September 22, 2015
- Taipei Confucius Temple (台北市孔廟)
- Linsheng Garden (鄰聖苑牌樓)
- Dalongdong Bao’an Temple (大龍峒保安宮)
- Taipei 101 and Mall
During our final day in Taipei, we visited some of the major sights of the city. After breakfast, we took the subway to the Datong District– an area that has several cultural attractions. First we visited the Taipei Confucius Temple (台北市孔廟); originally the temple was built in 1875 during the Qing Dynasty.
The original temple was destroyed during the Japanese occupation and later was rebuilt during the 1930’s. The temple walks the visitor through the story of Confucius and highlights the principles of Confucianism, such as social rituals and human virtues. The temple’s layout is very similar to that of the clan ancestral temple and has shrines to the Confucian sages, the Twelve Philosophers, and students of Confucius who made significant contributions to Confucianism.
After enjoying the exhibits, we then crossed the street to see the Linsheng Garden (鄰聖苑牌樓), which is also close by to Dalongdong Bao’an Temple.
This Chinese garden has little alcoves of colorful statues that depict a Chinese myth or story.
At the opposite end of the garden is an ornate burner that burns money offerings to the deities.
Across the street was Dalongdong Bao’an Temple (大龍峒保安宮)— a Taoist temple dedicated to Baosheng Dadi (979-1036), who was specialized in traditional Chinese medicine. Throughout his life, he performed several medical miracles and was bestowed with great honor by Emperor Ming Cheng-tzu. He was revered as a god of medicine.
The temple contains many decorative arts, including murals that depict some of the well-known Chinese classics (e.g. Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Romance of Heroes and Gods.
For a late lunch, we went to the Rose House, a place for afternoon tea. We tried the tea sets and various teas. I cannot recall which tea flavors we tried. Compared to the high teas we had in England, Antwerp in Holland, and Canada, the pastries and tea flavors at the Rose House were just satisfactory and filled the hungry stomach.
We later returned to the hotel for a brief rest before heading out again. As evening approached, we went to the Taipei 101 for a spectacular aerial view of the city. Tickets at the time of our visit was $500 national Taiwan dollars per person. According to Wikipedia, the height is 1,474 feet (1,667 feet to tip).
From the ground floor to the observatory (103rd floor), we rode the fastest elevator according to the Guinness Book of World Records. Taipei with all its modern buildings has great expanses of greenery too, showing how Taipei values the natural environment.
We stayed at the observatory to watch the sun set.
Our 3 days in Taipei were very eventful. The subway system is very convenient and easy to use. To our surprise, the subway is very clean! Every hour a worker comes and cleans the handrail of the escalator. The Taiwanese people are very disciplined and organized. During rush hour, there are subway workers that direct the people to various lines and allow people to leave and get on the trains in an orderly manner in order to prevent congestion. There were still a few places we missed including the National Palace Museum. As always, there is a chance to revisit and explore southern Taiwan.
Dalongdong Bao’An Temple. (n.d.). Taipei Dalongdong Baoan Temple. Retrieved from http://www.baoan.org.tw/english/index.html
Taipei Confucius Temple Governing Board. (n.d.). Taipei Confucius Temple. Retrieved from http://www.ct.taipei.gov.tw/en-us/Home.htm