Sunday, February 26, 2012

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Bagua Mountain, Big Buddha 八卦山大佛, Changhua

2/26/2012 Taiwan Explorer

Bagua Mountain 八卦山 with the famous Big Buddha 八卦山大佛 on top is probably Changhua City's most visited site. With an altitude of 97m above sea level, the mountain visibly sticks out from the rest of the city, which spreads out on the plains of Western Taiwan. The iconic 26m tall Buddha, that protects Taiwan, has become one of the nation's landmarks, attracting foreign and domestic visitors alike. As an avid Taiwan enthusiast, I had to climb up here to see it for myself - and naturally, I was very curious about the famous Buddha statue overlooking the city. Below are some of my photos from that adventure, hope they can serve you as a reference for your own trip.

Tourist map of Bagua Mountain. Please click on it to enlarge.

Walking up Bagua mountain will take you around 15 min. The trail is not too steep, so even if you're out of shape like me, you will still be able to make it. We started the tour up at the intersection of Kongmen Road and Zhongshan Road Section II. There is a paifang (or Chinese arch) above the road. Once you cross that intersection, you walk through and voila - you're right below Bagua Mountain (see a map here). Then the climb begins.

This is where my Bagua Mountain hike begun.

A winding and paved trail leads up.

The higher you reach, the better the view on Changhua City below.

View over Changhua City

View on the northern Changhua City, still not fully up there.

Beautiful view on southwestern Changhua City.

View to southern Changhua City.

Once on top, you find yourself on a half-moon shaped observatory rail. You'll be able to enjoy Changhua City on one side and the Big Buddha on the other.

Nine Dragons Fountain

The Nine Dragons Fountain caught my eyes here.

The Big Buddha

And then I finally got a glimpse of the Big Buddha.

Since it was Spring Festival, a lot of visitors made it up here, too.

A lovely young lady taking photos. You can see the observatory rail on the left.

Closer to the meditating Buddha.

Not as majestic as the Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong, but still magnificent in his own way. Changhua's Buddgha has closed eyes and seems to be very contented.

A side view exposes his chocolate-like color. Looks like it wasn't always that color.

The area behind the sculpture is a small courtyard to the nearby Buddhist temple.

The Buddhist Temple

The multi-storey Buddhist temple surrounding the Big Buddha.

Buddha's back.

The temple features classical Chinese architecture.

The altar inside.

A pagoda nearby.

Yours truly MKL - just a shadow, though.

ROC fighter jet on display nearby.

When you go down, you'll pass by this wonderful pavilion.

After we came back to Zhongshan Road, we decided to explore more of the central Changhua and wrap it up with a visit to one of the poplar night markets. In ,y next post you can read about Yongle Street, Changha's popular shopping street. There is of course much more to see on Bagua Mountain, but we haven't had time to explore the other parts of the mountain. All in all, you can spend a whole afternoon here, in case you just want to see the Buddha and head back, 1-2 hours should suffice.

My 2012 SOUTH-CENTRAL TAIWAN Tour - NEXT: Changhua Confucius Temple>>

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