The Baguashan slopes were for centuries a military observation zone. The area affords views over the whole city and far out to sea. It’s a pleasant place to stroll, especially in the spring, when the snow-white flowers of the Youtong trees are in bloom. At the top of the staircase leading from the entrance, you'll find a 22m-high Great Buddha Statue to your right up some more steps, and, to your left, a large semicircular viewing deck with a wooden walkway. You can see the sunset from there.
The large black Buddha sitting on a golden lotus was built in 1962. You can go inside the 22m-tall structure, which has five floors of fantastical sculptures of phoenixes and elephants, and life-sized exhibits depicting the life and teachings of the Buddha.
The Nine Dragons Pond is really a fountain, and it's situated in a semicircular plaza under the viewing deck. There are nine golden dragons with jaws gaping skyward.
In the southern foothills of Baguashan is the bizarre Nantian Temple and haunted gallery, where Taiwanese parents used to take their kids to scare them into obedience. You'll see gory scenes from a Buddhist inferno enacted by mechanised animatronic dioramas. On the 3rd floor is a temple dedicated to the Monkey King that looks like it belongs to a '70s period movie, like those by director Li Han-hsiang. The top floor houses a new section of the haunted house that's darker, louder and more theme-park-like, but less interesting than the first one.
Look for the green sign that says Nantian Temple (南天宮) directly opposite Baguashan's main entrance. Follow the narrow path downhill. The path is clearly signposted and you'll see advertisements, in Mandarin, for '18 levels of hell fully mechanised' or 'No expense spared in recreating the 18 levels of hell'. You'll arrive at the temple after five minutes.