Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Taking The Ferry To Cijin Island

The quickest way to get to Cijin Island from mainland Kaohsiung is by ferry, a fun commuting experience.

Ferry terminal in Kaohsiung, tucked right into an old neighborhood.


Who's on board? The bottom deck is packed with scooters, a testament to the ferry's purpose as a regular commuter vehicle. Pulling away from the dock, blue water all around.

As one approaches Cijin Island, a nice row of port-side painted tanks come into view.


Views from the water, ferry and Cijin Island ferry terminal.

Enough sightseeing, rev the scooter and head out, time to reload for the return journey.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Sidewalk Oasis In Kaohsiung

A block long section of the concrete jungle has turned green in Kaohsiung. Clearly a lovely test project for urban gardens, the sidewalk nature trail is a nice contrast to the surrounding marina neighborhood area of the city.

A tunnel of green love.


It ain't no row of potted plants and calling it a day. The green space looks like a mini botanical garden, complete with a babbling brook and waterfall.

Squint and you've been transported to the jungle.


Look another way and a city parking lot is just beyond the sidewalk. Better to enjoy the gingers.

Heading out, the city and a big Chinatown gate start to come back into view. Thanks for the natural cleanse!

Monday, 30 March 2020

Qing Shui Temple Along Lotus Lake In Kaohsiung

Qing Shui Temple is one of more than a dozen temples around Lotus Lake in North Kaohsiung. What helps it stand out is the level of craftsmanship in its decoration.

The temple, built in 1787, is devoted to Master Qing Shui, who fought against the Yuan army. Reaching waay back for inspiration.

Temple front, looming rooftop sitting Buddha looking down on everyone.


Heading in. Check the sign scroll for the latest announcements. The big boy.

Main prayer area, an overwhelming amount of carved wood.


Looking up won't help to avoid the carved wood, the temple is dripping with it. Impressive. More wood work in one of the altars.

Upstairs is a funky prayer area with columns and dragon, chicken sculptures made from Chinese porcelain dishes. Radical.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Abandoned Kaohsiung

For a city of 2.7 million people, the town can feel awfully lonely, especially for an Asian city. Bangkok, Tokyo, Saigon, anyplace in India, always packed. Kaohsiung, abandoned.

For a photographer, the eerie stillness offered its own beauty.

Urban park, apartment buildings, empty.


More views, still no people.

Kaohsiung's main central park, severely underused.


Parking lot, cars give themselves some orderly space. Old railroad yard, turned into a park, waiting for life.

A wall of apartment buildings in a suburban area of town.


Thursday, 26 March 2020

Dragon And Tiger Pagodas

The highlight of all the Lotus pond area sites are the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas. Somehow they combine classic pagoda tower architecture with giant, garish figures. Quite the juxtaposition.


The dragon and tiger are huge and you need to walk into the dragon and out of the tiger to see the complex. Force feeding.
Oh boy. Inside the dragon, a regular house of Buddhist horrors unfolds. Let's start by slicing you like deli meat.


Personal behavior run amok. "Does my breath smell or is that your feet?" Inappropriate breast feeding.

What's the point? Seems you need to wrestle a tiger if you hope for salvation.


Not a he-man yet? Fine, time for more pounding. But why is a cuddly deer just hanging out on you? "Too much talking, the tongue now comes out!"

Your judgers.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Fun Signs In Kaohsiung

Some on purpose, some just by straight design, fun signs can be found around town in Kaohsiung.

In the Pier 2 arts district, co-opting one of the main sculptures for a sign. Do not cross the dragon monster.


Before and after, serious and silly. Falling rock sign and the artsy version.

Swimming allowed? Drowning allowed? Shark fin riding? Nice Speedo.


Man messing with a Dead End sign. If your town has cute, little cargo trucks, you can create a sign to ban said cute cargo trucks.

The real fire hydrant sign, no doubt you're in Chinese territory.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Zuoying Yuandi Temple

Sometimes, you want a gimmick. Maybe you have a typical Chinese Buddhist temple, how can you make it stand out, attract a crowd? Go big.


Wow. He's a heavy, with his own pier in Lotus pond. Hello Xuan God.

Inside the big boy, a more traditional altar and a little fantasy ceiling painting.

More painting, squint and you can see the light fixture nicely incorporated into the design.


One more painting. Cute animals are always an easy sell. Speaking of selling, there are a bunch of religious vending machines around the complex. Creepy drummer boy.

You can get your fortune from this woman.