Kaohsiung (see my top 10 of the city here) has so many interesting sights that it’s hard to get bored. I immediately fell in love with this port city and the whole country, to be honest. Let me take you on a tour of one of the most famous attractions: the Lotus Pond.

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Introduction

Dragon structure in front of the Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung

Lianchihtan or Lotus Pond is in fact an artificial lake, one of the largest in Taiwan. Its calm, serene atmosphere makes it an ideal place for an afternoon stroll. Surrounded by numerous temples and statues of gods, every detail inside and out tells the story of an ancient era where mythology and history mingle.
If you’re there at the right time of year, you might even see lotus flowers all around the place! And it’s totally free!

The Visit

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas

Dragon and Tiger pagodas in Lotus Pond

Seven storeys high, the tower is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Lotus Pond. Maybe that’s because there’s a unique rule for pagodas: you must enter through the dragon’s throat and exit through the tiger’s mouth to avoid bad luck and have good fortune. You’ve been warned!

Spring and Autumn Pavilions

Spring and autumn pavilions in Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung

The Taoist site here is dedicated to Kuan Kung, the God of War, and at the top, riding the dragon, you can discern Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Entering through the dragon’s throat, you’ll see paintings and sculptures of Buddha and verses from the Lotus Sutra (Buddhist teaching).

Five Mile Pavilion or Wuli Pavilion

The smallest pavilion at the end of the bridge, it nevertheless offers the best view of the entire pond and its surroundings. The spiral staircase, colors and paintings make for an enchanting experience.

Pei Chi Pavilion

Statue in Pei Chi pavilion in Lotus Pond

This pavilion pays homage to the powerful Taoist deity Xuan Wu, considered one of the most important deities and “nicknamed” God of the North. He’s apparently capable of great magic, so you don’t want to upset him, do you?

Golden Egg Machine

Chicken inside the golden egg machine in Lotus Pond

I’ve included it here because I thought it might make a good souvenir of your visit to Lotus Pond. Just below the Xuan Wu statue are machines with a chicken inside. When you insert NT$50 ($1), the animal lays a golden egg with a shrill sound. You’ll then have to crack the egg, which is harder than it sounds, to get your souvenir.

Chi Ming Tang Temple

Chi Ming Tang temple in front of Lotus Pond

On the other side of the Lotus Pond, don’t forget to visit the Chi Ming Tang temple. Delicately designed, this magnificent building is a must-see in Kaohsiung. The colors, the guardian statues outside and the peaceful atmosphere make the Temple of Illumination a pleasant stop on your visit to the Lotus Pond.

Remember to respect the worshippers if you enter or want to take a peek inside.

Ruifeng Night Market

Just a 30-minute walk from the Lotus Pond, this is a great way to end the day with some delicious Taiwanese food or games.
However, the market is closed on Mondays and Wednesdays, so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly.

How to get there

lotus pond
Our beautiful bikes!

First of all, you can take the train from Kaohsiung station to Zuoying station. You’ll then have to walk about 10 minutes to get to the Lotus Pond. The journey costs NT$15 (50 cents) and takes about 20 minutes.

I love public transport in Taiwan because everything is easy and cheap, but what I love most is the fact that you can ride a bike almost anywhere because the bike paths are so well-developed.

So of course, my second and favorite option is to take a YouBike and ride to Lotus Pond. You can download the app and the only things you need afterwards are: a Taiwanese number, your passport number and your EasyCard which you’ve probably already bought if you want to use public transport in the country.
It took us about 35 minutes as we weren’t in the city center. It’s safe, easy, reliable and cheap. The first 30 minutes only cost NT$5 (15 cents)!
And you can take as much time as you like to explore the surrounding area without having to rush or wait for your next train home.

Final Thoughts

Kaohsiung’s Lotus Pond is a picturesque area that will delight you with its temples and history. It’s also the perfect place to recharge your batteries in magical surroundings. I hope this guide will convince you to visit this must-see part of Taiwan!

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