The Lotus Pond is one of the top places to visit in Kaohsiung and should be on your Kaohsiung itinerary because there’s a lot to see there and thanks to the impressive Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, and Instagram, it’s now a very iconic place in Kaohsiung.
Kaohsiung Lotus Pond is a bit out of the way and away from the other tourist attractions in Kaohsiung so it’s best to plan your visit there correctly so you don’t run out of time and you do all of the things to do at Lotus Pond while you are there so here’s my Kaohsiung travel blog and Kaohsiung travel guide to help you visit!
Lotus Pond Kaohsiung
How To Get to Lotus Pond Kaohsiung?
The Kaohsiung Metro (MRT) is really easy to use, there are just 3 main lines making it easy to get around Kaohsiung. On the red line of the metro, head to Kaohsiung Zuoying Station which is also the High-Speed Rail Station for Kaohsiung.
From here you have a few options:
Walk from Zuoying Station to Lotus Lake: Initially, you have to cross a few busy roads but after 15 minutes you’ll reach the lake. It’s another 15-minute walk around the lake until you reach the main temples.
Catch a taxi from outside the station: Taxi’s in Taiwan run on the metre and it will be a short 10-minute journey. Uber does work in Kaohsiung so you could get a Uber which will probably be cheaper.
Work out the buses: There is a bus stop in front of the railway station with a tourist looking bus that stops but all signs are in Mandarin and both times I’ve been to Lotus Pond I haven’t been able to work it out, which is why I’ve walked both times!
Important note about Lotus Pond Kaohsiung:
Getting to Lotus Pond from the centre of Kaohsiung will take about 1 hour after you’ve taken the MRT and walked around to the main temples so keep this in mind when planning your day in Kaohsiung. You will need more time than you may think.
I think that the best time to visit Lotus Pond is in the afternoon, getting there for 3:00-4:00 pm is a good time as the sun will start to go down soon making it a bit cooler and you’ll see a nice sunset over the lake.
Trains are the best way to get around Taiwan. You can’t book trains online via Taiwan’s train system but you can book them online using 12GO Asia, the top transport booking platform in Asia. Search for your trains here:
After Visiting Lotus Pond
After you’ve been to Lotus Pond I’d recommend heading to one of Kaohsiung’s very popular night markets – Ruifeng Night Market because it’s close by and if you don’t visit whilst you’re at Lotus Lake in Kaohsiung you’ll need to come all the way back up here. Note that Ruifeng Night Markets opening hours are from 6:00 pm to midnight and it is closed on Monday and Wednesday!
Related Post: The 3 Best Night Markets in Kaohsiung you Must Visit!
FIRST TIMERS GUIDE TO TAIWAN
I’ve been to Taiwan twice. I love the country so much! I have written lots of posts to help you visit Taiwan, start with my 8 Helpful Tips For Planning a Trip to Taiwan from Start to Finish and the Best Places to Visit in Taiwan!
TAIWAN SIM CARDThe best way to stay connected in Taiwan is to buy this EasyCard & Sim Card package deal in advance. You’ll need an EasyCard to get around on transport in Taiwan anyway and at the same time you can get a Taiwan Sim Card with 4G and pick them up at Taipei Taoyuan Airport when you land!
GETTING AROUND TAIWAN
The Metro within cities in Taiwan is really great, easy to use and so safe. You’ll need an EasyCard which you top up with credit to use the metro and buses.
To get around Taiwan, I loved travelling by train. As a tourist, we can’t use the direct Taiwan train booking system. Instead you can go to a train station a few days before and purchase your ticket, or book online in advance using 12GO Asia!
Before Visiting Lotus Pond
In my recommended Kaohsiung itinerary, when thinking about what to do in Kaohsiung, I suggest combining Fo Guang Shan which is a Buddhist Monastery near Kaohsiung and Lotus Pond together as they’re both further North in the city.
Plus, you need to get the bus to Fo Guang Shan from Zuoying Station which is the same station you leave to Lotus Pond to. This means you’ll save time and not have to keep going back on yourself.
Read my blog post here on how to get to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung and Lotus Pond
To help you plan your trip around Taiwan, have a look at all of my Taiwan Blog Posts here!
About Lotus Pond and it’s Temples
Although it’s Lotus Pond that you’re wanting to visit and is on your list of things to do in Kaohsiung, the area you’re actually visiting is Zuoying which is the main cultural and historic area of Kaohsiung.
Lotus Pond is surrounded by many temples but why is this?
It’s because of its perfect Feng Shui which literally translates to wind and water and creates a perfect harmony with the environment. However, the Feng Shui of this lake has been destroyed 3 times in the past.
Firstly the Qing Dynasty built a wall by the lake which affected the environment around the lake. Then the Japanese government built a road across the top of the lake, the lake was said to be a turtle shape and this road cut off the head of the turtle from the body.
Lastly, a memorial hall was erected at the top of the lake where the turtles head is, the memorial hall is a good thing but it was seen as a nail right in the top of the head of the turtle and it’s said that the lake turned red with the blood of the turtle after this!
These days, the temples of Lotus Pond are popular tourist attractions and there are plenty of locals living and working in the area too so let me tell you a bit about all the temples including some important information so you don’t end up walking through them the wrong way and get a whole lot of bad luck!
Need help booking a train to Kaohsiung from elsewhere in Taiwan? You can’t book trains in Taiwan using the Taiwan Train System but you can book them on 12GO Asia. So book your trains around Taiwan here!
Dragon and Tiger Pagoda
Without a doubt, the most popular temple at Lotus Pond, in Kaohsiung and maybe even one of the best temples in Taiwan is the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas which was built upon Feng Shui orders apparently.
The zig-zag walkway to get in is pretty cool and the most important thing to know about the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda in Kaohsiung is that you must walk in through the mouth of the Dragon and out of the mouth of the Tiger. That’s because the Dragon is seen as good luck so you’re walking into this and the Tiger is seen as negativity so you’re walking out of this!
As you walk through the insides of their bodies you’ll see lots of art which shows the good models of humanity that we should follow and the result of the bad behaviours!
Because this Pagoda is so popular you may think that there is a Dragon and Tiger Pagodas entrance fee but there’s not, it is free to enter just like all of the temples at Lotus Pond. Note that the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas opening hours are 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Cih Ji Temple
Directly opposite the Dragon and Tiger Temple is Cih Ji Temple which is a nice temple to pop into. This temple is dedicated to the god of medicine and health.
Spring and Autumn Pavilions
Another really popular place in Kaohsiung is the Spring and Autumn Pavilions which is most recognisable for its huge dragon! The Pavillion is pretty new as it was only built in 1953 and it got its name from a book written by Confucius who was a Chinese philosopher and political of the Spring and Autumn period and the story is detailed as you walk through the Dragon.
I like the inside artwork much more than the Dragon and Tiger Pavilion because this one isn’t covered with glass like it is there.
The correct way to walk through the Dragon is in through its mouth and out through it’s back which will take you to the back of the pond giving one of the best views of Lotus Pond and a great photo opportunity, and there’s a walkway you can walk down too.
Chi Ming Temple
This temple is directly opposite the Spring and Autumn Pavilions, it was built in 1899 and is an example of the Taiwanese hybrid of Religions. There are 4 main religions in Taiwan- Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Folk Religion and this temple represents them all!
Chi Ming Temple is really big so make sure you fully walk to the back of it and go upstairs to see some impressive gold! There are also toilets around the side if you need to go.
Statue of Xuantian Emperor
Lastly, at 22 meters high is the tallest god statue on the water in South East Asia and he is very impressive!
The Xuantian Emperor is from the astrology religion so the way he is holding his sword is ready to fight evil in modern times. You can walk all the way around his statue too and personally, I think this is my favourite temple on the pond.
TAIWAN ITINERARY HELP
Here are my top Taiwan itinerary posts to help your plan your trip:
- 2 Week Taiwan Itinerary!
- 1 week Taiwan Itinerary!
- 18 Best Places to Visit in Taiwan!
- How to Plan a Trip to Taiwan!
TAIWAN ON A BUDGET
Taiwan isn’t the cheapest country but it’s not the most expensive either and can be travelled on a reasonable budget. Here’s my post on the cost of travel in Taiwan and how to travel Taiwan on a budget!
Lotus Pond Tour
Kaohsiung Lotus Pond Free Walking Tour
You can visit Lotus Pond on your own and see all of these temples and statues which is what I did on my first visit to Kaohsiung, however, on my second visit, I joined a free walking tour with Like It Formosa. They run this tour every Thursday and Sunday at 3:00 pm, it starts at the Dragon and Tiger Pagoda and finishes at 5:30 pm.
Remember to head to the Ruifeng Night Market after visiting the lake. You can get from Lotus Pond to Ruifeng Market by foot in about 30 minutes or you can get an Uber which will take 10 minutes and cost about 130NTD. Also remember that the night market is closed on Monday and Wednesday!
To SEE the Lotus Lake Kaohsiung, watch my YouTube video here!
- Kaohsiung Travel Guides:
- 2-3 Day Itinerary for Kaohsiung | Travel Guide.
- The 3 Best Night Markets in Kaohsiung you Must Visit!
- How to Visit Cijin Island From Kaohsiung & Things To Do in Cijin Island!
- The Best Things To Do in Kaohsiung!
- Taiwan Travel Guides:
- How To Do a Day Trip from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake.
- How to Do a Day Trip to Taroko National Park via Bus from Hualien!
- 12 Taipei Travel Tips and Things To Know about Taipei!