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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Ice Cream at Hejia Ranch

Big Cow
A couple weeks back Cathy and I checked out the Hejia Ranch [禾家牧場] on Yinghangshan [銀行山].  The ranch was established twenty years ago and specializes in dairy products such as milk, ice cream, yogurt, and popsicles.  Yinghangshan is located on Baguashan [八卦山], making this a popular spot for families and cyclists.

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Ershui Photowalk

Ershui Walk
A few weeks ago, my wife and I visited Ershui [二水] in Changhua County.  We parked at the lot next to the train station and took a leisurely stroll along the road that runs perpendicular to the train station.  We mostly took pictures of old buildings along the way.

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Wolongpo and Tengshan Trail Tung Blossoms

Roofs
I had the great pleasure of heading up to Baguashan [八卦山] this morning to check out the Tung Blossoms on the Wolongpo [臥龍坡步道] and Tengshan Trails [藤山步道].  These trails are two of several scenic areas visitors can flock to for the 2009 Hakka Tung Blossom Festival [2009客家桐花祭].  There were several booths as well as a stage set up in front of Fengtian Temple [鳳天宮] for the event.  I arrived before any of the vendors, so there was nothing distracting me from starting my walk down the Wolongpo Trail [臥龍坡步道].
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Saturday Cycling – Tung Blossoms and Baguashan

挑水古道
Usually before I go cycling I’ve already decided several days ahead of time where I’ll be going. Today was different. I hadn’t decided where I would be going as I finished breakfast this morning. I got on my bike and headed in the direction of the Pingding Sacred Tree, as there are many choices of routes available once there. I felt a rumbling in my stomach, so turned around to go to the big 7-11 on Zhongzheng Rd. This particular 7-11 rates high in terms of clean restrooms. Had it not been for the unexpected bout of abdominal bloating, I probably would have gone to the Pingding Sacred Tree and come back through Jhongliao like I usually do.

After leaving 7-11 I decided to head in the direction of Baguashan [八卦山].  I entertained the idea of cycling to Changhua and ascending Baguashan from the Giant Buddha Statue one of my six year old students can’t stop talking about.

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Taiwan Glass Exhibition Hall

Fish
The Taiwan Glass Exhibition Hall [台灣玻璃館], founded by Taiwan Mirror Glass Enterprise LTD. provides local artists a place to showcase their work. The museum is free of charge and a welcome escape from the heat for anyone visiting Lugang on a hot day.
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A brief return to Baguashan

Bagua Road
Sunday’s bike trip was a much briefer one than the previous week because I had a mountain of housework I didn’t get done on Saturday. This trip was much like the previous one, however, once I reached Bagua Rd. I turned right instead of left.
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Changcing Bikeway on Baguashan

Jhongsing
Taking advantage of a fine day on the eve of Typhoon Jingmi’s arrival I decided to do some cycling on the Chingcing Bikeway [長青自行車道] along Baguashan [八卦山]. The weather was nice and cool when I set out at 6 am on Saturday. After a quick stop at Family Mart and another stop for breakfast I began my journey through Nantou City [南投市]. Along the way, a van was being overtaken by nature:
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Car Free Day 2008 – Ershui

Car Free Day 2008
Cycling events were held all over Taiwan over the weekend in celebration of the International Car Free Day. David Reid has an excellent report of the events held in Taipei County and Taipei City. This morning I attended the event held in Ershui, Changhua County.
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Dickin’ around in Central Taiwan

k01.jpg

On Thursday evening, Catherine and myself left Taipei for Nantou. On the bus ride a film was playing which appeared to be a public service announcement about how not to die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning in the event of a car accident inside a tunnel. The film starred three Taiwanese people and their foreign friend who was excited about the wonderful sights the island had to offer, but was confused by some of the customs to which his Taiwanese friends would come to his rescue and save him from imminent embarrassment… at least that’s what I remember from the movie.

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