Kaohsiung // dragon and tiger pagodas
have you ever wanted to stick your head in the jaws of a tiger? or know what it's like to be swallowed by a giant, scaled beast? our visit to the dragon and tiger pagodas at lotus lake in Kaohsiung let us do both in the the span of 20 minutes.
[warning: this is going to be a photo-heavy post... because you know how I love my dragons]
these twin pagodas are perched on the south end of lotus lake, seven stories tall. you begin by walking a winding bridge path, then enter through the enormous dragon. climb a few levels of spiral staircase and you'll find yourself face to face with dragons on a smaller scale [but no less fascinating.] this was the second time I've gotten up close and personal with my scaly friends. I love how they are always similar but not quite the same.
both pagodas are decorated inside and out with elaborate carvings, paintings, and tilework. they aren't exactly ancient... the pagodas [and much of the other attractions in the lotus lake area] were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s. but then again, much of Taiwan is not any older than that either.
you exit through the tiger's mouth, since "entering a dragon's throat and coming out a lion's mouth symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune." or at least according to this website. the tigers done up in tilework were also pretty amazing. I've seen a few creatures other than dragons, but these guys with their stripes were a unique sight. [or maybe this is just because I love cats?] we also enjoyed the breeze from a few levels up, since it was well into the 90F range.
if you are in Kaohsiung and looking to spend a few hours, you can walk around the lotus lake and visit these pagodas and several other attractions, including the Confucius temple. this area is definitely touristy, but still fun to explore. [I mean... how many opportunities will you have to walk through the belly of a tiger?]