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Changhua, Taiwan

Baguashan Changhua Reviews

davejo davejo
273 reviews
Lots to see at Baguahan Feb 05, 2017
Baguashan is the name of the hill near the center of Changhua and was formerly a military camp, but now it is a place of leisure where locals come to wander in the park and see the BIG BUDDHA.

Here are some of the attractions.


An arch can actually be found in Dongmin Road, just before you get to Guashan Road which leads up to the Great Buddha Statue and the scenic area. Baguashan means Mount Bagua where many visitors come to relax and see the temple, park and Big Buddha. The arch is quite impressive with its red posts and tiled roof with many Chinese characters written on it. This should not be confused with Bagaushan Arch which is nearer the entrance to the Great Buddha.


Just after 50 m of walking up Guashan Road there is a path that branches off to take you through the park. There are several signposts pointing out the various attractions but i decided to follow the road up as there was a Visitor Information Center by the other entrance to Baguashan and i wanted to pass by for a map. The road gradually wound round the hill and within less than a kilometer i had reached what i assume is the main entrance. On the way up there was some beautiful landscaping that must have taken a lot of time, as there were tens of thousands of plants and flowers growing at the side of the road on a wall. Each plant was still in a black plastic bag and there was an irrigation system that could be turned on to water them. I counted the plants in a two foot section and there were 48 of them, so imagine how many there were on the whole road up the hill.


The Visitor Information Center at Baguashan is located by the main entrance to the Giant Buddha in the same building as the Department of City and Tourism County Government (if that makes any sense). Unfortunately the lady in charge of the center could not speak any English so i looked around and found a brochure about Changhua and what it had to offer. The center did have many brochures but nearly all were in Chinese but it was air-conditioned and provided me with a pleasant place to sit and relax while i read the literature


You cannot miss Baguashan Arch as it is the main entrance to the path that leads up to the Giant Buddha statue and the temple. The arch actually has three entrances but for pedestrians only. It is quite a simple archway with green tiled roof and white posts.


Once you pass through Baguashan Arch there is a wide path with many steps that leads up to the Giant Buddha and on each side there may be as many as 50-100 statues of figures from Buddhist folklore. Each one is a completely different character and i paused several times on the way up. My favorite was the evil looking fellow with 6 arms in the above photo.


Jiulong Pond or the Nine Dragons pond is located at the top of the steps in front of the Giant Buddha and of course features nine golden dragons who look ferocious with their jaws wide open. It is actually a fountain but when i visited there was no water, but i gather that this is normal. I have seen photographs of the pond when the dragons were actually golden but i guess they need a fresh coat of paint as they certainly were not golden during my visit.


Many locals come here in the evening to view the sunset and the city. I am talking about a semi-circular walkway which is 100 m in front of the Great Buddha. The walkway is raised above a semi circular courtyard. Although the walkway offers a great view of the city i did not see anything worth looking at. For me the best view was of the Giant Buddha if you looked in the opposite direction.


Of course most people visit Baguashan to visit the Great Buddha, probably the most famous attraction that Changhua has to offer. The statue is 24 m high and sits on the hill which is 74 m above sea level. The statue was inaugurated in 1961 and was constructed from reinforced concrete, and is actually hollow inside with six separate floors. There is a small entrance charge should you wish to go inside and climb up to the viewing area. It seemed senseless as i had already established that there was not much of interest to see in the city. inside the Buddha there are many statues which tell the story of his life, his practice and his enlightenment.


On the lawn around the Giant Buddha were many comical little Buddha figures who were busy praying, relaxing, ringing a bell or running around. I felt that this was a very attractive addition to the area and many tourists were taking photographs.


Big Buddha Temple was certainly worth a visit if only to see the hundreds of red lanterns hanging from the ceiling. The temple was built as recently as 1972 and is dedicated to three different figures. First floor enshrines Confucius, the greatest teacher and philosopher of Chinese history; second floor enshrines Guan Yu, God of War, and the third floor enshrines Buddha. It is considered to be one of the most important temples in Taiwan and behind the temple are two 9 floored pagodas but are being renovated at the moment.


On the way down from the Great Buddha you will come to a high concrete wall which is known as the Lai Ho Poetry Wall, covered in Chinese characters. Lai Ho is regarded as the father of Taiwan literature and he came from Changhua. Apparently these are some of his greatest poetic lines but i did not see any locals reading them. I was the only person around and there was nothing in English that could inform me about his poetry. The wall must have been 8 m high and possibly more than 50 m long.


I am sure that this must be quite nice when water was actually running down this man-made waterfall, but this was the second place i saw in the park that was without water (Nine Dragons Fountain was the first). The water is supposed to cascade down the slopes of the park to a pond at the bottom by the Silver Bridge. However it was a nice walk through the forest to the bottom (maybe 100 m or more). The Silver Bridge is at the bottom by the pool and if there was water it would look rather nice as there is a lighting system in the pool. Besides not having any water the bridge did not appear to be silver
entrance arch
walking up the Guashan road
visitors information center
Baguashan arch
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