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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

the mystery of the giant golden buddha

I have a very sophisticated system for finding places to go to on our scoot adventures. It involves a combination of google maps and google images. I pull up a map of Hsinchu City, where I live, and start looking for towns nearby that have English names. Then, I look at the town on google images to decide if it's worth journeying to. I told you it was sophisticated.

Emei is one of the towns that appear beside Hsinchu City on the map. When I tried to google image it, the only image that appeared was one of a giant golden Buddha statue.

I thought it was an intriguing image.
So we went.
It was actually pretty easy to find because this Buddha is the tallest thing around for miles. We were lost and wondering where to go when Sean looked down into a valley and started laughing.

Because there it was, huge and golden, lighting our way like a beacon.

When we got to the complex, it was closed and everything was behind gates and fences. We could still drive around it so we did. We saw a sign that had some dates on it and the name "Nature Loving Wonderland". 
What an odd name, we thought.

We wondered what was inside the huge building.
We wondered why the Buddha was holding the world.
We wondered what all the statues were in the courtyard in front of the big Buddha.

We wondered what the Nature Loving Wonderland was all about.
It was just such a mystery to us.

So of course I googled it when we got home. I found an English website too! But in the end this explanation didn't really help me understand the place any better:

Finally, jolly good news had arrived in this world.The opening ceremony of the Nature Loving Wonderland located in the Hsinchu county of Taiwan was held on March 5th-6th, 2011. For residents in Hsinchu, it was a small step toward a more civilized society; to all humankind, it was a giant step forward to a New Civilization that transcends nationality, ethnicity, religion, and culture.
That night, a local friend came over for a bit. We told him about our adventure to the giant golden Buddha statue, and he told us that he just went to a cafe with a great view of it the previous weekend.

Excited, I asked him what the place was all about.

I had to laugh a little when his response was, "Hmmm, I don't know. That place is a bit of a mystery to me".

...so, I guess I will have to wait until the complex opens again in late September to unravel the mystery of the giant golden Buddha statue and Nature Loving Wonderland.
Have you ever come across really a perplexing place on your travels??

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Add your comment

  1. I look for places to go the same way haha! It's amazing what you can find when you just wing it and give somewhere a chance.

  2. Hello from a fellow expat living in Taiwan.

    It is amazing the unique finds you can find on this island, even in the middle on nowhere. Look forward to reading more about the mystery behind the golden Buddha.

    Constance - http://foreignsanctuary.com/

    1. Yay for expats living in Taiwan!! It's such a great place to live!! Taiwan has some great finds. My favorite are the random ones off the beaten path.

  3. I have to admit all of these is a bit strange. I will feel curious to find out what is inside. I recently discovered a place called Atlas Obscura. It is like a database of all things (or places) weird.

    1. It is strange, huh?? I love it!! Hmmm...Atlas Obscura sounds odd, but cool too!

  4. What a great story! I hope you find out what this is all about and write an update post! I love your very sophisticated system of finding places to visit. I've never thought to use google images to find an intriguing place to visit. Might have to use that the next time I take a trip somewhere :)

    1. Don't worry! We will be back Sept 22 when it opens again. I can't wait to find out what is inside that building!!

  5. Very funny story and I enjoyed the mystery! If you ever solve it. you will have to update the post!

  6. I love the places that you just casually find on your weekend adventures! That statue looks definitely fascinating!

    1. Me too! I love that these places are there so we can just casually find them! What a treat it is to live here!

  7. Hi! I visited the Nature Wonderland in October and it was an awe inspiring experience! The people were so nice and happy, also they gave us a free tour! It is free to go and they have English translators if you inquire for one! They are opened on the Weekends for free. You should check it out. They are all about loving nature, and loving all things, and treating everyone as if they were your family.