Fenyuan’s Baozang Temple

Baozang Temple
Baozang Temple [寶藏寺]

Baozang Temple is located in Fenyuan Township against the backdrop of Bagua Mountain. I’ve passed this temple several times while cycling but never explored the area until recently. There weren’t many people there during my visit: A couple people were praying in the temple while another handful were chatting near the entranceway. Outside, a few construction workers from a nearby road project were enjoying some shade under some large trees on the temple grounds.

There are conflicting reports regarding the age of this temple:

The local legends said that Baozang Temple was a small monastery enshrining Guanyin Bodhisattva. A Quanzhou settler from Chiayi brought an emblem of Matsu to this temple, which was said to have magical powers. More and more people began to worship Matsu in this temple, so local gentry Hsu Yen-Kuang (許炎光) proposed to rebuild the front hall, which was completed in 1733. After the front hall was completed, a replica of Matsu from Lukang Tianhou Temple was enshrined in this temple. However, according to Changhua County Records, Baozang temple was built by the local villagers in 1785, or maybe this was a record of a major renovation activity [Source].

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Recent Temple Parades

Temple Parade
Temple parades in Taiwan are always exuberant events characterized by a lot of noise and colors.  I stumbled upon two separate parades that were held two days apart in Caotun.  Unfortunately, due to time constraints I was unable to follow each parade for too long, but did come back with a handful of nice shots.

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Tzude Temple

Tzude Temple
Described by the fantastic travel website Taiwanese Secrets as Caotun’s Creepy Taoist Temple, Tzude Temple [慈德宮] rests on a high perch overlooking Caotun Township.  Occasionally, I’ll ride up the steep hill to this spot for exercise before work or during lunch break.  This particular time, I took my recently acquired Nikon FM2 loaded with ISO100 film and gave the area a closer look.
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Chih Shan-Yen Gate and Huiji Temple

Chih Shan-Yen Gate

I had some time to kill before work yesterday so I decided to check out a few places I had been meaning to visit for a while. The Chih Shan-Yen Gate [芝山岩隘門] is on the stairway up to Huiji Temple [惠濟宮].
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Guandu Temple

Guandu Temple

View the large

Built in 1661, Guandu Temple [關渡宮] is the oldest temple in northern Taiwan dedicated to Mazu [媽祖(the Goddess of the Sea)].  The temple is about a 15 minute walk from Guandu MRT Station on the way to Danshui.

The Matsu Nangan Heavenly Empress Palace

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The Matsu Nangan Heavenly Empress Palace [馬祖南竿天后宮] is the religious center of Matsu… legend says that the body of Mazu [媽祖] (Lin Moniang) drifted and stopped here.
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Yuantong Temple, Taipei County

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Once upon a time I picked up a copy of Taipei Metro’s Guide to Hiking & Cycling at an MRT station. After thumbing through it I told myself that I would hike every trail listed… then again, this was when I was only working 15 hours a week and wasn’t taking Chinese classes. So long story short, about a year after picking the guide up I’m still 0-for-12. Today I was going to change all that, so I took the MRT one stop south to Jingan Station. Almost immediately I encountered two setbacks to my trip:

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Quick stop at the Bishan Temple in Nantou

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After our trip to the Houtanjing Trail we stopped at the Bishan Temple [碧山巖寺] in Nantou. I have seen this temple numerous times from a car or bus window, but this was my first closeup of this beautiful site.
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Two days in Hualian

It was great to get out of Taipei for a couple days during the break from class and work. On Friday, Cathy and I took an early train from Taipei to Hualian. Although we had to stand on the train, it was not as busy as I had expected. I have been on busier trains on trips from Taichung and back. The views from the train were great when I made the effort to contort my body to unnatural positions to look out the window.

When we got off the train, we had met the owner of the hotel we were staying at, he drove us up a mountain trail to a small stream where we met another group staying at the hotel for barbeque.

The water was cool and the first clean river I have seen in Taiwan:

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