Yancheng in Kaohsiung 鹽埕區 – Guide + Photos 2024

The historic streets and traditional markets of Kaohsiung’s Yancheng District are fast becoming a hipster hot-spot and one of Kaohsiung’s coolest and most creative neighbourhoods to explore.

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Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan

Whilst family-run restaurants and tea shops are still commonplace, many of the Yancheng alleys and laneways are now home to happening hole-in-the wall bars, artisan bakeries or fusion food stalls.

From the roarsome Godzilla cafe to modern Mexican at MADDOG, there are lots of things to do (and eat!) in Kaohsiung’s Yancheng District.

Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan
Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan

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How to get to Yancheng in Kaohsiung

One of Kaohsiung’s smaller and more historic neighbourhoods, the best way to explore the heart of Yancheng district is to take the Kaohsiung Metro and alight at Yanchengpu station, via the orange line (Daliao – Sizihwan).

From Formosa Boulevard Station (which also contains the famous Kaohsiung Dome of Light), take the orange line 2 stops to Yanchengpu station.

From Kaohsiung Station, take the red line one stop to Xiaogang station and then change on the orange line to Yanchengpu station.

Depending on where you want to visit in Yancheng, Kaohsiung Light Rail is also another transport option.

Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan

Taiwanderers Tip 

Grab a Taiwan EasyCard as a convenient way to use buses and public transport in Keelung (plus across Taipei and Taiwan). They can be easily topped up at stations and convenience stores and come in lots of cute designs.

Read more about how to use a Taiwan EasyCard, including how to top up >

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History of Yancheng in Kaohsiung

Translated as ‘Salt City’, relating to its former existence as farm land and an agriculture area, before being built on during the Japanese colonial area in the early 1900s – it soon became a huge area of trade, markets and dwellings and one of Kaohsiung’s busiest neighbourhoods back in the day.

Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan

Old school Yancheng in Kaohsiung used to be an industrial district, known for its black market goods (after WWII) and cheap eateries.

These days, the alley-ways are bustling with retro bars, thrift and second-hand shops plus top rated food stalls, all popular with the local youth. In a word, Kaohsiung is kool…sorry…cool!

Yancheng 1st Public Market Kaohsiung Taiwan

One of the longest surviving remnants of olden Yancheng is the Yancheng 1st Public Market, originally opened in the 1950s. After years of decline and decreased visitors at the turn of this century, it was transformed in the early 2020s with new features and lower rents, to encourage new businesses.

Ginza Shopping Arcade is the oldest covered shopping street in the Yancheng district but is apparently on its way out with plans for a new development – the gentrification of Yancheng is well underway.

Yancheng 1st Public Market Kaohsiung Taiwan

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Things to do in Yancheng, Kaohsiung

A marvellous mix of traditional Taiwanese restaurants like Dagouding Milkfish Noodle Bar or cool new themed cafes like Kaiju Tea Shop, there are lots of things to do (and eat!) in Yancheng, Kaohsiung.

Some of our highlights include:

Kaohsiung Godzilla cafe (Kaiju Tea Shop / Guaishou Chi Tea)

Kaohsiung’s Godzilla cafe (AKA Kaiju Tea Shop) is a ‘monster’ of a cafe, with Godzilla galore merchandise, across two floors.

One of Kaohsiung’s quirkiest cafes, all of the food and drink is Godzilla themed, from the Godzilla foam art on the cappuccinos to the gorgeous Godzilla pancakes available in several flavours and cooked to order (the cafe smells so good).

Kaohsiung Godzilla cafe (Kaiju Tea Shop / Guaishou Chi Tea) Taiwan
Kaohsiung Godzilla cafe (Kaiju Tea Shop / Guaishou Chi Tea) Taiwan

Browse hundreds of Godzilla statues as you wait for your drinks to be made, there is also a small museum upstairs.

If you can, try to get a seat at the counter to get up close with giant Godzilla heads. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and it was absolutely packed but well worth it.

Kaohsiung Godzilla cafe (Kaiju Tea Shop / Guaishou Chi Tea) Taiwan
Kaohsiung Godzilla cafe (Kaiju Tea Shop / Guaishou Chi Tea) Taiwan

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MADDOG Kaohsiung 墨西哥捲餅

A little bit of Mexico in Kaohsiung, based on our own visit to Yancheng in spring 2024, this seem to be the busiest restaurant in the old market area.

MADDOG Kaohsiung 墨西哥捲餅 Taiwan

A cool looking cantina and burrito bar, at Maddog you can sit at the counter and watch your tacos being made up close (possibly with a ice-cold margarita – we won’t judge) or take a table in the eating area just across from the bar.

MADDOG has a small menu and is good at what it does, from beef burritos ($NT200) to taco rice, all of which are served with a small side of nachos and a soft drink.

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Fasting Worm Bar

Ok, so we aren’t sure we’ve got the right name for this super cool bar in Yancheng First Public Market but that is what ‘Google Translate’ says so raise a glass to ‘Fasting Worm Bar’.

One of Kaohsiung’s cutest cocktail and craft beer bars, seating is limited so get there early. The menu changes regularly and serves up everything from stinky tofu to meat skewers and clam dishes.

Fasting Worm Bar Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan

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Ashue Fried Burdock

Located in the revitalised section of Yancheng 1st Public Market, this fabulous fried burdock stall was established in 1950 and serves up burdock root in a light batter.

Various portion sizes are available from $NT50 to $NT150 for the BIG burdock.

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Shinsengumi Bar

An izakaya style Japanese bar, Shinsengumi Bar is a tiny bar with only a handful of seats inside plus plenty of whiskey and sake to make up for it.

The cute and cosy Yancheng bar is very atmospheric and with lots of old spirit bottles and vintage Japanese posters on the walls.

Shinsengumi Bar Yancheng Kaohsiung Taiwan

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Bao Song (guabao)

A bao-tiful eating experience, this indoor bao stall and tea shop at the First public market was doing a roaring trade – so just follow your noise (or the locals).

bao Kaohsiung Taiwan

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Dagou Ding Old Street

Like taking a step back in time, Dagou Ding Old Street is one of Yancheng’s oldest covered alleys, opened in the 1950s and famous for its traditional food stalls and wet market.

We visited late on a Sunday afternoon so it was actually very quiet, save for a few stalls making fresh food for the next day.

Dagou Ding Old Street Kaohsiung
Dagou Ding Old Street Kaohsiung
Dagou Ding Old Street Kaohsiung

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Dagouding Milkfish Noodles

One of Kaohsiung’s most famous dishes, Dagouding Milkfish Noodle stall has been around for decades and a yummy thing to do in Yancheng, Kaohsiung.

Cheap to eat and flaky in texture, milkfish can be prepared in numerous ways – in a congee porridge, in a soup, stir fried, steamed or braised.

The dish is loved by locals so much that there is even a milkfish cultural festival in Kaohsiung!

Yanchengpu Station Selfie Spot

We aren’t sure if this temporary, but outside Yanchengpu station exit 2, there is a huge waving / blinking neko cat which lots of groups posed for selfies with.

huge waving / blinking neko cat  Yancheng Kaohsiung

Nearby you’ll also see a statue of the famous Formosa / Taiwan bear, dressed up in floral trousers and drinking milk tea (no, we didn’t visit any bars!), installed by the Yancheng Business Association.

Formosa / Taiwan bear, Yancheng Kaohsiung

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