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Lotus Pond

TIME : 2016/2/17 16:42:59

The pond in the north of the city has been a popular destination since the Qing dynasty and is well known for the 20 or so temples dotting the shoreline and nearby alleys. At night coloured lights give the lake a very festive appearance.

Starting from the southern end and heading clockwise around the lake, you'll first encounter sections of the Old Wall of Fengshan (Fèngshān Jiùcháng), built in 1826. The intact north gate wall runs along Shengli Rd.

Extending out onto the pond itself are the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas , built in the '60s as an extension of the Ciji Temple opposite. Enter the dragon and exit the tiger for good luck.

Next along are the Spring and Autumn Pavilions , dedicated to Guandi, the God of War, and featuring Guanyin riding a dragon.

Standing right across the road, the Temple of Enlightenment (Tiānfǔ Gōng) is the largest temple in the area. It is worth a visit to see the two giant temple lions draped over equally giant stone balls.

Most temples around the lake are modern and fairly garish but this temple (城隍廟; Chénghuáng Miào) is truly a delight. In the entrance hall look up to admire the detailed plafond; the traditional woodcarvings are filled with symbolism, such as the fish representing Yin and Yang, and the crabs representing official promotion. The roof has some fine examples of dragons and phoenixes in jiǎnniàn (mosaic-like temple decoration).

Back at the pond, follow the pier to the walkway out to the imposing 24m statue of Xuantian Shang-di , the Supreme Emperor of the Dark Heaven, and guardian of the north.

The final temple of note is the Confucius Temple on the lake's northern end. Completed in 1976, it's the largest Confucius temple in Taiwan.

To get to the lake, take bus R51 or 301 from Tsoying MRT station (Exit 2).

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