Dr. Chun
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

June, 2014

 

Some of my best friends are from Taiwan, but I've never been there until June, 2014.  I found Taiwan is an island country with so many beautiful places and friendly people.



     
     
013From the airport, I directly headed to Zuoying station, and then walked to Lotus Pond in the hot sunny afternoon. So many scooters and mopeds on the streets! 023Lotus Pond is Kaohsiung’s relaxing getaway inside the city. It is an entirely man-made body of water with many bizarre looking temples and pagodas surrounding the waters edge.
 
033At Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, you should enter through the dragon’s mouth first, and then exit through the lion as this supposedly symbolizes turning your bad luck into good. 043Once I was inside the dragon’s belly, I stopped to have a look at some of the garish paintings, which depict scenes from heaven and hell. These paintings are meant to encourage visitors to do good deeds. I also enjoyed a nice view from the top of the Pagoda.
 
053There are so many temples and pagodas around the lake. Although this area is a beautiful place to visit by day, I think it’s equally fascinating by night as the colored lights from the temples make for an other-worldly experience. 063The next stop around the lake was Beiji Xuantian Shang Di Pavilion, which has a huge painted statue of the Emperor of the Dark Heaven.
 
073The final stop on my tour around the lake was a temple with a huge Buddha statue on the roof.
083I checked into a hotel near Kaohsiung Main station and took a rest for an hour.  In the late afternoon, I headed for Qijin Island by ferry.
 
093Qijin Old Street is lined with restaurants selling fresh and budget-friendly seafood alfresco style.

103Do you believe this is a subway station?  Dome of Light at Formosa Boulevard Station is the world's largest public art installation made from individual pieces of colored glass.

 
113Liuhe Night Market is one of the most popular markets in Taiwan where seafood, handicrafts, clothing, knives, cameras, and live animals are sold.

123Next morning, I walked to a bus station and took a local bus to Fo Guang Shan temple and monastery.
 
133The temple was just calm and peaceful. 143The highlight of the monastery is the main temple at the top. It's a huge hall with three giants Buddha statues and walls lined with little Buddhas lit with candles.
 
153Plenty to see and explore, with many great photo opportunities.

163Very peaceful to walk around the monastery. Some lovely gardens with many small sculptures.
 
173The very large Buddha can be seen from many miles away and once up close during the visit, the size can really be appreciated.

183Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center is huge, spanning many football fields leading to the center with a giant Buddha.
 
193The towering Buddha that overlooks the complex is amazing. There is a lot of walking to see the entire complex but you become so engrossed with all the sculpture, towers, gardens, that you just seem to wander forever. 203The exhibits inside the museum are very educational, and all absolutely free.
 
213On the way to the airport, I decided to kill time at Central Park in Kaohsiung. Central Park is an oasis of greenery in the midst of a heavily built-up urban area. 223Ready to leave Kaohsiung International Airport.  (Inside the airplane? No! In front of a picture.)
 
     
 
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