The Taoist temple complex located on Lotus Lake in the Zuoying District on the northern outskirts of Kaohsiung City is a gorgeous collection of traditional architecture accompanied by a number of giant mythical beasts that act as bridges, gates, and devotional symbols.
Located in the southwest of Lotus Lake and completed in 1953 just two years after the man-made lake itself, the Spring and Autumn Pavilions are a pair of traditionally ornate palace towers that are separated by large dragon being ridden by a god. The two massive pavilions are dedicated to a God of War, known (among many other spellings) as Kuan Kung. The two devotional buildings are separated by a giant dragon statue that itself has the statue of a large figure on its back. This was inspired by the tale of the Goddess of Mercy, Kuanyin, riding a dragon through the sky, symbolically separating Spring and Autumn. Visitors can enter the pavilions through the dragon’s mouth.
A ways south of the pavilions along the lakeshore are the much taller Dragon and Tiger Pagodas which were completed in 1978. This twin-spired temple consists of a duo of seven-story pagoda towers which are attended by giant versions of their respective beast. The interior of the towers are decked out in traditional finery with two spiral staircases each, one for ascending devotees and one for those descending. Both the giant dragon and the giant tiger have their mouths open and visitors enter the temple spaces by being devoured.
Know Before You Go
By Railway: Take the THSR or TRA train to Zuoying Station, walk about 10 mins. By MRT: Take MRT Red Line and get off at Ecological District Station, continue by the Bus Red 51 to Lotus Lake stop from Ecological District Station Exit No. 2.