Looking more like a lake than a pond, Lotus Pond is Kaohsiung’s relaxing getaway inside the city. It is an entirely man-made body of water with over twenty bizarre looking temples surrounding the waters edge. It gets its name from the fact that it is almost always coated with a layer of lotus blossom.
I’d read online that it was possible to walk to the park but upon arriving at the closest subway station and looking at my map I realised that it was ridiculously far to walk.
Fortunately the people in Taiwan are amazing, and when a girl spotted me looking confused she grabbed me and threw me on a bus filled with Chinese tourists who stared at me in silence. The elderly bus driver pressed a large bag of prunes into my hand.
With no better plan, I shrugged and took my seat next to a young girl.
The tour that I found myself on was a hop-on hop-off tour which is definitely the best way to see the temples as the “pond” is SO large and would take hours to walk all the way round if you’re as unfit as I am.
I would suggest taking the bus to the south west side of the lake where the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas are and then spend the rest of the day walking along the western side of the lake, as this is where the most unusual temples are located.
The Dragon and Tiger pagodas were some of the wildest temples I’ve ever seen.
As you approach the temple there are threatening signs ordering you to enter through the dragon’s mouth first, and exit through the lion as this supposedly symbolises turning your bad luck into good. Inside the body of the dragon there are garish paintings depicting scenes of heaven and hell to encourage visitors to perform good deeds.
Roughly 500 metres north of the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas the Spring and Autumn pavilions are located, which also feature a dragon’s mouth that you could walk through.
In front of the pavilions is a statue of the Goddess of Mercy riding a dragon.
In between the Spring and Autumn pavilions is the Wuli pavilion, which was unfortunately under construction while I was there.
The final stop on my tour around the lake was the Beiji Xuantian Shang Di Pavilion, which has a huge painted statue of the Emperor of the Dark Heaven.
Lotus Pond was one of the most unique experiences during my time in Taiwan. I’d never seen anything like it before and it has made every other temple visit ever since seem boring in comparison.
What’s the strangest temple you’ve ever seen? Have you ever seen something crazy that was so completely out of place from your surroundings?
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