Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sun Moon Lake (日月潭) Special - Xuanguang Pier - Xuan Guang Temple - Xuan Zang Temple - Ci En Pagoda [Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 2 “The Invisible Line That the Dragon Wrote” - Nov. 6, 2015]
A invisible straight line runs through Sun Moon Lake. It runs through the Xuanguang Peninsula to Sun Moon Lake's sacred island, Lalu Island. How is this possible? Only a magic hand can draw this line in Sun Moon Lake. Or Could it be done by a supernatural creature? As the ferry boat passes by Lalu Island, I imagine the island being a pearl in a deep blue sea. A dragon is said to engulf this pearl... The dragon might not appear in front of everyone but I'm sure I can find its heart in Xuanguang peninsula and trace the line that the naked eye cannot see.

My travel plan

 Shuishe Pier

ferry boat ride from Shuishe Pier to Xuanguang Pier

arrival at Xuanguang Pier

Sun Moon Lake being composed of the Sun Lake and the Moon Lake has many peninsulas in the 'sun' portion and the Xuanguang Pier is one gateway to the numerous natural land forms giving the form of the sun's rays in the alpine lake. Temples were built that give a nice view from the blue sky above to the blue waters of the lake below. Xuan Guang Temple is no exception.

Xuan Guang Temple houses a Sakyamuni Buddha and also is the former home of the relics of Master Xuan Zang. I could not enjoy the scenery nor could I get quality photos due to the large number of tourists in the area. They must have come from Mainland China. I just explored the other areas of the temple until I found the entrance to the Qinglong Mountain Trail. The portal to the “Pilgrim's Way” had opened.

It is 850 meters long and has a concrete path for an easy walk. I made a leisurely stroll with my heavy bag on my back until I found a betel nut plantation. A warning sign explains that there is a guard dog in the area but it was tied up and there was no reason to panic if it barks. I didn't noticed any dog and I continued the hike until I found myself in a road with a big sign of the Xuan Zang Temple.

The positive energy emerging from the Tang dynasty style Xuan Zang Temple matches the view of the lake that one can see from the temple. I can easily see the betel nut trees. The green color of its leaves matches the blue waters of Sun Moon Lake. No wonder many tourists come to this place. I went inside the temple where I explored its three floors. I removed my shoes and place them on a shoe rack in order to see the upper floors. 

Xuan Zang Temple was built in the 1960s. Guess who ordered its construction? It's Chiang Kai-Shek! Relics of Master Xuan Zang are in the third floor of the temple and he is a well known person in Buddhism. He was born in China and travelled to India to learn all about the Dharma. His remains in China were found by Japanese soldiers in which a portion was given to the ROC government. The eerie third-floor houses the relics of Master Xuan Zang that Taiwan received and the long walk in the “Pilgrim's Way” reminds the visitors of his brave travels in India and back to China amidst the danger and hunger.

Although a visit to Xuan Zang Temple will cleanse your soul it will not show you the starting point of the invisible line in Sun Moon Lake. The Ci En Pagoda which is 900 meters away from Xian Zang Temple holds the answer to my quest. I walked in Zhongshan Road and the 46 meters high tall structure suddenly appeared in front of me. Add its height to the elevation that it was built and it will be 1000 meters. 

I climbed all the way to its highest floor and a nice view of Sun Moon Lake was my reward. Looking at the lake, a straight line can be formed from Ci En Pagoda to Xuan Zang Temple and then to Xuan Guang Temple and finally to Lalu Island. Xuan Guang peninsula looks like a dragon's head reaching for Lalu Island – which is the pearl. Ci En Pagoda is the heart of the dragon. 

ferry boat ride from Xuan Guang Pier to Ita Thao Pier

Ita Thao Pier

 ferry boat ride from Ita Thao Pier to Shuishe Pier

After exploring Ci En Pagoda, I went back to Xuan Guang Pier where I boarded a ferry going Ita Thao. The sun was getting ready to disappear in Sun Moon Lake when I reached Ita Thao Pier. I walked for 800 meters from the pier to reach the cable car station and I was suddenly surprised. (To be continued...)

Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 1 "Journey to the Lake"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 2 "The Invisible Line That the Dragon Wrote"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 3 "Dark Knight" 
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 4 "Rope, Rope and Away"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 5 "Food from the Thao"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 6 "Hello Jiji, Goodbye Tripod"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Part 7 "Ride your life"
Taiwan Day 797to799: Moon Embracing the Sun Finale "The Master's Sun" 

Maple Series

"Taipei kong mahal" (My beloved Taipei). Catch it every Wednesday at 8:00 pm (Taiwan/Philippine time)

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