Sunday, August 2, 2015

Great Buddha Statue of Baguashan (八卦山大佛) - Changhua Roundhouse (彰化扇形車庫) - How to go to Lukang from Changhua City [Taiwan Day 700: Cha-Cha-Changhua Part 1 - August 1, 2015]


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Abstract: Forward, backward, forward, backward. What can Changhua offer to its visitors? A Great Buddha and Lukang town are just some of its unparalleled destinations. Forward, backward, forward, backward. From morning till night I kept exploring Changhua. The city, the scenery and the sea. Everything was just perfect. Forward, backward, forward, backward. I just followed every beat. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this two-day “Changhua Special” as I travel to the tune of Cha-Cha-Changhua.
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The bus ticket: Taipei West Bus Station B to Changhua for NTD 290

Changhua is a province in Central Taiwan. Buses going to the south of Taiwan pass by Changhua and a make a stop to Changhua City. The more than 3 hours of travel time by bus from Taipei to Changhua makes the travel a torture. If you have lots of money, you can take a bullet train to Taichung High Speed Rail Station from Taipei Main Station. The travel time will be 1 hour and an additional 20-30 minutes by bus you will be in Changhua City.


It is less modern than Taichung but not older than Tainan. Changhua made me wonder what can I see in that place in Central Taiwan. Will I see historic temples? Or how about a nice beach facing the Taiwan Strait? The hot weather was just perfect for a travel adventure in Central Taiwan. I boarded a bus from Taipei to Changhua and the adventure started at the Fan-Shaped Train Garage of the Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) which was built in 1922.






















Orange trains of the TRA were resting at the garage and visitors were allowed to enter the area by just registering in the logbook. A viewing platform was constructed to see the real beauty of the circular train garage. A large metal 'rail-bridge' was very noticeable. My research about this place have led me to a blog describing that the 'rail-bridge' rotates when a train is needed to be taken out of the garage. Interesting! 




at Changhua Station
It was around 1pm that I decided to leave the train garage. My next destination was the Great Buddha in Baguashan but talking to people in Changhua was difficult. I said a I few Chinese words and one woman pointed the direction to where the Changhua Station was located. I managed to find Changhua's main train station and have some nice photos. The Changhua Station was just plain and simple unlike the classic Baroque style structure of the Taichung Station. 












A lady from the Visitor Information Center gave me a brochure about the tourist destinations in Changhua. The two lines of the Taiwan Tour Bus will take you to a lot of places in Changhua. They are the Lukang and Lukang Dacheng route. If you're more aggresive, you can take the YouBike and experience the thrill of cycling the busy roads of Central Taiwan. Just near to the YouBike Station is a Japanese martial arts building called the Changhua Butokuden.




I passed by a museum about Japanese resistance in Taiwan. However, there was no English guide so I just looked at the photos and but I still understand a little bit what the displays were all about. At the top of the 97 meter high Baguashan was a Great Buddha built in the 1960s. It was very majestic and as I climbed the stars I noticed one thing. I was looking on its eyes and it seems that it was also looking at me like a living 22 meter high creature. Wow! Could it be just my imagination?

















































The Great Buddha is the icon of Changhua just like Taipei 101 of Taipei City. What's fascinating about the Great Buddha is that you can enter inside and learn about the life of Buddha. The Great Buddha also faces Changhua City. Its place in the Mt. Bagua is perfect to see the sunset and nigh-time scenery of the whole province. I took a selfie with the Great Buddha and also Changhua City using my very reliable tripod. I need to document my encounter with the Shakyamuni statue.





















I explored Baguashan to the fullest and after having fun I decided to go to historic Lukang. I need to find my hostel and take a rest for tomorrow's jam-packed activities. I took the Lukang Route of the Taiwan Tour Bus until I found myself in the charming town of Lukang. I successfully found my hostel and I was warmly greeted by barking dogs. After paying, the hostel owner led me to a room where I was introduced to my two male roommates. They were Taiwanese and there was something special about the two of them. (To be continued...)
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