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Taiwan: Alishan National Park, Kaohsiung, Sun Moon Lake, Tainan, Taipei, Taitung, Taroko National Park, Yehliu Geo Park
Kaohsiung, Taiwan: Bustling with action
by Prakash Bang, Editor in Chief
Kaohsiung is a massive port city in southern Taiwan. It is home to many skyscrapers, such as the 248 metre tall Tuntex Sky Tower, and is known for its diversity of parks. Its focal point is the Love River, with walking paths and cafes along its banks, and cruise boats navigating its waters. Shopping options range from high-end malls to the Liuhe and Ruifeng night markets.
It was a 90-minute drive from Tainan to Kaohsiung. On both side of the road were factories manufacturing variety of products mainly hi-tech stuff. Same was the case whilst driving from Taipei airport to Sun Moon Lake. It was proof enough that Taiwan was indeed the largest producer of hi-tech components.
For our stay that night we were at Greet Inn a 4-star boutique property. It was walking distance from the night market. And that's exactly what we did for the rest of the evening. The market essentially was sea-food lovers’ paradise interspaced by souvenir shops and massage parlours.
The next morning we drove to Gushan pier to take a 7-minute ferry ride to Cijin Island. The plan was to explore the island and the famous Cihou Lighthouse. Sadly, that was not to be because of the heavy downpour. We had no option, but return with a heavy heart.
Just across the Gushan Pier was a shop that was famous for its Seaice - loads of fruit and syrups on a mountain of ice. We surely had to taste that! Whilst there, a group were celebrating a birthday party. An ice mountain, good for 40 servings was being made. We were honoured to be part of the party! The shop's walls welcome you to scribble your thoughts... which we did, in praise of the experience.
One of the most famous attractions of Kaohsiung is the Lotus Pond, located on the east side of Zouying district. The lotus flowers bloom, in abundance, every summer, thus the name “Lotus Pond.” The pond is surrounded by willow trees, in an area of 75 hectares, and is home to many temples and shrines.
The Old Confucius Temple was originally built in 1684. The temple has a circumference of 122 meters. However, during the Japanese colonial period due to lack of maintenance, the only part of the original structure was the Chong Sheng Shrine. The new Confucius Temple was located in northwest corner of Lotus Pond; then, it was relocated and rebuilt in 1977, located in North Shore of Lotus Pond.
Spring and Autumn Pavilions established in 1953, were two Chinese palace-style pavilions. Each of these two is 4-story and octagonal with green tiles and yellow walls. They communicate with each other by 9 bend bridges. There is a Guanyin statue which is riding a dragon in the front.
Dragon and Tiger Pagodas have 7-story each and stand up on the lake. The pagodas have their own dragon and tiger statues. By entering through the dragon’s mouth and coming out from the tiger’s mouth, is auspicious and believed to take away all sins.
Pei Chi Pavilion (Tao Temple) honors the Taoist deity Xuan Wu. It belongs to Zuoying Yuan Di Temple and Feng Gu Palace. It claims to have the highest water statues in Southeast Asia. According to legend, Xuan Wu spoke through mediums to order the building of this pavilion. The pavilion itself is 72 meters tall and made from grout and the Seven-Star sword in the God's hand has a length of 38.5 meters.
Just opposite to the twin pagodas is the Cijin Temple. It worships Baosheng Dadi. During Chungyuan Festival, every household hangs radish on door for memorial service. The temple was built in 1719 at Feng Shan, moved to Zuoying and renovated in 1960. It worships Baosheng Dadi, Black Tiger Marshal and other Gods. The weak and the sick make it a point to visit this temple to get cured of their illness.
It was now time to drive to our next destination – Taitung. With a brief stop at FoGuang Shan Buddha Museum.
Kaohsiung Image Gallery Photo viewer
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