It’s not as bad as Taichung… but Kaohsiung can have some dodgy air quality. Not only is there a lot of locally produced pollution, but during Winter winds often come from china and there’s no shelter from that. The West coast gets the brunt of it, feelsbadman.
As for how severe it gets…I think it depend on what you’re used to in your home country. Here in Taiwan I live in the East, we have very good air quality 99% of the time and especially in Winter I’m not a fan of having to work on the other side of the island, the difference doesn’t go unnoticed.
Kaohsiung is terrible in the winter. But its saving grace is its a coastal city with huge amount of fresh air exchange which blows alot away. So they are lucky that way. But inland it gets worse especially in air catchment areas whete it stagnates. Moutain edges in many parts of chayi/tainan/kaohsiung/pingtung (ok, actually miaoli down) tend to catch the pollution and its amazingly bad. Somethinf many times the web apps dont catch as it changes from valley to valley and spot to spot. Sometimes the skin on your face burns.
Little wind and very little rain. Its a disgusting place. We left after a very long time in the region, its incredibly hard on your health.
Its something of a hot spot on the air pollution monitoring website (which is really where to check for current conditions), probably because there are some large petro-chmical plants and a coal-fired power station a bit up the coast.
Kaohgsiung is all chemical, metal and just basically heavy industry. I left there due to health problems. Last week we were driving down freeway #1 and got stuck in moon festival traffic. North kaohsiung somewhere between kaohsiung scie ce park and tainan science park. Fealt very sick and threw up twice out the window of the truck. Not the first time. The place is rank. If you are looking for a fun time without health issues, might want to move. It only gets worse until the plum rains (which often dont happen now). This ear you are lucky due to high rainfall these months. If you think its bad, think about rain and your water…