visited Kaohsiung City and discovered why Kaohsiung, nestled on Taiwan’s southern coast, is fast becoming a coveted spot for the digital nomad community. With its perfect blend of modernity, tradition, and affordability, Kaohsiung is an ideal destination for Wander Lawyers.

Overall, we would recommend staying in Kaohsiung for at least a week, and using it as a jumping off point for a road trip along Taiwan’s East Coast.

Geographic Charm and Affordability

Kaohsiung stands out as a quieter yet equally dynamic alternative to Taipei, making it a prime location for digital nomads looking for a laid-back vibe with all the necessary amenities. It’s a city where you can enjoy a high quality of life without depleting your budget, answering the question on every traveler’s mind: is Kaohsiung worth visiting? Absolutely.

What to Eat and Do

Kaohsiung’s food scene rivals Taipei when it comes to delicious, authentic Taiwanese food. Visitors should try Kaohsiung’s famous beef noodle soup and refreshing mango shaved ice, staples that promise to tantalize your taste buds. Check out Din Tai Fung Kaohsiung Store for incredible dumplings and Gang Yuan Beef Noodles for authentic beef noodle soup.

For things to do in Kaohsiung, venture to the Pier-2 Art Center, a funky cultural precinct that has old warehouses, public art, and hip cafes right next to the harbor.

One must-visit destination is Cijin Island, easily accessible by a quick ferry ride from Kaohsiung Harbor. This slender island offers a perfect escape with its beautiful beaches, historic lighthouse, and the Cijin Wind Turbine Park. It’s a fantastic spot for a leisurely bike ride along the coast, enjoying fresh seafood, and exploring the quaint streets filled with unique local shops and vibrant street art.

Shopping, Architecture, and Work Spaces

Kaohsiung’s architecture—a mix of traditional temples and modern skyscrapers like the iconic 85 Sky Tower—complements its varied shopping scenes from upscale boutiques to vibrant markets like Liuhe Night Market. For digital nomads, Kaohsiung coworking locations such as The Hive and Wohoo offer vibrant communities and superb facilities, ensuring productivity remains high.

Kaohsiung vs. Tainan for Digital Nomads

When comparing Kaohsiung vs. Tainan for digital nomads, we liked both destinations but found that Kaohsiung stands out for its superior infrastructure, bustling yet relaxed vibe, and a thriving Kaohsiung digital nomad community that supports both work and social interactions.

While Tainan is a great destination to explore Taiwanese culture, we found it smaller, sleepier, and lacking in infrastructure. Although some may consider Tainan to have more “charm”, we felt that for an extended work trip, Kaohsiung had more accessibility. A day trip to Tainan from Kaohsiung could easily be accomplished with the HSR, so it proved to be a better “home base” to explore the south western Taiwan region.

Transportation and Accessibility

Navigating Kaohsiung is effortless with its comprehensive public transport network, including MRT, buses, and an affordable bike-sharing system. This ease of movement enhances the city’s appeal, making every corner accessible and inviting. We found the MRT to be cleaner and easier to access than the Taipei Metro. The MRT also allowed for easy access to Pier-2 Art Center and Cijin Island.

WanderLawyer Rating for Kaohsiung:

  • Accessibility: 4.5/5 stars
  • Delicious Food: 4/5 stars
  • Affordability: 4/5 stars
  • Work Remote Locations & Internet Access: 3/5 stars
  • Weather: 3/5 stars
  • Friendliness: 5/5 stars
  • Nightlife: 3/5 stars
  • Vibe: 3.5/5 stars
  • Overall Score: 3.5/5 stars

Recommendations:

Coworking Locations in Kaohsiung City

Kaohsiung is home to a variety of coworking spaces, catering to different preferences and needs:

  1. Dao Teng Business Center
    • Private Office: From NT$ 7500/month
    • Coworking Space: From NT$ 6000/month
    • Location Proximity: Zuoying 6.7 km, Kaohsiung International Airport 6.7 km
  2. Dao Teng Business Center (Second Location)
    • Private Office: From NT$ 12000/month
    • Coworking Space: Price on request
    • Location Proximity: Formosa Boulevard Station 1.0 km, Zuoying 5.5 km
  3. SYNC Co-working Space
    • Private Office: From NT$ 4500/month
    • Coworking Space: Price on request
    • Location Proximity: Aozihdi 0.7 km, Zuoying 2.1 km
  4. Globaltown International Business Center
    • Private Office: From NT$ 8000/month
    • Coworking Space: Price on request
    • Location Proximity: Zuoying 2.8 km, Kaohsiung International Airport 10.3 km

Lodging Kaohsiung Coworking Spaces and Locations

  1. Airbnb Options: Choose from modern apartments in the bustling city center to serene spots near the beach.
  2. Silks Club: Offers luxurious accommodations with stunning city views.
  3. Hotel Dua: Known for its blend of modern design and comfort.
  4. Just Sleep Kaohsiung Station: Convenient location with excellent service.
  5. The Grand Hi Lai Hotel: Features an impressive harbor view and upscale amenities.

Food Districts

  1. Liuhe Night Market: Must-visit for local street food.
  2. Wan Nian Building: For a mix of gourmet and traditional meals.
  3. Harbour Buffet: Offers a vast selection of international cuisine.
  4. Yancheng District: Try local seafood dishes and Taiwanese specialties.
  5. Zhonghua Street Night Market: Another great option for authentic street food.

Nightlife/Bars

  1. The Lamp Bar: Enjoy craft beers in a cozy setting.
  2. Marsalis Home: A jazz bar with a relaxing ambiance.
  3. Paramount Bar: Known for its cocktails and sleek design.
  4. The Mercury: An excellent choice for live music and drinks.
  5. Bada Bing: A popular spot for expats and locals alike.

Coffee shops & Cafes

  1. Bonnie Sugar: Known for its desserts and artisan coffee.
  2. Do Good: A hip spot that doubles as a coworking space.
  3. The Harbour: Perfect for working with a view of the ocean.
  4. Ruh Cafe: Hip outdoor spot with delicious beverages
  5. Café Kafka: Artsy decor and a great selection of beverages. Also a great co-working spot

Attractions

  1. 85 Sky Tower: Enjoy panoramic views of the city.
  2. Lotus Pond: Famous for its temples and tranquil scenery.
  3. Formosa Boulevard Station: Admire the stunning Dome of Light art installation.
  4. Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts: Explore contemporary art and sculpture.
  5. Sizihwan: A scenic area known for its sunset views and beach access.

Day Trips

  1. Kenting National Park: Explore beaches, hiking trails, and natural beauty.
  2. Tainan: Dive into Taiwan’s rich history and traditional architecture.
  3. Alishan National Scenic Area: A must-visit for tea plantations and sunrise views.
  4. E-DA Theme Park: Fun rides and attractions suitable for all ages.
  5. Donggang: Visit during the biennial boat burning festival or for a seafood feast.

Verdict

Kaohsiung is not just worth visiting—it’s worth staying in. Although we found Taipei to be a better fit for those looking for a more cosmopolitan and urban feel, with its affordable lifestyle, robust community, and endless opportunities for exploration and work, Kaohsiung is an excellent choice for exploring southern Taiwan.

Authors

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat

Anthony Shallat is a digital nomad attorney and WanderLawyer co-founder. Anthony believes travel unlocks potential and opens minds. He’s been wandering and lawyering since 2014.