Originally settled by Taiwanese Plains Aborigines, Pingtung City developed on the site of a Chinese market town known as A-kau. It’s home to a historic educational academy that details the city’s storied past under Chinese and Japanese rule, as well as a modern performing arts centre featuring a world “first” in organs.
Things to do in Pingtung City
Browse the artwork on display at the Pingtung Art Museum, which occupies a former city hall building that dates back to the 1950s. In addition to a large collection of paintings and sculptures by Taiwanese artists, the museum also boasts a small international collection, temple artefacts and works depicting traditional folklore.
An architectural highlight of the city is the Pingtung Performing Arts Center, which is designed in a contemporary Southern Taiwan style. It features a 1,050-seat music hall, a multi-purpose experimental theatre and an open-air plaza where art and cultural events are held. The centre’s 2,793-pipe organ was made by the German-based Alexander Schuke Potsdam Orgelbau and is the world’s first organ to feature horizontal bamboo pieces.
For something more traditional, visit the Pingtung Tutorial Academy, which was constructed in 1815 during Taiwan’s Qing Dynasty rule and was later transformed into a Confucius Temple. Learn about its role in reviving local scholastic traditions as you wander between its dormitories and lecture hall, as well as the efforts by locals to preserve it during Taiwan’s years under Japanese rule.
Getting around Pingtung City
Pingtung City is a 30-minute drive from the centre of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Asia. Regular trains connect to Pingtung railway station and buses travel throughout the city. Taxis are readily available for getting around.