FYI SOUTH Magazine, February 2006

Rickshaw Around CiJin Island

CiJin Island, Kaohsiung City
(07) 571-5620
Hours:Available everyday from 6 am-10 pm (Depending on weather.)

-- By John Matthews Translated by Annie Liu

CiJin Island, mere minutes by ferry across the Kaohsiung harbour, is the place if you're looking for great scenery and an ocean breeze. This tiny island is full of activities from swimming to walking, eating some of the freshest seafood in the city and even taking a ride on a three-wheeled passenger bicycle. Also known as a rickshaw, this casual Pedi cab service has been operating on CiJin for more than half a century. The rickshaws here are hard to miss from where they park and wait nearby on a corner for visitors to disembark from the ferry and exit the terminal.

These peddle-powered sightseeing passenger bicycles have been taking the same route around the village for years. From in front of the terminal on Miao Cian Road, the circular route begins by taking you through throngs of weekend tourists and market stalls as it passes the Tian Hou Temple, the beach and the Sea Park. Meandering at a comfortable pace along the waterfront on CiJin Road, the friendly drivers (in their own language) are happy to share with you the local history of the place, its people and its buildings.

The rickshaws are available everyday, but you wouldn't want to be a passenger in one when it is raining. A typical ride takes approximately 20 minutes and costs NT$200. A one hour ride costs NT$400. Depending on your driver, you can take a custom-made ride to suit yourself. Simply make a request. Many of the drivers now carry name cards and have been known to take part in larger group events such as weddings, anniversaries and funerals. So, grab your camera and your dearest friend or closest family member and head out to CiJin Island for an environmentally friendly ride around this bustling fishing and sightseeing community.