One of Kaohsiung’s lesser-known and unique sites, these old lime kilns sit on the edge of Shoushan 壽山, known in Kaohsiung as Monkey Mountain.
I first found out about these kilns 5 years ago or so. Even though there are only three and just off Gushan Road 鼓山路, they do give off a kind of lost world, Indiana Jones feel.
The kilns were built in 1917 buy the Asano Cement Co. LTD, 淺野水泥株式會社 the predecessor to the Taiwan Cement Company 台灣水泥高雄廠 . There were originally 7 kilns, but as you can see only three remain.
Because of the poor quality of the bricks, they were only operational for 4 years. Three of the kilns were destroyed during World War 2. One of them collapsed sometime after the war. Three still remain.
The kilns are around 12 meters high and 6 meters wide.
The bottom of the middle kiln is filled in but the two on the sides go down pretty deep, so be careful. And watch your phone when you’re trying to get a picture of the inside!
To find the kilns go to Yuanheng Temple 元亨寺 and go to the far end of the temple and walk through this gate.
Walk for a minute or so and then walk through this gate. Just follow the Cement Materials Inlet sign.
Then walk for around 5 to 7 mins and look for this fork in the path and take the path on the right. The kilns are right in there.
Also in the area, there is an old bug-filled bunker. There isn’t much to see inside but it’s still something to check out if you’re in the area. It’s pretty big and goes into the side of the mountain a bit, so you’ll need a headlamp.
To get to the bunker just walk past the kilns for about another 5 or 7 minutes. It is on the left hand side.
Also in that area are a lot of leftover cement factory things dotting the mountainside. If you have time and want to make a nice morning or afternoon of it, there’s lots to see.
Also close to the kilns just off of Gushan Road 鼓山路 is a 100-year-old brick warehouse 紅磚紙袋倉庫. For the longest time it was just left there rotting away on the side of the road but the last couple of years there has been a group that got together in order to save it along with the kilns.
There’s not much inside of it anymore, but it is a beautiful old building and very much should be saved. Work, in order to support and help save the building started in late 2018.
Sorry, this blog post kind of got long but all these places are pretty interesting and very close to each other, so I wanted to just include them all together. So if you want an easy but interesting walk/hike around this side of Monkey Mountain 壽山, check them out and say hi!