Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Taiwan Trip Day 10 - Kaohsiung (高雄) | Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔) | Lotus Pond (蓮池潭) |The Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋御阁)

10 December 2018

How to get to Dragon Tiger Pagodas from Dream Mall

From Dream Mall, we took the light rail from C5 - Dream Mall Station (梦时代) to C3/R6 - Kaisyuan Station (凯旋). Hopped onto the MRT and took the red line to R16 Zuoying/THSR (左营/高铁)

Upon exit, proceed to the bus stop just outside the station and take the public bus - Red #35 which takes you straight to the Lotus Pond (蓮池潭). It is about 8 stops away which takes about 10-15 minutes ride.

The other purpose to make our trip down to the Zuoying THSR is we can purchase our HSR tickets 2 days in advance which will takes us from Kaohsiung to Taipei. Definitely avoiding last minute booking to ensure we have confirm seating.

3:10pm - Arrival at Dragon Tiger Pagoda (龍虎塔) & Lotus Pond (蓮池潭). Located in the Zuoying District in Kaohsiung, Lotus Pond is a man-made lake and a popular tourist destination because there are numerous temples (more than 20!!) and scenic spots surrounding the lake - including the Confucian Temple, Dragon and Tiger Pagodas.

Though it is called a pond, but the size is much larger than its name.

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔)

Spotted another 喔熊 OhBear welcoming us in Kaohsiung. 

The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas were built in 1976 at the southern end of Lotus Pond. There are signboard to indicate that visitors enter via the Dragon's throat and exit from the tiger's mouth to get rid of your bad luck and increase your good fortune.

Entering from Dragon's Throat

Within the body of the pagodas are paintings and cravings. In the Dragon pagoda, illustrations of filial piety are painted; while the Tiger pagoda has illustrations of the twelve Magi and the Jade Emperor's thirty palaces.

The twin pagodas are 7th storey high representing seven-leveled stupa of Buddhism. The towers have double spiral staircase that runs along the red pillar, for ascending and descending visitors.

The view from the top is gorgeous! You can overlook the entire pond and check out the various temples surrounding it. Definitely worth the climb.

If we got tired, we can always sit by and rest while enjoying the scenic view.

Beautiful sculptures on the orange and yellow pagodas.

Visitors can be lead to the pagodas via the 9-angle bridge (九曲橋).

Lots of lotus flowers in the pond. Am sure it will be a prettier sight if they blossom.

Exit from Tiger's mouth.

Cihji Temple (慈濟宮) which worships 保生大帝, ordered the building of Dragon and Tiger Pagodas

After spending a fair bit of time at the pagodas, we made our move along the pond. 

Chi Ming Palace (啟明堂) - a majestic temple by the Lotus Pond which worships Confucius and Guan Gong

The Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋御阁) are another interesting landmarks at the Lotus Pond. Built in 1953, the pavilions are called Spring & Autumn to commemorate the God of War - Guan Gong. The octagon shaped pavilions are 4 storeys high and are connected by a bridge. In the center, you will see the statue of Guanyin, Goddess of Mercy, riding on a dragon in front of the pavilions.

Check out the half moon pond where there are many tortoises resting within.

We entered the Dragon's throat again (for good luck) to check out whats within the body. As expected, there are more carvings of the Buddha and verses of the Sutra.

Beyond the pavilions is a bridge that connects to another pavilion further into the pond - Five Mile Pavilion (五里亭)

It is said this is good spot to admire the lotus flowers during summer time and I believe a great spot for sunset view too! 

Walked a couple of meters ahead and we spotted 北極玄天上帝. There are four gods (風、調、雨、順) that guard in front of the heavenly gate, examining the good and evil of the mortal.

Posing on the wide arch bridge that leads to Xuantian God (玄天上帝). Standing on both sides of the arch bridge are carvings of the 18 military officials.

The majestic statue of Xuan Tian God which holds the seven-star sword, stands at 72 feet high. It is said to be the tallest statue on waters in Southeast Asia.

Jump shot

We head towards the pavilions at the side of Xuan Tian God and found greater beauty beyond.

There are wishing trees beside the statue

I love this spot the most as the place feels so serene and peaceful.

Lotus Pond is well known for its sun-set view against the mountain backdrop. From here you can also spot Five Mile Pavilion and Dragon & Tiger Pagodas.

It was 4 plus in the afternoon and the sun is setting.

Unfortunately, we could not stay longer for the full sunset due to dinner plans.

We spent about 1.5 hours and did not have time to make a round trip walk around the Lotus Pond and missed the Confucius Temple (高雄孔子庙). There are actually more temples, play areas and good food surrounding the pond and it is worthwhile to allocate more time here if you plan to make a trip down. Alternatively, you may consider taking on a cycling ride round the pond.

Lotus Pond (蓮池潭)
Address: No.9, Liantan Rd., Zuoying Dist., Kaohsiung City 813, Taiwan (R.O.C.)

Part 4 of Day 10 on our next post.

More photos at BPDGTravels Facebook Page
Check out our 2 Weeks Taiwan Itinerary Family Trip here

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