Cien Pagoda

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Itashao, Taiwan

Cien Pagoda Itashao Reviews

davejo davejo
270 reviews
Nice walk, great view from the pagoda Feb 10, 2017
One thing that the lady at the guest house recommended me to do was take a hike to Cien Pagoda which actually turned out to be one of the highlights of my visit. The trail starts just a few hundred meters after Xuangzang Temple, where the tourist shuttle bus stops. Actually you can drive the first 500 m up the road in a car then walk the last 700 m through a beautiful forest that offers good views of Sun Moon Lake in some of the clearings. On the path are distance markers showing how many meters to the top or the bottom of the path. At the top you can visit the pagoda and the old house and have a great view of the lake(specially from the top of the pagoda).

After hiking up the Cien Pagoda Trail the pagoda will suddenly appear in front of you as the path exits the forest. This is not just an ordinary pagoda but it was built in 1971 by Chiang Kai Shek in memory of his mother. It is 46 m tall and since it is constructed on land that is 954 m above sea level the top of the pagoda is exactly 1000 m above the sea. The best time to climb the pagoda is early morning when you can have a clear view of the lake, or late afternoon for sunset. I gave up climbing the pagoda after a few levels as i was not feeling so good but apparently there is a direct view of Xuangzang and Xuanguang Temples to Lula Island and this is known as "the green dragon reaching for the pearl" , the pagoda as the dragon's heart, Xuangzang as its head, Xuanguang as its mouth and Lula Island is the pearl that it is trying to reach.

Chiang Kai Shek's resthouse

Once you have hiked the Cien Pagoda trail and climbed up the pagoda take a look at the building opposite the pagoda. This was Chiang Kai Shek's rest house which was completed in 1971. It is open to the public and the original furniture is still there, along with a photo of the president's mother who you can see on the wall facing you as soon as you enter.

In Mandarin Cien means kindness, grace and mercy.
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