In Taiwan there is a noticeable difference from Mainland China with respect to the practice of religion within the culture. In the previous article I mentioned that Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai Shek became Christians. There are many Christians in Taiwan as well as practitioners of Eastern religions of Buddhism and Taoism. During this trip we visited two temples and I found them both to be, vibrant, alive and fascinating.
Longshan Temple – was beautiful, ornately decorated, and busy with worshipers at sundown.
Unlike a Christian church in the west where there is a formal service performed by minister or priest and everyone prays together. The Buddhist way is one of people constantly coming and going at their leisure, making offerings of food, flowers, prayers and plenty of incense.
After this long day we arranged for foot and shoulder massage. The one hour treatment was sensational! Applying the same concept of meridians used in acupuncture and other forms of Traditional Chinese medicine, the masseur was able to discern that I eat too quickly and he also found some of my old injuries incurred during years of martial arts training and other physical activities. He knew right where my pain was!
The following day we hired a driver to tour us up through Yangmingshan National Park and back down to the city. It was a Sunday morning and the park was crowded with hikers, bikers and tour buses. On the return trip we stopped at Beitou hot springs for a traditional soak in the sulfur water. After 90 minutes of soaking, I was a bit dehydrated.
Guan Du Temple– another place of worship full of people reciting mantras and supplicating before their chosen deity. Rooftops adorned with colorful carvings of wood and stone. This temple was about 6 stories high, but we chose to only go to the second level. The heat of day after a hot soak had drained much of my energy.
This link to the previous article about Taipei City, Taiwan.