Exploring the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas at Lotus Pond, Kaohsiung

Taiwan, Travel

June 12, 2019

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Lotus Pond is a manmade lake in the Zuoying District. The name comes from the fact that the surface of the lake is often completely covered with lotus flowers. Though sadly this wasn’t the case when we visited.

On the southern edge of Lotus Pond are the famous Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. If you’ve seen a picture of Kaohsiung on your Instagram feed lately, odds are it was probably here.

But you don’t have to just trek down here for a quick photo. What a lot of these pictures don’t show you is that there are actually several more impressive temples, pagodas, and shrines surrounding Lotus Pond. In fact, the shrines and structures at Lotus Pond remain some of the most unique we’ve ever seen throughout our travels.

How to get to Lotus Pond

Because Taxis and Uber are quite cheap, we used Uber to get to Lotus Pond.

If you want to take public transportation, it’s pretty easy to get there. Take the MRT or High-Speed Rail to Zuoying station. Right outside the station, you can hop on the Red Line #35 bus and it will take you right to Lotus Pond for NT12 (.40 USD).

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas

The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas and are the main draw here, and for good reason. Owned by the Cijhe Palace across the street, these red and yellow pagodas are bold and unique. Plus, depending on who you ask, they just might have the power to turn your luck around. 

To get to the temples, you have to first walk down a zig-zag path. This is because of the belief that evil spirits can only travel in a straight line.

In front of the temples, signs written in Chinese instruct (or warn) visitors to enter through the Dragon’s mouth and exit through the Tiger’s mouth. Doing so is said to reverse your bad luck and increase your good luck! So we, of course, did just that.

Inside the pagodas are occasionally grim and graphic paintings depicting heaven and hell. These are meant to implore viewers to do good deeds in their lifetime. 

Each pagoda contains a spiral staircase that takes you up through each floor. For whatever reason, a lot of people seemed to skip this part. Instead of taking your picture and leaving, I’d strongly recommend heading up the pagoda. You’ll be treated to a great view of the lake, the other pavilions, and the zig-zag bridge below.

Spring and Autumn Pavilions + 5 Mile Pavilion

The Spring and Autumn Pavilions are dedicated to Kuan Kung, the god of war. If you’re still in the mood to walk through dragons, the spring and Autumn Pavilions have a full dragon that you can walk through. On top of the dragon, Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy, can be seen riding the dragon.

On the other side of the dragon sits the 5-mile Pavilion, also known as the Wuli Pavilion. This is one of the most picturesque spots at Lotus Pond. A long bridge extends far out onto the tranquil lake At the end, a Red and Yellow pagoda seems to float on the water.

Pei Chei Pavilion

I’m really surprised this pavilion doesn’t get more attention. It’s easily one of the most memorable things I saw during our time in Taiwan.

This pavilion is pretty much impossible to miss. It pavilion the Taoist God Xuan Tian Shang Di (Xuanwu) with a massive, imposing statue that stands 72 meters tall and wields a 38.5 meter sword. There’s even a place of worship inside the statue

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Exploring the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas at Lotus Pond, Kaohsiung

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