Red Brick Daily

Back in about 1650, the area around what today is Zuoying’s man-made Lotus “Pond” or Lake was called “Old Fengshan” and was the site of a major military fortress. (some of which still stands today)

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A walled town a little closer to the coast was called “Zuoying” — it got its walls in 1721, some 40 years after Taiwan had been ‘officially’ annexed by China’s Qing Dynasty.The moat and the walls of Zuoying800px-dragon_and_tiger_pagodas_03

When the Japanese occupiers arrived in 1895, they pretty much kept things as they were in Zuoying, using the town and harbor as a navy base.

When the KMT replaced the Japanese, they turned the Japanese name “Sa-ei” back into its Chinese pronunciation of Zuoying, but also decided it would make a good navy base — and indeed, the largest R.O.C. Navy Yard and Navy Airfield are in Zuoying.

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As the military downsized and returned tracks of land to the government and the public, the district took off.

Today, Kaohsiung’s Zuoying District (左營區) is home to just under 200,000 Kaohsiungers … and has been transformed into a new “downtown” for the city … with all the modern trimmings. 

The High-Speed Rail Station is located here, an area that’s seen a boom in “upper-priced” housing construction.  

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In short, if you were in KHH any time before 1990, you probably wouldn’t have wanted to live in Zuoying … now, if you want to be near “the pulse” of the city — it’s pretty much the place to be.  

Things to do and see in Zuoying include: Lotus Lake, Confucius Temple (the largest Confucius temple on the island), the ruins of the Old Fengshan walls, RuiFeng Night Market, a Wetland Park, and the Chi Ming Palace (also from way back in the day).

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Just 19 square kilometer in all — and a good chunk of that taken up by inaccessible military bases — many parts of Zuoying are emerging as strong contenders for what all of Kaohsiung might one day look like.

Fan of Zuoying? Anything you hate about it?

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(Photos via Wikimedia Commons / Synapticism)

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