Cijin – The Perfect Beach Daytrip From Kaohsiung

Cijin Island – also often spelled Qijin and Chijin – is a wonderful day trip with seaside vibes that’s easily reached from Kaohsiung City.

It’s just a short and enjoyable ten-minute ferry ride from Gushan Pier over to Cijin Island and the island is so small that it’s easily explored in a day.

Cijin Island offers both tourists and city slickers a breath of fresh air and a chance to stretch your legs in Cijin seaside park.

Gushan Pier Kaohsiung ferry over to Cijin Island. The Backpacking Housewife
Gushan Pier Kaohsiung ferry over to Cijin Island

But if walking is not your thing – no problem.

You can easily hire a rickshaw, an electric golf cart, a scooter, or an electric or manual bicycle to get around at your own pace.

Foodies might consider the fresh food scene on Cijin to be the main attraction.

There are certainly lots of street food venues and seafood restaurants on Cijin’s ‘Old Street’ that is also locally known as ‘Seafood Street.’

Those of you whom appreciate culture will want to explore Cijin’s ancient temple to the Sea Goddess and Fishermen and The Sea.

If you love art, then the quirky modern art installations along the beachfront will delight you, and then you might also explore Cijin Shell Museum.

The Cijin Shell Museum apparently displays 3000 seashells.

I love a beach – and Cijin Beach is a rare spectacle with its black sand!

If I stayed in Taiwan, I would choose to live in Kaohsiung for the city life while knowing I could easily take a ten-minute ferry ride for my weekend island beach fix!

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Pretty streets
Pretty streets on Cijin Island

Once off the ferry, you’ll find lots of shops and a 7-11 and assorted places to eat and drink all the way along to the beachside promenade.

Cijin is famous for its seafood.

Throughout the summer the beach bar is open and provides a perfect spot to sit and relax and with a cocktail and enjoy harbour and beach views.

In July/August you can enjoy the beer festival held every Saturday.

Or enjoy Taiwan’s famous Bubble Tea or shaved ice and delicious ice cream.


The Giant Cijin Sign
The Backpacking Housewife at The Cijin Sign

Cijin is so photogenic – from the colourful giant Cijin Sign at the start of the beach to all the art installations along the promenade.

Although, you might have to wait in line to get your perfect shot during the summer, when the island is especially popular with both locals and tourists.

When we were there, it was early springtime, and we mostly had the place to ourselves. The downside was that there weren’t so many places open yet.

Indeed, when we were on the island, the seashell museum was closed.


Cijin Beach is a rare spectacle with its black sand!
Cijin Beach is a rare spectacle with its black sand!

Also in July/August, on the beach, the Annual Black Sand Castle Festival takes place and you’ll be able to see impressive sand sculptures on the beach.

Cijin’s beach is approximately 1.5 km long and is lined with palm trees.

But it’s not a beach you can swim from easily from because of strong currents.

It is however a popular beach at certain times of the year with wave surfers and wind surfers.


You can easily hire a bike or scooter
You can easily hire a bike or scooter on Cijin Island

You can easily rent a scooter or a bicycle on Cijin.

There is a You Bike Station adjacent to the beach where you can rent a bicycle using your Easy Card to get a discounted rate.

But – be warned – you’ll first need to register online using the YOU BIKE APP.

A cycle path/pedestrian paved path runs the whole way alongside the beach.

The path leads to some interesting stops along the route to the northern part of the island.

Here you’ll find Cijin’s iconic 19th Century lighthouse, a modern fort with Qing Dynasty foundations, and a grassy park area that’s perfect for a picnic.

Cijin's Iconic Lighthouse
Cijin’s Iconic Lighthouse


The Giant Sea Pearl Shell on Cijin Island
Inside the giant Sea Pearl Shell

I had my photo taken at the giant (10 metre tall) Cijin Sea Pearl Shell.

I also enjoyed seeing the fishermen sculpture representing the traditional industry here. And the colourful (so called) Rainbow Church which is a modern art installation of colourful frames set in a reflection pool.

Fishermen sculpture on Cijin island
At the Rainbow Church Art Installation Cijin Island


At Sea Pearl Listening Point at Cijin Island. The Backpacking Housewife
Sea Pearl Listening Point

The interactive Sea Pearl Listening Point in the shape of ‘trumpet shells’ or ‘double snail shells’ is an interesting art installation and a feature claiming ‘Secret Voices From The Ocean’ on the promenade outside the seashell museum.

I absolutely loved the idea behind this and it is possible to stand between the shells and hear the amplified echo of waves from the sea!

There is a plaque on the floor that explains the function and the significance of this art in relation to the ocean and to the Harbour City of Kaohsiung.

I’ve quoted it below for you as I found it quite beautiful!

Secret Voices From The Ocean

Design Artist: Lin Shuen-Long. Sound Collaboration: Atelier Hui-Kan. Year: 2014

Living in the ocean clams grow into beautiful forms through continual accumulation. Sometimes a clam may heal a wound or coexist with a foreign object by coating it in order to form dazzlingly beautiful pearls within its body.

This is similar to how Kaohsiung has integrated an array of residential cultures through the passage of time as well as urban appearances which historical rulers have planned and accumulated over time. Nowadays it exhibits the spirit of a unique harbour city: a combination of ruggedness, quality, vitality, and gentleness.

Sea Pearls neighbours the Shell Museum in Cijin, Kaohsiung, and faces the ocean.

It’s steady, elegant form and exquisite artisanship and materials echo this harbour city’s traits. In addition to highlighting industrial characteristics, emphasis is also placed on cultural sights and ecological concern.

Standing under the golden embrace of Sea Pearls, basking in the sea breeze and warm rays of the sun, one is surrounded by all the intricate noises of the sea in the vivid ocean space within.

People on either side of this space can also converse with each other through the sound tube, inadvertently breaking the confines of space so that one’s senses and imagination can observe even the most meticulous details and soar towards a deeper understanding of the living need to coexist with nature.

As you explore Secret Voices From The Ocean: Sea Pearls Listening Point please take the time and listen carefully to these messages from nature at the Listening Point.

Curation: DADA Idea Co. Ltd.


Tianhou Temple honours Matsu - the Goddess of Fishermen and the Sea.
Tianhou Temple honours Matsu – the Goddess of Fishermen and the Sea.

The most important temple of Cijin is the beautiful Tianhou Temple which honours Matsu – the Goddess of Fishermen and the Sea.

Its origins go back to the 12th year of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1673).

Legend tells of a fisherman founding the temple here in gratitude after being washed him up on the island and saved from drowning during a typhoon. 


Cijin Island Sea Caves
Cijin Island Sea Caves

In the summer months when the weather is hot and humid and the sea is calm then getting out on the sea on a paddleboard is a fun and cool thing to do.

It’s interesting to see the Cijin Sea Caves but I would recommend a tour under the supervision of a knowledgeable guide.

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Cijin Island, located off the coast of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, shares a climate similar to the mainland. The best time to visit Cijin Island aligns with the generally favourable weather conditions in the region. Consider visiting during:

Autumn (October to December): This is a fantastic time to explore Cijin Island. The weather is comfortable, with cooler temperatures and lower humidity. It’s an ideal time for outdoor activities, and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery without the discomfort of summer heat.

Spring (March to May): Spring is another excellent time to visit Cijin Island. The temperatures are mild, and the island may be adorned with blooming flowers. This season offers pleasant weather for walking, biking, or simply enjoying the coastal atmosphere.

Early Summer (May to June): If you prefer warmer temperatures but want to avoid the peak of summer heat and humidity, early summer can be a good compromise. However, be aware that the weather may be more unpredictable, and occasional rain showers are possible.

Summer (June to September): This is the hottest and most humid time of the year. Daytime temperatures can exceed 30°C (86°F), and the humidity levels can be uncomfortable. Additionally, typhoon season in Taiwan typically occurs from June to October, which can bring heavy rainfall and strong winds.

If you plan to visit during June to October do keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for potential changes in weather conditions.

Ultimately, the best time to visit Cijin Island depends on your personal preferences for weather and the activities you’ll plan while on the island.


From Kaohsiung City to get to Gushan Pier you can use your Easy Card on public transport and get a discounted rate.

From Sizihwan Station (orange line) or Hamasan Station (green line).

Or take the #50 bus from Koahsiung Central Park

Ferries depart from Gushan Pier to Cijin Island every ten minutes.

Cijin Island was a real highlight of our few days in Kaohsiung!

Click to read my post Highlights of Kaohsiung City


It is a perfect day trip and I’d highly recommend Cijin Island as part of your Taiwan Itinerary

CIJIN ISLAND KAOHSIUNG #travel #taiwan #kaohsiung #kaohsiungtravel #cijin #cijinbeach
Highlights of our day trip to Cijin Island from Kaohsiung

Have you ever been to Cijin Island?

Have you ever been to Kaohsiung?

Is Taiwan on your travel wish list?

Let me know in the comments!

Click to see my 12 Day Taiwan Itinerary!

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