A Place of Reflection
A leafy forest trail winds up from the road passing several Guanyin statues before ending at a temple atop a hill. There, two 10m Guanyin Buddhas stand watch over Taichung granting the prayers of the occasional worshipper. It’s a peaceful hike to the top, and a nice scenic spot to appreciate the scale of the city below.
Other than the impressive statues, symbolic sculptures throughout the temple convey a very peaceful, almost serene atmosphere . Few visitors stop by this remote corner of the city making it ideal for those looking for some alone time. Several monks/nuns reside on the premises and seem happy to entertain questions about life on the mountain or Guanyin in general.
Known as the Goddess of Mercy in the west, Guanyin has many names. She is also popularly called Avalokitesvara, the Buddhist Bodhisattva of 1000 arms who tries to answer the cries of anguish and suffering of sentient being all over the world In China and Taiwan, Guanyin’s popularity comes from the belief that she is a source of unconditional love and compassion for those among us with little to no chance of enlightenment.
For those who don’t wish to walk from road, you can drive up Lane 700 from Buzhi Road and park adjacent to the hilltop temple. Be sure to look out for the sign forcing the poor old post man to park at the bottom of the hill and lug the mail up the hill. Alternatively, you could drive up Ningyuan Road which leads off Buzi Road after 400m on the left.
By car: The entrance to the walking path is well signed from the Highway 129 (see below) with fairly decent parking just around the corner. Drive towards Dakeng and look out for the signs for Guanyin temple before you reach Hengkeng Lane. There’s also a 7-11 further along on the left not far from the entrance to the temple.
By Bus: There’s no directly easy way to reach Guanyin Mountain from Taichung Train Station. One way is to walk through the rear entrance of the train station to Dazhi Road until you reach the New Age Shopping Mall. From there take bus 51 to the Zhong Tai Institute of Technology (over an hour), then continue along Highway 129 until you reach the sign-posted stairs leading up to the temple (see above pic).