A couple weekends ago (see? my posts are starting to catch up more to real life), my friend and I decided to venture out to Lotus Lake. I honestly didn’t know much about it, except that when people visit Kaohsiung, Lotus Lake is one of the few “must-see” destinations they flock to. And now that I have been, I guess I still don’t know that much about it, so let’s let Wikipedia fill you in a bit:
Lotus Lake (蓮池潭) is a man-made lake and popular tourist destination on the east side of Tsoying District in Kaohsiung City in southern Taiwan. Opened in 1951, it is famous for the lotus plants on the lake and the numerous temples around the lake, including the Spring and Autumn Pavilions (春秋閣), the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔), and the Confucian Temple (孔廟).
And it was pretty cool. Beautiful, of course, but I think we got there a bit too late in the day to fully appreciate it. (That’s one thing that continues to baffle me about Taiwan – the sun sets surprisingly early here. I arrived here at the beginning of July, and the sun has never, ever, been out any later than 7 pm. In the middle of the summer! It was really a strange transition coming from Europe, when we wouldn’t have darkness till about 10:30 or 11 every night. But yeah, it gets dark early here, and that surprises me – maybe I need to hit the books and learn more about geography/sunlight correlations. But sometimes I prefer to remain in the dark about things. (Zing!))
So anyway, we got there around 6:15 – right at twilight, which is just mind-blowingly gorgeous every single day (thanks, pollution!).
We walked along the western side of the lake, soaking in the beauty all around us with each step. The entire time, we could see an amazingly large statue of what turns out to be a Taoist god getting even larger as we approached. It’s a pretty impressive and imposing sight, this giant Asian god rising out of the water, seemingly looking directly at you with scornful yet sympathetic eyes.
But Lotus Lake is big, and the main attractions (for me, anyway), the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, were on the other side. So it was dark by the time we got to them. They were still a breathtaking sight, but it would be nice to see them again in the daylight.
We only walked around half the lake, but every step was beautiful, peaceful, and enchanting. I eagerly anticipate going back and seeing everything Lotus Lake has to offer. Including the, ah, lotuses. (loti?)
After the jump, please enjoy the entire Lotus Lake gallery! It’ll be well worth your while.
~ by Nick on August 12, 2009.