Believe it or not, there are as many as 5000 temples throughout Taiwan, ranging in size from single room shrines to huge multi-story buildings. They come in every shape , color form and size. All of these temples are not simply museums or relics of bygone era, but are actually active daily places of worship.
Looking for things to do in Taipei? Take a tour or enjoy a Taipei travel adventure. Longshan is Taipei's oldest temple and is located in Taipei's Wanhua District, the oldest part of Taipei city.. It was built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, China. It served as a place of worship and a gathering place for the Chinese settlers. Another cultural example of Taiwanese classical architecture. Like most temples in Taiwan, the Temple worships a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist, and folk gods such as Matsu. Pretty much anytime you visit this major attraction, rest assured, you will see hundreds of worshippers walk in to pay tribute to the many gods. There are more than 165 Chinese gods that are enshrined here. The Main Hall holds the Chinese Goddess of Mercy-Guanyin. Tourists and Taiwanese will travel to Taipei from all every corner of Taiwan to catch a glimpse of the famed God . The statue is said to have survived earthquakes, civil war, fires and even the USA bombings and actually makes this temple famous for these reasons! The temple itself has been destroyed completely or partially many times by earthquakes, USA bombings and many random fires throughout the years. The best times to visit this famous landmark are generally early mornings and late afternoons. During these peak periods, you can see the many fans chanting prayers in dark black robes resembling bath robes.
MRT Station: Longshan Temple
Open Hours: Daily, 6 a.m. -10 p.m.
Qingshan Temple was constructed in 1854. It houses the god King Qingshan. If you look at the rumors of legend, you will hear that, fishermen from mainland China has carried over the god's image to Taiwan. They were said to have carried it past Old Street , which is today called "Hsiyuan Road" It is said that during their travel, the god refused to move any further, and therefor made them come to a sudden halt. Throwing the oracle blocks to find out what has going on, the god's devotees had soon discovered that he wanted to stay there. This is why they decided to built the temple there. An epidemic outbreak was out of control back then, but it was believed that through the use of prayers to King Chingshan would guarantee to bring a recovery to the epidemic. Then the god's grateful devotees grew in size, and they donated lots of money to build a brand new temple. This is the temple that exists today.
The celebration marking the birthday of King Qingshan is held on the 22nd day of the 10th lunar month. On that day all of the other temples in the area also celebrate the occasion, helping make it one of the most interesting festivals in Manka.
MRT Station: Qingshan Temple
Open Hours: Daily
Address: 218 Kueiyang Street, Sec. 2
Qingshui Zushi Temple is located in a little town called Sanxia, about 20 minutes south of Taipei city. It was built in 1769, this famous attraction temple is well known for its elaborate carvings and paintings as well as for its annual divine pig contest. Many say that if you had to visit only one shrine in Taiwan, it should be this one. See and experience many aspects of an ancient Chinese religion at this Taiwan temple.
Confucius Temple is one of the most historic buildings in Taipei, Taipei's Confucius Temple the was built in 1875 by a large group of mainland Chinese architects and carpenters, then was destroyed by the Japanese in the early 1900's, and was re-established and re-built in 1925. This wonderful Taiwan landmark and sanctuary has been constructed using classical Chinese temple architecture offering sweeping eaves, an oval entrance and walls of brown brick. Full of traditional Chinese sculptures and painting. . Marvel at it's beautiful subtle design, tranquil parks, low gently swooping rooftops, fancy carvings, statues and lush semi-circular pond, providing good feng shui for the temple. A ceremony to honor Confucius is annually held here on September 28th. The temple's administration frequently holds academic discussions on Confucian study. It's really a worthwhile retreat from the concrete jungle. If you easily tire of the usual cacophony present in other shrines around the country- no drums, no gongs, no self flagellation here. This is a must see ceremony that's held at the Confucius temple for Confucius' birthday (held on September 28th). The ritual begins at 6 a.m., but if you want to get a good view or be up front, you should arrive 2-3 hours in advance .
This classical and cultural Taiwan event involves speeches given by many local figure heads, including, the mayor of Taipei, wise scholars and other community icons. The uneventful lectures are sometimes interrupted by drumming, bowing, chanting and some dance performances made by children. Be sure to take pictures of the performers' elaborate and very colorful costumes. Expect big crowds on the weekends.
MRT Station: Yuanshan
Open Hours: 8:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. Tue-Sat, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun and holidays
Address: 275, Dalong Street, Taipei 103 Taiwan Tel: 886 2 2592 3934
Even though worlds apart in style and more, just across from the Confucius Temple, lies the famous Baoan Temple in Taipei. Bao An Temple is an exceptional, though usually unseen, classic example of Taoist reference in Taipei. This super famous landmark was built over 200 years ago. You may watch and enjoy worshipers offer food to their gods. Offerings come in many forms, such as sachels of sugar and cans of pop, as dragons and other mythological creatures keep a watchful eye from the ceiling above and on the walls. If you are lucky and timely, you can see a quick ritual performance around 11 a.m. on Saturdays. This cultural experience is presented by a Taoist priest. Be sure to bring your camera on this Taiwan tour.
MRT Station: Yuanshan
Hours: Daily, 6am-10pm
Ready for another Taipei travel adventure? If you're cruising around the Zhongzheng District, you must visit this Japanese-built, nineteen story architecture marvel. Shandao Temple also has a museum that displays an wide collection of Buddhist artifacts. If you're one to mediate or maybe you are just a seeking a quiet place to relax and collect your thought, you can find peace and quiet at Shandao's main hall. It's quite a peaceful and restful environment. It is a nice area to walk around the side streets and get a sneak peak of traditional Taiwanese living.
MRT Station: Shandao Temple
Hours: Tue-Sun; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.