Traveled to the stars, visited Buddha, and got eaten by a dragon…

You can never rely on the weather forecast reports…  I had checked repeatedly for days before we left, and I wanted to make sure we were going to get some sun while down south.  According to the internet report, it was clouds and some rain and Taipei would be sun, sun and more sun. I decided to bring my shorts and bikini anyways!  You’ve gotta have high hopes right!?  ^_^  At speeds up to 300km/h we arrived within 2hrs and oh yes!  There was the beautiful sun \^o^/ WOO HOO!

I must admit, I figured it would be a bit slower in Kaohsiung in comparison to Taipei, but honestly it seemed like a ghost town.  Everyone was chillin’ and hanging out, the KRT was empty for the most part, and some of the streets were even void of any cars…  Weird… @_@  When we got to our hotel, due to the decor (which was quite cute), I honestly thought we were entering a wild rumpus…  (0_0)  So we had two and a half days and I had it all planned out! I checked my bag and realized…  I forgot my whole itinerary for the whole trip at home!  *sighs*  Luckily the KRT provides an excellent map with directions and routes to take! Score!

First stop was Cijin, my favourite I might add!  Although the line up to take the ferry was HUGE, we really only waited about 15min.  Ferries come and go fast here! We decided to rent bikes and although the lighthouse was closed at 4pm, we still had an amazing time!  The weather was perfect and the views reminded me a bit of when I visited Athens.  Pastel coloured buildings clustered together, the pier to your left and the beach and palm trees to your right…  We ventured through the old fort, made our way through the space tunnel with its lit up constellations overhead and made it just in time for the sunset.  I have always loved the smell of the ocean, the breeze, and the rustling of palm trees.  It truly was an amazing evening, and what better way to end an evening than with good street food! MMMmmm hhmmm (^o^).  As the skies gradually faded from orange to a dark blue, the streets lit up, and we filled ourselves with seafood… *drools* so good! A definite must when visiting, is to try the shaved ice milk with fruit toppings!  I assure you, you won’t regret it!!  (^_^)

Th second day included a trip to Lotus Pond and it was busy…  Of course the first pagodas, the tiger and dragon, were the busiest with so many tourists.  We decided to walk all the way to the end and work our way back, which I was glad because by the time we got back, there weren’t that many people.

   Each pagoda we visited was unique in its own way.  The first seemed quite spiritual to me, perhaps it might have been the group doing tai chi and chanting, or maybe the smell of incense burning inside the pagoda…  Either way it was peaceful.  The second, we travelled into the scary dragons mouth, through his body and out his back end, passed a lonely fisherman and joined a few people sitting in the breeze.  The paint was faded and some areas were worn down with age, but it was still beautiful nonetheless.  Now that the tourists were gone, we visited the final and most frequented pagoda!  In comparison to the last two, these pagoda’s were quite new, and you were able to climb all the way up to the seventh floor.  Both of us being too scared of heights, we hulled you know what back down pretty darn fast (@_@);;;  Kind of freaked me out being that high to be honest…

The last place on our list to visit, was the Fo Guang Shan Monstery…  The moment we got off the bus we could here the murmurs of chanting over a high wall, and a large golden Buddha looming over the trees…  

   It was a bit of a walk up the hill, but once we turned a corner here and a corner there, we were surrounded by little golden Buddha’s!  Also known as Buddha Land.  We wandered underneath the Great Buddha’s lotus, made an offering of flowers to Buddha, and came out somewhat disappointed that the main area where the Great Buddha stood was closed for landscape cleaning…  *tears*  It was still nice to visit though, and was not too busy so we took our time enjoying the scenery of the surrounding city and amazing architecture of the pagoda’s and shrines within the monastery.  As the sun set, I purchased another popsicle to cool down, and enjoyed the evening breeze…

  We stopped by Formosa Blvd. station for the last site to see before hitting the sack that day, the Dome of Light.  Easy to find as it was just at the MRT station, it was quite amazing.  We spent a good deal of time admiring the panels of vivid colours, representing earth, wind, light and water.  As you can see, the colours and artwork are absolutely amazing…  It’s definitely an eye pleasing experience.  I love that every where we went in Kaohsiung, whether it was walking by old warehouses, by the pier, or at the MRT station, public art was available to view everywhere!  The city truly embraces and encourages the arts.

Now it’s time to take things even slower…  next stop, Kenting!

For more information:
Cijin
Lotus Pond
Fo Guang Shan Monstery
Dome of Light

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