By Susie Ma
When you’re in Taipei for the 2021 Rotary International Convention, June 12-16, take time to visit some of the city’s temples and other monuments.
The Lungshan Temple, one of Taipei’s most popular, is primarily Buddhist, but it also incorporates Taoism and Chinese folklore. This ornately carved and painted structure was originally constructed in 1738 and remains an active place of worship. The temple compound is a calming space that includes a small waterfall, fountains, and a koi pond.
More than 100 deities are represented in this temple, including the goddess of mercy and the god of war. Students come to pray to Wenchang, the patron deity of literature, before exams, and on matters of justice and honour, people consult Guan Yu, a famed warrior of Chinese folklore. The temple is easily accessible via its own stop on the blue line of the MRT, Taipei’s public transportation system.
The Xiahai City God Temple is known for its statue of the matchmaker god, or the “Old Man Under the Moon”, as some call him. This temple is on Dihua Street, home to trendy boutiques and cafes alongside traditional medicinal and artisan shops.
The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is Taipei’s most prominent historical structure, built as a tribute to the former president of the Republic of China. The hall is part of a complex that includes two performing arts buildings, a large plaza, manicured gardens, and peaceful ponds. You can see the changing of the guard on the hour between 9am and 5pm.
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