Dedicated to the Guanyin Bodhisattva (‘Avalokiteśvara’ in Sanskrit), the Guanyin Temple is an archetypal ancient temple in Penghu. It is a center of religious belief and an important strategic location. The area stands guard over the Penghu Main Island and overlooks the West Island (or ‘Pescadores’ in Portuguese, meaning ‘Fisherman Islands’) and the Baisha Township. Records show troops were garrisoned here as early as 1622, before the Dutch occupation. The site also saw military use during the late Ming and Qing periods.
With a history of over 300 years, the Guanyin Temple has undergone many reconstructions. Its construction dates to the year 1696. The ancient bell and bell pavilion also date from that time. However, they had been destroyed during the Sino-French War in 1885, and cultural relics in the temple, including two statues of Guanyin and the Eighteen Arhats, were plundered. In 1891, Wu Hongluo, the navy commander of Penghu, donated silver to rebuild the temple. When the Japanese established the new Penghu administrative office building in 1923, the glutinous-rice-dough lions that stood in front of Qing Dynasty’s Penghu prefectural office were moved here. When the temple was renovated in 1959, the Tide-Watching Pavilion was added on the left side. Visitors can enjoy the ebb and flow of the Taiwan Straits and view magnificent sunsets over the West Island, one of Taiwan’s eight famous scenic wonders.
The Guanyinting Recreation Area has been renovated and equipped with sports and leisure facilities, including a water park, an international windsurfing competition center, and a children's playground. It is popular with tourists and is a great place to relax and have fun in the water.