Traveling Taiwan: Lung Shan Temple, Taipei (Part 7 of 24)

Lung Shan Temple 5

The Lungshan Temple located in Taipei, Taiwan, was built in 1738 by immigrants from the Fukien (Fujian) province of China who settled in Taiwan. It is primarily a Buddhist temple but has incorporated Daoist and Matzu tradition, a Goddess of marine voyage (helpful for island dwellers). This temple is regarded as a masterpiece of Taiwanese, Chinese, and Buddhist architecture. In 1945, the United States bombed the temple in our conflict with the Japanese, who had taken Taiwan as a colony from China for about fifty years, and much of the temple and many irreplaceable artifacts and works of art were destroyed. Nevertheless, the temple was rebuilt and designated a historic site, and really is a historic and beautiful must-see for anyone visiting Taipei.

Lung Shan Temple 9

At the entrance to the temple, there were vendors selling fragrant flowers meant for prayer and worship uses, but I bought up one because it was made of these really fragrant flowers sold all over Taiwan as natural air fresheners.

Lung Shan Temple 8

Upon entering the temple, you’ll see a lovely courtyard with a gardens, ponds, and breathtaking man-made waterfalls. On the day when I arrived at the temple, it was drizzling, but that just served to give the whole place a special rain-enhanced dazzle to it.
Lung Shan Temple 6

Lung Shan Temple 7

Lung Shan Temple 1

The intricate carvings on the rooftops of the temple structure were amazing, and it made me wish I had brushed up a bit more on my eastern religions studies so that I could better appreciate the stories and rich symbolism expressed in those painstakingly created works of art.

Lung Shan Temple 3

Lung Shan Temple 2

Despite the rain, the inside of the temple was packed, the walls lined with worshipers, and the air buzzing with chanting prayers.

Lung Shan Temple 4

After our visit to the temple, we were delighted to find an 85C Bakery just outside the temple. Although my general rule while traveling is to not eat anything I could find at home, I totally gave in and stopped by for a tall cup of my favorite sea salt jasmine green tea. Nevertheless, there was something about it that just didn’t taste as delicious as it does in LA (can’t beat the fresh California ingredients?), and the shop itself was actually quite small and cramped for me since I’m used to the gorgeously spacious ones out in San Gabriel Valley.

85 C Bakery

Next up, the largest collection of Chinese art in the world, the National Palace Museum.

Taiwan 2013 Sunday 026

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About tinabot

Tinabot is a writer, teacher, and ninja. She and her students write and publish their work. Her debut teen kung fu romance novel The Legend of Phoenix Mountain is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
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