Here is the Link to the Walking Tour Map: https://embed.alpacamaps.com/journey/57c606b4-eed4-11ea-96fe-067ec0c7e8f4/default
All of the pavilions were free to enter, but we had definitely heard differently, so maybe it is just free in the off season. Just donations?
We woke up at 7am and decided to take a day trip to Lotus Lake to see all the pavilions surrounding it. We took the MRT from Formosa Boulevard to Zuoying Station (where we had arrived by THSR the day before) and walked about 20 minutes to the lake. I believe there is a bus as well, but we found walking to be lovely and lost of the walk was through a park (even a wedding set up).
Stop 1- Zuoying Station Start the day off by taking the Metro to Zuoying Station, which is the closest station to Lotus Lake.
Stop 2- Park We decided to walk to Lotus Lake from the station, but there is also a bus to take if you wish. Exit to the east and you will find the bus stop. The park was a lovely walk, and we would highly recommend it (took about 15 minutes).
Stop 3- Chingshui Temple We arrived at the edge of Lotus Lake, right beside this temple. From here, turn right and follow the lake in a counter clockwise direction.
Stop 4- Bridge This beautiful bridge leads you to the Confucius Temple. We were able to see dragon boat rowers practicing here!
Stop 5- Confucius Temple This temple is monumental! The temple was originally constructed in 1684, during the reign of the Knangxi. During the Japanese Colonial Period, the temple fell into disrepair.
Stop 6- PAMMA Coffee We stopped here for breakfast. The restaurant has a view over the lotus lake. We both had eggs benedict with a side soup, salad, potatoes, seat potato and coffee. It was delicious and really filling.
Stop 7- Zuoying Yuandi Temple Complex We walked to Xuan Tian Shang Di Shex Xiang, which is a three section pagoda with a giant statue of Xuanwu, a Taoist Deity with an ability to control the elements. He is especially revered by martial artists.
Stop 8- Spring and Autumn Pavillions Next we walked to the Spring and Autumn Pavilions which are towers interlaced by a giant dragon that you can enter and walk through. On the back side of the dragon is a long board walk that leads out to the Wuli Pavilion, which is set far out in the lake.
Stop 9- Cafe 壹品咖啡店 After this pavilion we stopped at a roadside stall to have a Taiwan Beer on a tiny stool (our absolute favourite thing to do in Asia, or anywhere). You can also grab lunch here if you are hungry.
Stop 10- ChiMing Tang Temple 啟明堂 This temple is a decent stop along the route. Chi Ming Tang looks amazing from the road, and the interior is very elaborate (the locals here were really friendly too!)
Stop 11- Dragon and Tiger Pagodas We then continued along the lake towards the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. It is good luck to enter through the Dragon and exit from the Tiger’s mouth ( a couple exited the wrong way and got yelled at by the lady attendant). We donated some money to the lady, and she insisted on giving us a postcard. We climbed the Tiger Pagoda for an amazing view of the lake.
Stop 12- Park 永清塔舊址 If you chose to walk back to Zuoying station, we would recommend stopping at this park along the way. The views are stunning, and you can find some much needed shade here!
Stop 13- View Point Nice stop along the pond on the walk back to Zuoying Station.
Stop 14- Return to Zuoying Station We then completed the circle of the lake, and headed back to Zuoying Station. Zuoying Station is a giant mall called “Global Mall”. Here we grabbed some sushi for lunch and then headed back to our airbnb to regroup before an evening outing.