News & Events

Little Rock Sister Cities Commission Foundation Hosting Spring Event

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

On April 24th, the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission Foundation will be holding a Send-Off Fundraising Reception for the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Program (YLP).

The reception is a drop by event from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the home of Gaylia and Gene Fortson.

Tickets are $50 per person, and other sponsorship levels are available!

Please see the Spring Event Flyer for more information.

YLP-Flyer-2014-1 (dragged) YLP-Flyer-2014-2 (dragged)

CNN Travel: 10 reasons to love Kaohsiung

Posted by on Jan 27, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

By Hiufu Wong 14 January, 2014

For too long, Kaohsiung has been known to the world as Taiwan‘s largest port city — it’s time to give attention-craving Kaohsiung the love it deserves.

Taiwan’s biggest night market, sexiest restaurant and coolest metro station — these are just some of the superlatives to heap upon Kaohsiung.

As lifelong Kaohsiunger and radio DJ Hugo Wu tells CNN: “The weather is almost always good, the pace of life is slow and the city is free. Who would want to leave Kaohsiung?”

Biggest night market in Southeast Asia

Biggest night market

Always colorful, always up late.
Kaisyuan or Jin-Zuan?

It’s been the hottest debate in Kaohsiung since last summer.

The rivalry between Kaisyuan and Jin-Zuan — two adjacent night markets — began from the week they opened, only three days apart.

Both claim to be the biggest market in Southeast Asia.

Each has hundreds of night market stalls.

Kaisyuan boasts a 30,000-square-meter space with 300 stalls.

Jin-Zuan stretches 23,000 square meters but is packed with 500 stalls.

Jin-Zuan wins over fans with delicious beer shrimp, handmade, pan-fried noodles and luxury, lounge-like toilet facilities.

Kaisyuan wows night market goers with a mini Phra Phrom (four-faced Buddha) and Bin Bin lemon juice hand-squeezed by muscular vendors.

Both are gigantic — walking through either takes at least an hour.

Jin-Zuan is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 5 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Kaisyuan is open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 5 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Both are located on Kaisyuan 4th Road.

MORE: 40 Taiwanese foods we can’t live without

Fresh gourmet food

Food in Taiwan

At Old New Restaurant, the three fixed-price menus change daily.
Gangshan District’s lamb hotpot, Moon World’s free-range chicken and Shin-Da Harbor and Cijin Island’s seafood — these are just the beginning of a long list of local Kaohsiung foods.

Locals love Meinong for authentic Hakka cuisine, such as sticky rice with pork wrapped in leaves.

Meixing Street (Meinong District’s main food street) is dotted with Hakka noodle shops called Ban tiao.

Old New Restaurant serves the best taro sago sweet soup from the Jiasian District. The restaurant changes its menu daily using local specialties such as cuttlefish rice vermicelli, oyster soup and sashimi.

Taro and pork dumplings, aboriginal sausage and rice wine are aboriginal dishes made by various tribes in Kaohsiung.

Religious park where visitors exit from a tiger’s mouth

Lotus Pond

Enter the dragon’s mouth for good fortune, exit from the tiger’s mouth to banish bad luck.



After the dozens temples you may have visited in Asia, you may not be excited about another Buddhist/Taoist destination.

But Lotus Pond is a real attraction.

Officially opened in 1951 (some temples in the park are more than two centuries old), the Lotus Pond consists a man-made lake with more than a dozens temples, pavilions and pagodas.

The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are two seven-story pagodas guarded by crouching tiger and dragon statues.

Visitors enter through the dragon’s mouth into a tunnel (inside the dragon’s body) with walls embellished with carvings. Visitors exit via the mouth of the tiger for good luck.

Restaurant that offers sex education

Taiwan sex-themed restaurant

You might blush when ordering the chocolate pudding.


Diners flock to Funny Sex Restaurant to giggle rather than to eat.

Living up to its name, Funny Sex Restaurant is a humorous and erotic place to hang out — the chocolate pudding comes in the shape of a penis.

“Our founder spent a long time collecting the erotic objects in the restaurant,” says manager Chen Yu-qi. “It’s not easy to choose, as they have to be decorative and not repulsive.”

Apart from dozens of sexualized miniature figures, the most embarrassing decorations include a custom-ordered two-meter-long wooden penis shrine and soap dispenser shaped like a pair of breasts.

There’s also a blow up doll hanging about.

“We’ll let her (the sex doll) join a table to lighten the atmosphere while customers are waiting for food,” says Chen.

“A lot of our guests have heard of these sex toys, but they’ve never really touched them. It’s a good and fun learning experience for them.”

Informative posters list average breast and penis sizes for different nationalities.

Funny Sex Restaurant, 2/F, 446 Zhongshan Road, Lingya District, Kaohsiung; +886 7 333 6598; open Monday to Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday and public holidays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

READ: 10 things Taiwan does better than anywhere else

Taiwan’s prettiest metro station

Beautiful metro station formosa boulevard

Serene as an Italian cathedral. When not filled with commuters.
The Formosa Boulevard Station in Kaohsiung is the most beautiful metro station in Taiwan, if not the world.

The three-story station was designed by Japanese architect Takamatsu Shin. The above-ground glass entrance is designed to resemble a pair of hands clasped in prayer.

But the real treasure is underground — the 2,180-square-meter Dome of Light, a glass mural built into the ceiling of the station.

The colorful ceiling was created by American-Italian artist Narcissus Quagliata.

It’s the largest such glass installation in the world.

Quagliata also built the Dome of Light for Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs.

Enormous art

Pier 2 Art Center

Non-KingKong Group at Pier-2 Art Center.


Public artwork — usually enormous — is everywhere to be seen at Pier-2, formerly a warehouse complex located near the harbor.

Labor and Fisherwoman are the cartoon-like statues found throughout the park, each with a different outfit created by various artists.

Heartbeats Light is a pillar with a light display synced with human heartbeats.

Non-KingKong Group features a troop of 16 steel giants standing in front of the harbor.

On a spacious lawn in front of the warehouses are more over-sized artworks, including two eerie lizards crouching on a train.

“Founded and funded by the government’s Bureau of Cultural Affairs, Pier-2 is unique in that it doesn’t have to be commercialized to survive,” says Sunny Jein, head of Pier-2 operation center.

Pier-2 Art Center, 1 Dayong Road, Yancheng District, Kaohsiung; open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

MORE: CNNGo in Kaohsiung: Taiwan’s largest port and coolest art

Indoor attractions at Pier 2

Taiwan cafe

In Our Time has more than 200 types of imported beer.


At Pier 2, warehouses have become art spaces housing different exhibitions.

Others have been turned into stylish coffee shops and theaters.

In Our Time is a gallery/restaurant/live music house/radio station. Diners can oversee the in-house web radio station from the restaurant, which also stocks a large collection of international beers and local teas.

Coastal Bar starred in a popular Taiwanese crime TV drama as a gangster’s lair. The setting remains the same as the TV set, but the better area is an al fresco strip behind the bar by the sea.

The Wall Pier-2 is a roofless concert venue.

Bandon Grocery Store is an adorable zakka store where travelers can make their own notebooks.

Moon World and other day trips

Taiwan natural scenery

Moon World is known for its lack of trees.


The northern side of Kaohsiung is known for Tianliao, a stretch of heavily eroded hillside.

The rugged, treeless mountains add a surreal accent to the area around Kaohsiung.

Lan Yue Lou (Embrace the Moon Pavilion) is an attraction in the middle of the mountains.

Meinong attracts visitors with colorful flower beds (in January) and Hakka cuisine.

Cishan Island is known for well preserved old streets. Travelers here can rent a bicycle and tour the island, which is famed for fresh seafood, three-century old Mazu Temple and a warm beach.

Moon World, Yueqiu Road, Chongde Village, Tianliao District, Kaohsiung

Superhero lottery shop

superhero lottery

Hugu Wu and his Ironman figure.


A year ago, superhero lover and lottery shop owner Tong Young-wu was looking to buy an Ironman figure, only to be startled by the price.

“It was TWD180,000 (about $6,000) so I thought I could just build one myself,” says Tong.

“It’s a long process. You’ve got to find a mannequin that resembles a superhero’s face before styling its hair and putting on makeup.

“I spent a lot of time thinking about different materials. For example, the armor shoulder pads are actually made from a cut-open piggy bank and Cat Woman’s outfit is actually taken from my girlfriend’s wardrobe.”

Tong’s superhero family currently has eight members, excluding the two tall robots at the door.

After the installation of the superhero figures, the lottery shop’s business increased 30%.

Travelers are welcome to stop by and take pictures with the figures.

Taiwan Lottery, 52 Binhai 1st Road, Gushan District, Kaohsiung

MORE: Giant duck conquers Taiwan

Inflatable Rubber Duck

Rubber Duck Taiwan

Sole survivor.


Kaohsiung wasn’t only the first stop for Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s inflatable Rubber Duck in Taiwan. The Kaohsiung duck is the only one that survived the entire exhibition. Taoyuan’s Rubber Duck deflated after an earthquake; Keelung’s Rubber Duck burst on New Year’s Eve.

Hofman was persuaded to bring his Rubber Duck to Kaohsiung thanks to the city’s tremendous enthusiasm for the unusual display.

During the month the Rubber Duck was docked in Kaohsiung, it brought 3.9 million visitors to the venue.

Thanks to its success, the city has announced that the Rubber Duck will return in 2014.



Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Seal of Little Rock City of Little Rock Public Relations
Office (501) 371-4421

Media Releases

Contact(s):Megha Swamy | Sister Cities International

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Little Rock and Changchun have won Sister Cities International’s 2014 U.S.-China Sister Cities Award in the “Community Involvement” category. The U.S.-China Sister Cities Awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding U.S.-China sister city programs and their contribution in building strong people-to-people ties between the two countries.


Little Rock and Changchun are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their sister city partnership in 2014. Over the years, the two cities have conducted a range of citizen exchanges and programs in the fields of economy and trade, culture, education, and sports. Sister Cities International President and CEO, Mary D. Kane says, “Little Rock and Changchun’s partnership showcases how sub-national partnerships have brought the two countries closer.”

“The City of Little Rock is so honored to have developed such a well-established Sister City relationship with our friends in Changchun, China,” said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. “This award is a testament to our two communities. While we may come from different cultures, we are united through a shared commitment of service and a love for both our cities and our citizens.”

The U.S.-China Sister Cities Awards are awarded in several categories including Best Overall, Longest Relationship, Community Involvement, Youth, Arts & Culture, Economic Development & Trade, Most Innovative, and Outstanding Individuals. Award winners will be honored at a special Awards Ceremony on March 27 during the 2014 U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference, in Washington, D.C.

The Conference, jointly hosted by Sister Cities International and the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, will bring together hundreds of business leaders, government officials, and citizen diplomats from the U.S. and China. The Honorary Host Committee for this Conference includes General Colin L. Powell, as well as several Governors, Members of Congress, and Mayors from around the country. Conference sessions will provide exciting opportunities for U.S. and Chinese cities to learn about strengthening exchanges and business engagement through informative sessions from industry leaders. For more information on the 2014 U.S.-China Sister Cities Conference, please visit:


About Sister Cities International



Founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, Sister Cities International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan serving as the national membership organization for individual sister cities, counties, and states across the United States. This network unites tens of thousands of citizen diplomats of citizen diplomats from 500 U.S. communities with partnerships in nearly 2,000 cities in 140 countries around the globe.


Sister Cities International advances peace and prosperity through cultural, educational, humanitarian, and economic development exchanges. It serves as a hub for institutional knowledge and best practices in the field of citizen diplomacy.





Dragon Boat Exhibition – Limited Spots Available

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

DragonBoatEx-2013-2Dragon Boat Exhibition Race Celebrates 30th Year of Sister City Partnership With Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Limited Number of Spots Available for Teams to Participate on Authentic Dragon Boats

LITTLE ROCK, AR. The colorful origins of dragon-boat racing date back 2,300 years, and that rich history will provide the setting as the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission marks its 30-year partnership with Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in a benefit race being held on the Arkansas River.

The exhibition race will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Little Rock Yacht Club, which is located at 3 Yacht Club Drive off of Pinnacle Valley Road. Team practices will be held from noon to 1 p.m. with races following from 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Prizes will be awarded to winning teams from each of the races and to the team that shows the most flare in its team attire.

Dragon boat racing is a fun and unique cultural event featuring adrenaline-pumping action. Teams will race in authentic 46-foot vessels with decorative dragonheads and tails, and each team will have 20 paddlers, a drummer, and someone to navigate the racecourse at speeds of 10 to 15 miles per hour.

In addition to team entries, sponsorships with VIP access are also available. All proceeds benefit the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission Foundation.

The event is open to the public, and spectators can get an up-close look at the dragon boats at the conclusion of the race.

Spectators can park for free at the yacht club and view the races from Maumelle Park. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and coolers and chairs will be allowed in the viewing area.

To enter a dragon-boat team or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, call 501-940-5801 or email

Watch Party

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Soccer Watch Party flyerTraditional English Breakfast and Drinks at Hibernia Irish Tavern

Newcastle Officials to Also Make Presentations at High Schools and Explore Future Cultural Exchanges While in Little Rock

LITTLE ROCK, AR. The storied rivalry between English Premier League soccer clubs Newcastle United and Sunderland is one of the most intense feuds in sports dating all the way back to 1883 –– and soccer fans are invited to experience that passion with some visiting fans from Newcastle at a special Sunday-morning watch party hosted by the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission.

Soccer fans in central Arkansas can get an authentic taste of the passion this game brings out at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, as the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission welcomes an official delegation from Newcastle and all the enthusiastic soccer fans in the Little Rock area for a rowdy Sunday morning.

The watch party will be held at Hibernia Irish Tavern, located at 9700 N. Rodney Parham Road in the Galleria Shopping Center. Hibernia is opening its doors for this special event at 8 a.m., and the kitchen will be serving up a traditional English breakfast with drink pairings.

The event is free to attend, and 50/50 raffles will help raise funds benefiting the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission Foundation.

Newcastle, a city in northeast England, is designated as a friendship city with Little Rock, and a group from Newcastle that includes the current and former lord mayors will be on hand at Hibernia to cheer on their home team in this important game.

The Sunderland Black Cats feature Jozy Altidore, one of the top players on the U.S. men’s national team that recently qualified for the upcoming World Cup this summer in Brazil.

Newcastle and Sunderland are only 10 miles apart, and if any Sunderland or other rival Premier League fans show up to support their team, the atmosphere at Hibernia could get wild on an otherwise quiet Sunday morning.

The watch party at Hibernia is one of many stops for the Newcastle delegation while it is visiting Little Rock on Oct. 25-31. During the visit, the delegation’s time will focus on high-school education, university athletic exchange, artistic partnerships, and workforce development for at-risk youth.

Other highlighted activities for the Newcastle delegation include:

  • Current and former lord mayors will make presentations on “The Role of the Lord Mayor: British System of Governance” to four area high schools. They will guide students through the structure and style of British politics.
  • Visits with area cultural institutions such as the Rep to explore exhibition or performance exchanges.

For more information, contact Bryan Barnhouse at 870-395-0656 or

Sale of Custom, Hand-Crafted Saddle to Benefit Sister Cities Youth Program

Posted by on Jun 18, 2013 in Uncategorized | Comments Off


Mr. Robert “Jack” Webb generously donated this custom, hand-crafted saddle to the Little Rock Sister Cities Commission. Each of his designs is one-of-a-kind and made from the finest materials (see details below). The estimated value is $5,000 and includes the stand.

At Mr. Webb’s request, proceeds will support the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Program. This is an annual program that immerses a group of exemplary high school students in an array of community and local government services through an intense series of workshops. Their work is capped off by traveling to one of Little Rock’s five sister cities. This year’s class will travel to Kaohsiung, Taiwan for a week as “Youth Ambassadors”.

For more information, please contact Bryan Barnhouse, Chairman, Little Rock Sister Cities Commission at (870) 395-0656 or 

Maker:               Robert “Jack” Webb, founder of LiveStock Saddlery

Saddle Type:   Reiner / Western Pleasure

Size:  16” custom cut Bowden Reiner tree

Full double Riggin dees (Watt’s custom stainless steel, black accent)

Cantle: 13” W x 1” Dish x 4” High

Gullet: 8” x 6 ½”

Full quarter horse bars


Leather:  Richly tanned American steer hides (Hermann Oak Leather)

Real bark tanned wool fleece ¾” thick

Half stirrup leathers with Blevins buckles

Tooled covered wooden bell stirrups

Hand tooled floral pattern: full Sheridan style rose design

Accented with beautifully engraved Montana silver

Inlayed padded seat, covered in exotic Atlantic Sting Ray (black)

Saddle stand with tooled panels included


IMG_0808 IMG_0809

Welcome to our new website

Posted by on May 29, 2012 in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Check here for upcoming events.