Visit to Kaohsiung, Taiwan 14th - 20th September 2005.
Kaohsiung is situated on the southwestern coast of Taiwan, facing the Taiwan Straits to the west and,beyond the southern tip of the island, the Bashi Channel to the south.
It sits across vital sea lanes connecting North-east Asia with the Indian Ocean, and offers outstanding commercial port facilities.
Kaohsiung is the second largest city in Taiwan and sixth-largest container harbour in the world.
We stayed at the Splendor Hotel Kaohsiung, which certainly stood up to its name.
Situated just a road away from the waters edge,it has breathtaking panoramic views of the city or the harbour.
We had a harbour view room on the 54th floor facing directly across from the main docking area for general cargo ships.
These ships appeared to carry bagged cement, grain,rice,wood and general items, unloaded using the ships own derricks.
An example is the photo of WICHITA BELLE which i have posted under the General Cargo Ships heading.
The quay in front of our hotel was used by ships carrying steel, both flat sheets and rolled.
Cranes and fork lift trucks would appear to unload these ships.
An example is the photo of GREEN FOREST which i have posted under General Cargo Ships heading.
To the left was the berths for the gas tankers and to the right the 1st Dock Kaohsiung Harbour entrance.
I will post a photo of the view from our room pointing towards the 1st Dock entrance shortly.
This will appear under Harbour Overview Images.
Most ships used this entrance, but the larger container ships used the 2nd Dock Kaohsiung Harbour entrance further south.
The hotel had 76 floors.
Photos from the room were OK, but the glass windows had a tint which did change the colour a bit.:-? :-x
Viewing points we found were pier 21 and Chien Chen sightseeing fish market.
The Chien Chen fishing harbour was a typical fishing basin harbour.
A mass of fishing ships on view, some berthed 3 abreast and contained both short haul trawlers(24 hour fishing) and long haul trawlers(1+ month voyages).
One long haul trawler departed while we were there.
In typical Asian tradition, fire crackers were lit as she was ready to sail,signaling good luck.
Family,friends and loved ones were on the quay to wave them off.
She was towed out into the main channel and at the stern, crew member threw golden paper money into the air(hope it was degradable paper!!). :-o :-D
This tradition signals good wealth on the trip, like, come back with the holds full.
I have posted 2 photo's of her , it is under the Fishing Vessels heading and the name is DONG YIH.
I have one or two more of the crew throwing the money over the side which i will post later under the same heading.
The fishing harbour location was very close to the container berths.
Access was fine to this area.
A security guard smiled as we walked through the main gate and returned quickly to reading his newspaper, showing no interest in us what so ever.
As you entered the gate, directly in front of you are a number of berths with about 10 fishing trawlers under various stages of repair, or may be disrepair.
Trawlers were having welding,complete metal stripping,painting and new gearing fitted.
This location was on the main water way channel for ships arriving or leaving via the 2nd Dock entrance.
APL berths were on the left beyond a large brick wall.
I was able to stand on an assortment of tables, blocks on concrete to peer over .
Evergreen berths were situated over the water on the opposite side to APL.
Still on the opposite side, then came Yang Ming and Maersk Sealand berths and other miscellaneous lines.
OOCL and P&O Nedlloyd berths were on the fish market side but blocked off by the entrance to the fishing harbour.
It was not possible to gain entrance to the main container areas.
We wanted to go to a point at the entrance to the 2nd Dock , but ran into problems with the language.
Our taxi man did not understand, despite pointing at maps where we wanted to go.
We ended up many miles from the location we wanted.
Lost, and the meter still running.
Put it down to a bad day. :-x :-? :-( 8-)
In a brochure i read, it claimed 35% of the population could communicate in English.
I think we must have meet all the 65% that could not.
It was a very busy port with things going on 24 hours a day.
The weather was hot and humid which did cause me problems with haze on a few days while taking my photos.
We will go back and with the experience of one trip, will be able to take in a lot more of this wonderful and exciting port.