Ajay Junaid
April 23, 2019
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Taiwan’s underrated southern city of Kaohsiung plays host to multiple festivals over the summer period. It’s a city most would not associate with being rich, vibrant and grand as more often than not it is overlooked in favour of Taiwan’s capital city Taipei making Kaohsiung the lesser-known travel destination. It may seem/act like a sleepy seaside city but beneath it lies an array of undiscovered gems.

A city that is reminiscent of Venetian vibes where you can eat your heart out, pray for new beginnings and most importantly have fun.

Without further ado, here are 6 festivals worth being a part of in Kaohsiung.

Wake Up Festival

Video Credits: Wake Up Arts via YouTube

Dates: 5 July - 7 July 2019

Wake Up Festival is heading into its 10th year! Making this a special occasion for all involved, you only get one chance at a 10th anniversary and Wake Up Festival is going big. It all started 10 years ago in the city of Chiayi (not too far from Kaohsiung) by a group of adolescent teenagers who just weren’t happy with the current music scene in their city.

Fast forward to 2019 and it has become one of the most iconic international music festivals in Taiwan. This years festival will see them invite EggPlantEgg, a band that’s currently spearheading the Holo (the Holo people account for 65% of Taiwan) music resurgence in Taiwan with their contemporary sounds and themes.

Not only will they have EggPlantEgg performing but there’s also an array of musical talent on display and a lot of fun to be had. Don’t believe me? Just check out Wake Up Festival 2018 Aftermovie above.

For tickets please visit: Wake Up Festival

Formosa Summer Festival

Image credits: taiwan.net

Dates: 14 June - 30 September 2019

Formosa is a festival consisting of a series of activities, ranging from sports, food, sculpting to celebrities introducing ice treats - yes, you most certainly read that correctly. This years theme will be limited-edition and is a joint collaboration between 8 well-known brands. A little snippet into what ice flavours will be on offer - limited edition beer, summer delicacy Aiyu and their most popular one yet, the ‘OhBear Formosa’ edition.

Let’s breakdown the celebrities who will be playing a role at this years Formosa Summer Festival, Gigi Lin, Stanley Go Go, Eddie Pan, A-No Shanny, Kevlin Lin and DJ Dennis. The festival will then take centre stage to close with a celebrity lead performance of an Ice Eating Dance.

The Salt and Sand Sculpture Art Festival

Image Credits: rove.me

Dates: July 2019

Taiwan’s Salt & Sand Sculpture Art Festival is an amalgamation of salt products, the salt industry culture, sandy beaches and the sea. This festival gives people the platform to construct unique art installations using unique ingredients. Everything serves a purpose here from the grains of salt to small-town stories to the local culture - all will be on display to exhibit the new allure of the Southwest Coast. A place to find yourself within the creation of your own work.

Kaohsiung Dragon Boat Festival and International Dragon Boat Races

Image Credits: washington.edu

Dates: June 6

Dragon boat racing has been an important traditional cultural event in the east. A real team-work activity that’s gained some ground due to its exciting nature as well as the emphasis on team collaboration - over the past few years it has gained interest on a global scale, making it an internationally-recognized competition.

This particular Dragon Boat Race annually attracts tens of thousands of visitors and teams participate from sister cities in the Netherlands, U.S.A, Japan and many more. Not only do you get the opportunity to watch some boat races by you can also catch various cultural events and performances taking place along the bank of the Love River.

Kaohsiung Lion Dance Festival

Image Credits: eng.taiwan.net.tw

Dates: October/November

The Lion Dance Festival in Kaohsiung is quite arguably the best of its kind and offers the highest awards in Taiwan. The highly skilled dancers are able to bring the characters and features of the lions to life - making them animated, cute and lively.

Overall, an extravagant performance that excites all visitors.

Kaohsiung Film Festival

Image Credits: nwfilm.org

Dates: October - November

Every year, the International Short Film Competition of Kaohsiung Film Festival provides visionary filmmakers from around the world with the right platform to showcase their original and creative projects. Each filmmaker is competiting for prize money, the total of which is just over NT$1 million (USD320,000+).

Aspiring to become the heart of short films in Asia and collaborates actively with international film festivals in various festival programs, also awarding perspective Asian shorts, in hope of encouraging the uniqueness in them.