According to early records, Taiwan was once a remote outland populated by aborigines. Around the 1560s, Takow was occupied by Chinese and Japanese pirates and soon became an important smuggling hub. In 1642, the Dutch took full control of Taiwan, and Takow became a paradise for Dutch merchants to export living goods and materials due to the area's abundance of wood, rattan, and lime.
Koxinga seized Provincia from Dutch rule in 1661 and after years of conflict, Taiwan was officially incorporated into the Qing Empire in 1684. It remained an agricultural colony until 1858, when the Treaty of Tianjin demanded that the Qing Government open four harbors along the Taiwanese coast: Dan-Shuei, Ke-lan (present Keelung), An-Ping and Takow. In 1864, the United Kingdom set up a vice-consulate in Takow, which was upgraded into a consulate in 1865. From that moment on, Takow entered the international commercial business and was gradually modernized.
Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, ending the Qing Dynasty’s 212-year dominion. In 1908, the Japanese built Takao harbor. In 1912, the first new district, Hamasen, was built on reclaimed land and became an administrative and financial center. Later, a second district Yan-Chen-Pu was built as a commercial center. In 1920, Takao was renamed Kaohsiung State, which included nine counties: Kaohsiung, Fong-Shan, Gang-Shan, Ci-Shan, Ping-Dong, Chao-Zhou, Dong-Gang, Heng-Chun and Penghu. In 1924, Kaohsiung County became Kaohsiung City, the second-largest city in Taiwan.
In 1939, Japan was defeated in the Pacific War and Taiwan was handed over to the KMT Government in 1945. In 1975, the second Kaohsiung Harbor was built, making Kaohsiung Harbor one of the ten major ports in the world. In 1981, Kaohsiung was named the fifth largest international container transportation harbor, number four in 1985 and number three in 1987. With the completion of Taiwan High-Speed Rail and Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit, Kaohsiung City possesses enormous potential as Taiwan’s ocean capital.
Kaohsiung is a sunny city surrounded by mountains and the sea, where traditional and modern culture meets.
Here we offer folk art such as Taiwanese opera, shadow puppetry, and lion dance competitions, as well as international performances and fine arts exhibitions in our state-of-the-art venues. Kaohsiung is also home to many other private art and exhibition venues that feature different forms of artistic expression and audience capacity. Visitors can explore old military sites and experience neighboring suburbs that are rich in agricultural produce.
Street food stands line the streets, contrasting with the many hipster coffee shops, art galleries and live houses tucked into the city’s cozy corners. Kaohsiung city offers a cultural vibe that is authentic, dynamic, and diverse.