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June 23, 2005

Taipei Temple Tour

Today is "visit as many temples as you can" day. We start with Lung Shan Temple.
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This area used to be a seedy tourist trap, now it is a sterile tourist trap. There are now gates around the temple with a park across the street with undergound parking. Snake Alley (Hua Hsi Street) is now covered and most of the snakes are gone. I was hoping to drink some snake blood in wine followed by some gall bile in wine. I didn't and was disappointed.

However, there is now a pond with fish inside the temple grounds.
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These carp were huge, at least two feet long.

We then walked West to Lane 253 to visit Chi Tian Gung.
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This is a small Matzu temple dating from 1846.

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Next we found a treasure, Ching Shan Gung.
General Chang graces the main altar. He was the mayor of Quanzhou, Fujian, China during the Three Kingdom period.
His administrative skills and fairness endeared himself to the local population.
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He is believed to occupy a position "on the other side" as High Justice of the Underworld, and his aid in worldly matters is considered powerful.

This temple was built in 1856.
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It is hiding behind a "modern" building. There are three floors of elaborately carved and gilded alters accommodating other deities.
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Even the roof line is majestic.
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Carved door guard, instead of a painted one.
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The mayor was honored for many centuries and then, one day, a strange tablet was discovered at his tomb, requesting that the new Sung dynasty move his remains to a place called Ching Shan. Thus, the name, for you with inquisitive minds.

We also visited King of Hell Temple, Ching Shuei Tzu Shr Miau, and another Matzu temple we passed on our walk the the Ximen MRT train station.

We skipped Fu De Gung and Lung Jing Gung because Rosa's shoes were falling apart.

Oh, I almost forgot. We visited Ji Yi Gung on our way the the Wan Hua Train Station to get Rosa's shoe fixed. I told Rosa that Mr. Shu has a shop there where he fixes shoes. We did find him but the fix didn't last.

Posted by Dan at June 23, 2005 07:43 AM