Sitting 70 meters above the Kaohsiung Port and Sizihwan is the historical building of the former British Consulate at Takao. This 150-year-old building gives travelers a mix of history and a stunning view of the Harbor City of Taiwan. The consulate can take anyone back in time with its old colonial style architecture. As it holds the history of Kaohsiung and its foreign trade activities, this destination is suitable for any history-lover traveling in Taiwan.
A historical site up the hills
Located in Gushan District, the former British Consulate at Takao was built in 1865. This building was built on the peak of Shaochuantou (哨船頭) and provide splendid views of Sizihwan and the Kaohsiung Port. The British Consulate at Takao features the British colonial style architecture, and is now one of the oldest western style buildings preserved on the island. Although designed by a British engineer, a Chinese craftsman built the building with materials that were shipped over from Amoy (now Xiamen) in Mainland China.
The British Consulate and its surroundings
Upon entering the area, it can be seen that the local government has preserved the building very well. The red bricks of the building create a wonderful color pallet along with the blue sky and the green trees surrounding it. Furthermore, a garden has been added in the area along with benches and observation areas where visitors can enjoy the stunning view. Behind the building, there is also a small rest area with seats under the big trees; many visitors love to sit and spend time at this area while having a drink or two.
The story behind the British Consulate at Takao
The British Consulate at Takao was built because the Treaty of Peking, which took place in 1860, enforced the local government to open ports for foreign trade at several cities including Takao, the city now known as Kaohsiung. In 1867, this building was granted to Britain as their consulate. However, in 1909, the Japanese government took over all foreign consulates in Taiwan and converted this particular building into an ocean observatory in 1931. Since that time, the building has experienced a few major destructions, including a bombing in World War 2 and a forceful typhoon in 1977.
The British Consulate at Takao is now a tourist attraction in Kaohsiung City. It houses documents, photographs, and items regarding foreign trade during the olden eras, making this site a perfect place for travelers who want to learn about the history and importance of the Harbor City of Taiwan over the past few decades. There is also a historical path that connects the British Consulate building with the office building at the harbor. People usually spend an hour or two to explore both the consulate and the office at the harbor, and would spend time enjoying the view along with some snacks afterwards.
A place to unwind
Apart from being a historical site, the British Consulate at Takao is also the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the view. The red bricks of the building, the big gigantic trees and the view of the blue sea create a safe haven for anyone who wants to escape the Kaohsiung City life. Many locals come up the hill after a walk at Sizihwan just to sit down and have quality time with their friends and family. So, if you’re looking for a spot to unwind during your travels, then this historical site at Kaohsiung City may be a good option to consider.
Getting to the British Consulate at Takao
Traveling in Taiwan is very convenient since most destinations, including the British Consulate at Takao, are accessible via public transportation. The fastest and most recommended way to get to this historical site is by taking the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). From any MRT station, one must head to the Orange Line Sizihwan MRT station and take the shuttle bus from Exit 2. If you depart from the Kaohsiung Train Station, it is also possible to take buses number 31, 50, 99 and 248 to National Sun Yat-Sen University.
Note to self
Since the British Consulate at Takao is located on the peak of a hill, an amount of stair climbing is involved and therefore, not very convenient for the physically challenged. It is not the hardest climb, but be sure to be fit, especially in the summer days when the temperature gets really high.
Entering the consulate requires a ticket, and they can be purchased at the entrance for 66 NTD (approximately 2 USD); student discounts also apply. Although some parts of the exhibitions have English translations, it is wise to keep in mind that most of the explanations are in Chinese.
Witness the history & stunning view of The British Consulate at Takao
Traveling means experiencing every aspect of a destination; from its people, culture, food and also its history. Therefore, when traveling in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, it is a good idea to spare some time to visit this particular historical site. Not only can you learn about the history of the olden days, but you can also take time to sit down, unwind and enjoy the view. So, whenever you travel to Taiwan, don’t forget to visit Kaohsiung and stop by at the British Consulate at Takao!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.