No.350, Wanshou Rd., Gushan Dist., Kaohsiung City 804, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
As the largest green space in downtown Kaohsiung, Shoushan is nearly the lung of the city and the favorite spot of local hikers and walkers alike. The rocky formation of the mountain is of primitive limestone, and you will find an abundance of natural landscapes, including hard coral rocks, water-eroded caves and stalactites – it brings the great big world of geography to visitors of all ages. Shoushan also has a rich biodiversity of birdlife and is home to a wealth of birds from over 117 species. As you hike, the wild Formosan rock monkey (台灣獼猴) will be jumping around (but hopefully not on you). Don’t feed them as your generosity might harm their health and even change their behaviors. Besides, these monkeys become quite aggressive these days, so try not to get too close to them.
Located on the western edge of Kaohsiung, Shoushan (literally “longevity mountain”) is known by many names such as Chaishan (柴山), Takao Mountain (打狗山) and Monkey Mountain (猴山). In the early days, aborigines grew a generous clump of arrow bamboo trees here, whose stalks were made into weapons to fight the pirates at the time. These arrow bamboos are known as “takao” in the local indigenous language, hence the name “Takao Mountain.” During the Dutch rule, the colonizers found out that this mountain was (and still is) basically occupied by a legion of monkeys and simply named it “Monkey Mountain.” In 1923, the Japanese Prince Hirohito (裕仁皇太子), who later became Emperor Showa (昭和天皇), visited the Monkey Mountain. The visit just happened to coincide with his own birthday, so in order to wish him longevity, the mountain was renamed “Shoushan.”
Shoushan National Nature Park covers a vast area and is rich in natural resources and cultural heritage. On top of the mountain, you can even be granted a magnificent view of the golden sunset over the Xizi Bay (西子灣) beyond as well as an enchanting night view of the city itself.
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