A Brief History of Zouying and the Lotus Pond
But first, let me introduce to you the history of Taiwan.
In the 17th century, Taiwan was occupied by the Dutch. Dutch used Taiwan as a trading center and they also encouraged Chinese to come to Taiwan to cultivate land. As a result, an influx of Han Chinese from areas of Fujian and Guangdong of mainland China, took risks across the Taiwan Strait.
In 1662, Koxiga (Zheng Cheng-gong), a loyalist of the Ming Dynasty, which had lost control of mainland China in 1644, defeated the Dutch and established a naval base on the island. Zheng’s forces were later defeated by the Qing Dynasty in 1683.
Two centuries later, Qing Dynasty went to war with Japan and lost the battle. Since then, Taiwan had become a Japanese colony for 50 years. Consequently, Taiwan produced rice and sugar to be exported to Japan. During World War II, Taiwan served as a base for the Japanese colonial expansion into Southeast Asia and the Pacific and many Taiwanese fought for Japan during the war.
In 1945, following the end of World War II, the defeated Japan renounced Taiwan to the Republic of China (ROC) led by the Kuomintang. In 1949, after losing the Chinese civil war to the Communist party, Kuomintang and two millions of its loyalists took refuge in Taiwan until today.
The history of Zouying also dates back to the 17th century. When Koxinga had driven the Dutch from Taiwan, Taiwan was then divided into one prefecture and two counties, the county seat was located in Zuoying. This administrative building remained in place during Qing dynasty.
The Lotus Pond, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kaohsiung, the biggest city in Southern part of Taiwan, is famous for its wide water and beautiful scenery. It’s on the east side of Zuoying city, just outside the old city wall. It used to be a prairie. During Ming Dynasty, it was utilized and modified into a pond for irrigation. Later in Ching Dynasty, the pond was further expanded, and it was enough to irrigate thousands of hectares of farmland, making this area affluent and well-developed at that time. Moreover, it also served as flood control. By then, the pond was filled of lotuses. During the full blossom season, the scent of lotus flowers could travel miles away.
Currently the water of Lotus Pond is drawn from Gaoping river. The lake area originally was 65 hectares. Due to the road construction as well as the building of Confucius Temple, the pond has shrunk to about fifty hectares.
In recent years, the Lotus Pond Scenic Area has become a popular spot for visitors to have a taste of local folk culture. There are more than 20 temples and pavilions within the 500 meters of west side of Lotus Pond, including the famous Dragon Tiger pagodas, North Pole pavilion, Chiming temple, and Confucius temple. All of them are stunning that can easily catch one’s eyes.On top of that, the Lotus Pond Scenic Area is also a historic site where the old city wall, originally built in the 17th century, is located.
Walking around the lake is the best way to explore the beauty of Lotus Pond. There are other activities such as cycling, fishing, cable waterskiing, allowing you to indulge yourself with when visiting Lotus Pond. Most importantly, take as many photos as you can!