Lotus Pond Kaohsiung Travel Guide: Taiwan's Must See Destination
January 6, 2020
If you’re traveling Taiwan, Kaohsiung City (now, Taiwan’s third most populated) is a must see. Along with Pier 2 Art Area, and the Dome of light, visiting Lotus Pond Kaohsiung is a great way to spend the day. In the middle of a city life in Kaohsiung, Lotus Pond is a family friendly destination that offers some of the unique beauty only found here in Taiwan.
Lotus Pond is a perfect destination for a long day trip or a quick exploration in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Located in Zuoying District 5 km from city center, it is easily accessible to backpackers and travelers alike via bus, train, or scooter. There are two buses on the red line 51 and 35, which are located outside the MRT/High Speed Rail Zuoying Station that will take you very close to Lotus Pond. You can also walk from Zuoying Train Station after a short(ish) stroll and a delightful bridge crossing. We suggest this way if you are traveling and have some time. You can gain a great view of the city from the bridge and will get to see some of the life outside of the tourist sights along the way.
From the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda to Pei Chi Pavilion to the endless market stands and temples scattered around Lotus Pond, you will not run out of things to do and see here. Trust us.
Top 5 Things to Know Before You Go
- Wear a good pair of shoes.
- Definitely walk around the pond. This will bring you away from the more touristy areas. But, make sure you bring a good pair of shoes because it is a few Km around.
- Go into the temples, but be respectful.
- The temples are beautiful. The locals take a lot of time caring for these special religious spaces, so clean up your trash, don’t talk loud, and (even in the subtropical heat) cover your shoulders before entering.
- The best time to go is between Summer and Fall (Aug-Oct).
- Yes, you are in Kaohsiung and it will still be quite warm during this time. But, water sports! There are many water-related activities you can join in on such as dragon boat races, waterboarding, or the pond jump trampoline. You can also enjoy a bubble milk tea and cool off with a shaved mango ice. Yumm.
- Go early to buy some cheap and unique fruit.
- The morning market opens around 7 AM. Stands line the streets with fresh and special asian fruits such as starfruit and durian. A cheap and healthy choice to start your day and a great way to connect with some local people. But, even if you miss the morning market, there are stands open during the day and also convenience stores (Taiwan has the most in the world per capita!) around every corner.
- Slow down.
- There is much to see at Lotus Pond. But, slow down. Remember, it isn’t about how many stamps you get in your passport, but rather the quality of experiences in your explorations.
Dragon and Tiger Pagoda
This is the most iconic spot around Lotus Pond. On the southern edge of there are the red-and-yellow seven-story Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, completed in 1976 placed right in front of the temple Cihji Palace constructed in the 17th century. They’re connected to a temple by a zig-zaged bridge. Both dragon and tiger figures of these pagodas are two of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. Many people believe that the dragon symbolizes power and strength, people who are born in the year are believed to be smarter and more blessed than others, and on the other hand, tiger symbolizes righteousness, prowess, and harmony in Chinese culture. Be sure to enter through the dragon’s mouth and exit through the tiger’s jaws. Otherwise, bad luck may come upon your future.
Inside both of the dragon and tiger, there are stories on both sides of the walls about heaven and hell to remind visitors to do good deeds during the life on earth. Once you are in the pagodas, you are embraced with epic detail of Chinese ancient architecture such as red color window frames, doors, pillars with spiral stairs all the way to seven floors, and ancient figure paintings on the top of windows. The Chinese culture aesthetics can be seen through every detail of the design in every corner of the building. The views from the top of both pagodas are stunning too with a bird-eye view of the lake.
Pei Chi Pavillion
Built to honor the Taoist deity Xuan Wu, the God-emperor of the North Pole, this statue is 72 meters tall and is one of the largest statues in the world, on water. Really. It is. See it at Lotus Pond Kaohsiung.
The pavilion at Lotus Pond belongs to the Zuoying Yuan Di Temple and the Feng Gu Palace. Construction began in 1991 and was completed in 1995. From the seats of the pavilion, you can enjoy an impressive panoramic view of the temples and pond.
According to legend, Xuan Wu, a Taoist God also known as the “Dark Warrior” or “Mysterious Warrior,” spoke through mediums to order the building of this pavilion. Xuan Wu is of the higher-ranking deities of Taoism and is referred to as a very powerful god, able to control the elements and capable of great magic. Walk up the staircase past the karaoke stage, past the small statued gods and get a closer look at the size of this figure. Lotus Pond, Kaohsiung is full of small treasures like this.
Johan and I watched a man enter the temple, light an incense stick and say a prayer. Upon leaving he entered a 10NT coin into one of the machines out front. Take a look at what happens.
Out came a little fortune.
Everything at Lotus Pond is man-made. The temples, the walkways, the lake. Living creatures seem to be drawn here, though. There are roosters by the lake, there are people wide-eyed gazing, and lotus flowers bursting from the depth of the water. In a city landscape, there is nothing like it around. Nature, even constructed, can bring living things closer together. Man goes to great lengths to create spaces to worship, to feel connected to something other. Lotus Pond is proof that we often build our own gardens for a chance to witness something otherworldly.
If you have the time after visiting Xuan Wu and Dragon and Tiger Pagoda, there are still many things to do in and around the Lotus Pond, Kaohsiung. From water sports to markets, to the unique wildlife (including some lakeside roosters), take a few hours, a day, or a weekend and experience something special.