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Old March 6th, 2016, 12:20 PM   #1
El_Greco
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Across Western Taiwan

Another year, another trip to Taiwan, for another Chinese New Year celebration. Thankfully this time the trip was a month long, so I not only got to explore Taipei more properly, but also visit other cities and towns, as well as mountains. There's still lots to be seen and done in this wonderful island. Next time.

We begin in Taipei...

1. We begin in Guandu Temple...just after midnight on the Chinese New Year...the temple was full of people moving from shrine to shrine, incense sticks in hand. Bowing, praying, chatting. The atmosphere in temples this time of year is amazing and a must to experience. Take the incense sticks, join the crowds...three bows...



2. The temple was built in 1661 and was then called as Lingshan Temple.



3. It is a riot of colour and detail. Time must be taken to appreciate the craftshmanship on display.



4. A Qilin - a mythological creature from South East Asian folklore. It is often found at temples and shrines. Despite its appearance Qilin is a peaceful creature. It is a good omen and a symbol of luck, prosperity and protection.



5. View over Zhuwei and Tamsui districts in the far north west of Taipei.



6.



7. Despite being about 30-40 minutes MRT ride away from the centre of Taipei the area is surprisingly urban.



8. Just after sunset.



9.



10. On the other side of the river.



11. The amazing sunset over Bali district as seen from Tamsui.



12. Tamsui Old Street. It is said that some cities have no centre, Taipei, however, is all centre. And it is especially lively just after sunset when the night markets come to life. They sell everything from food to clothes. This one in Tamsui is one of my favourites - there's a place near the pier that sell the most amazing fried octopus on the planet. Divine.



13. Hello Kitty store!!! One of two in the area. I can't remember how many things with Hello Kitty I bought on this trip!



14. Inside of Tamsui's oldest temple of Fuyou. Built in 1796 by local townspeople and fishermen. It is dedicated to the godess Mazu - the protector of seafarers. The godess is widely worshiped in Taiwan as well as coastal regions of China. Good thing I traded my bulky 5D for Sony A7 - so I no longer am so easy to clock as a photographer.



15.



16. A week later I returned to Tamsui and Fuyou Temple. A chinese tourist carefully reads the answer to her question from the godess Mazu.



17. I love lanterns and aesthetics of temples. My in-laws are often amused by my fascination with temples. But I feel the same about churches. I enjoy visiting them.



18. A red-brick European colonial house on a hill in Tamsui, now a tea house. Taiwan has some amazing tea-places. My favourite was hot smoked plum tea.



19. Cool house.



20. George Leslie Mackay, a Canadian missionary in 19th century who started a hospital for the poor and which still exists.



21. Tamsui Church built by the Japanese in 1933.



22. Another tea shop. I liked the Japanese theme.



23. Tower block!



24. Chih Shan Yen Cultural And Historical Park in Zhishan.



25. A temple at the top of Zhishan.

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Old March 6th, 2016, 07:10 PM   #2
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Stunning!
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Old March 6th, 2016, 09:31 PM   #3
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Thank you! Some more!

26. Shuangxi Park - a small but very beautiful neighbourhood park. This was one of those days when temperatures in Taipei hit 25 degrees.



27. The pavillions serve as picknick areas.



28. Old Japanese built shops somewhere south of Ximending.



29. Mengjia Longshan Temple - the main temple in Taipei, built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian temple. It is dedicated to the worship of Mazu, Guanyin and Guan Yu. During the centuries it was destroyed and damaged numerous times, most recently in 1945 when it was hit by American bombers during their Raid on Taipei. Many precious artefacts and artworks were lost.



30. It's a very beautiful and vibrant place. I love it.

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Old March 7th, 2016, 03:46 AM   #4
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great tour, thanks for the pics. i especially like the "cool house."

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Old March 7th, 2016, 06:17 AM   #5
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Beautiful photos! Makes me want to go there....
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Old March 7th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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Beautiful photos! Makes me want to go there....
Do. Taiwan is, for some reason, largely undiscovered by Westerners.

Thanks guys!
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Old March 7th, 2016, 10:13 PM   #8
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31. The street nearby. Looks like Gotham.



32. Lin An Tai Ancestral House. An 18th century mansion of a wealthy family. In 1970s it was threatened with demolition but thanks to a campaign by scholars and enthusiasts it was taken apart brick by brick and rebuilt in its present site.



33. Taipei Confucius Temple. It was originally built in 1879, however it was demolished during Japanese colonial period. It was rebuilt in 1930. There are many Confucius temples in Taiwan, but Taipei's temple is the only one decorated in Fujian style. At the main hall of the temple one can see a black plaque with gold lettering which was inscribed by Chiang Kai-shek that reads "Educate without Discrimination." This however is just a gate...



34. Which leads to another gate...



35. Which then leads to the main courtyard.



36. The details are amazing.



37.

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Old March 7th, 2016, 11:10 PM   #9
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#8 / 31 fascinates me.
A wonderful thread, El_Greco!
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Old March 8th, 2016, 08:57 AM   #10
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Thanks!
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Old March 8th, 2016, 07:43 PM   #11
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Great, very nice photos from Taiwan
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Old March 8th, 2016, 10:59 PM   #12
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Taiwan seems really fascinating! It is so easy to forget Taipei in the shadow of Tokyo and Shanghai, but your pics really make me want to go there!
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Old March 9th, 2016, 12:38 PM   #13
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Taiwan is fantastic! ❤️

I guess it's true what you say about Shanghai and Tokyo, but Taipei has far better location than these two - what's it being surrounded by mountains. Thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2016, 09:06 PM   #14
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38. Dalongdong Baoan Temple. A 19th century Taoist Temple located right next to the Confucius Temple.



39. Another day.



40. Inner courtyard.



41.



42. The detailing here is also pretty impressive.

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Old March 9th, 2016, 09:25 PM   #15
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Wow! spectacular! this is one great collection of authentic Chinese (Taiwan) temples and gates. they are massively and richly decorated.
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Old March 9th, 2016, 09:52 PM   #16
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Beautiful place and photos!
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Old March 9th, 2016, 11:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorn2000 View Post
Wow! spectacular! this is one great collection of authentic Chinese (Taiwan) temples and gates. they are massively and richly decorated.
Yeah the temples are very beautiful and each has its own unique atmosphere too. Thank you!

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Beautiful place and photos!
Thanks!
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Old March 9th, 2016, 11:48 PM   #18
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43. Street vendor and her client. Taipei and Taiwanese cities are full of street vendors selling all kinds of things. If you ever in Taiwan be sure to try them. Octopus soup and rice noodle are my personal favourites.



44. Dihua Street. Probably my favourite place in Taipei. Old buildings, interesting shops, great food.



45.

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Old March 10th, 2016, 10:13 PM   #19
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Comments, comments, people, come on!

46. A.S. Watson. Remnant of European presence sometime in the 19th century.



47.



48. Taipei 101.



49. Control Yuan, is an investigatory agency that monitors the other branches of government.



50. Zhongxiao West Road, the tiny red building in the distance is Taipei North Gate.

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Old March 11th, 2016, 10:59 PM   #20
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Flawless pictures! Just wow. Throught those we can feel you love this country
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