Taiwan Sugar Museum
The first modern mechanical sugar factory in Taiwan had operated from 1902 to 1999. Established for almost one hundred years, the factory illustrated Kaohsiung’s history, describing how the city gradually shifted its focus from exporting agricultural products to developing heavy industry. Now the huge factories do not operate anymore. However, after the sugar plant was listed as historical site, part of it has been remodeled as Taiwan Sugar Museum, while the other part has become an area for art creation and a recreation area selling the most popular Taiwan Sugar Corporation ice products.
In the art creation area stands an old-fashioned dormitory that formerly belonged to the sugar factory. In the old building, there are quite a few restaurants and shops, selling childhood toys, coffees, pork buns, and even kiln roasted pizzas. Inside the building, you see paintings and sculptures created by artists. Furthermore, between the Japanese-style houses stand some giant trees providing shades; on the grassy meadow, you find entrances to many bomb shelters. In wartime, sugar factories were particularly easy to become targets of bombing attacks since sugar is an essential daily necessity, so the Japanese dug many shelters to prepare for the war during the colonial era. In the center of the park, you will notice an unusual black statue of Guanyin. Rumor has it that when the plant was built, people found tombs in the underground, so the business owner respectfully moved the god statue from Japan to suppress the gloomy feeling. Nowadays, the god statue has many wooden tablets hanging beside it, on which visitors write their expectations and aspirations for the future.
At the other end of the park stands Taiwan Sugar Museum. At the entrance, you can see a number of old trains, which were used to carry sugar cane to the factory. Nowadays, children are particularly fond of playing here. Walking inside the factory, you will see all kinds of large machines, whose functions range from cutting, pressing, heating, cleaning and precipitating, multiple distillations, and the final collection of crystals. Following the directions in the factory, you see the unused yet authentic processing procedures, with movie-like scenes appearing in front of your eyes.