The Buddhist temples of the Lion’s Head Mountain Scenic Area (獅頭山國家風景區; shītóushān guójiā fēngjǐngqū) have been attracting pilgrims since the Qing dynasty. The area is shaped like a rectangle, with an area of 242 square kilometres divided between Miaoli and Hsinchu counties. Its most accessible hiking trails and temples are clustered around Lion’s Head Mountain (shītóushān) itself, in the northern half of the area, and along the Zhonggang River Valley just to the south. The region is also the home of the Saisiyat people. The other main section worth checking out is Emei Lake, dominated by the immense statue of Maitreya Buddha, one of Taiwan’s highlights.

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