Statue of Guanyin
The Statue of Guanyin is among the largest statues of the deity in Southeast Asia. The gigantic white sculpture stands directly in front of a temple in the center of Zhongzheng Park. Admire the peaceful pose the goddess has been given, with her hands touching in the middle. She looks out toward the harbor to prevent mariners from drowning and to protect the city from attacks.
Clamber inside the statue and climb the stairs to the top for an excellent view through her eyes. Take care with the steps, which are particularly narrow. Pause on the way up at several viewpoints through small holes in her side. The vista from the peak of the iconic sculpture, which has a height of 74 feet (23 meters), incorporates the urban sprawl of the city, its scenic harbor and the green mountains on the horizon.
Note the temple that displays a backward swastika, which is a Buddhist peace sign, behind the statue. Look for the other many interesting sites in the park, such as a historic cannon fort, a Buddhist library and the Zhuputan Temple. Take the kids on the bumper cars and marvel at the eccentric faces and sculptures that decorate the park.
Guanyin is a Buddhist and Taoist deity linked to compassion. Her name translates as “Observing the sounds of the world.”
Attend the Ghost Festival in summer to see the park at its liveliest. Make your way to the large pagoda’s museum to learn about the traditional celebration.
The park remains open for 24 hours daily and is free to enter, although its various sites may charge.
The Statue of Guanyin is in the Zhongzheng Park, just east of the city center. Take a taxi to the base of Dashawan Mountain. Once you reach the large park, make the long walk up a hill past several shrines and temples to reach the statue.