Taiwan is an island of gods, ghosts and pagodas with an abundance of legendary treasures and a cultural inheritance that can still be seen in all its age-old splendor. Numerous sanctuaries reflect the traditional culture of China and in contrast to the People’s Republic, here Chinese culture has been extremely well preserved.
With around 2.5 million inhabitants, Taipei is the island’s largest city and also the capital of Taiwan, a metropolis that reflects both old and new. Taipei’s Bao'en Temple was dedicated to the deity of medicine, Baosheng Dadi, a god that was once mainly worshipped in the Chinese province of Fujian.
In contrast to the island’s many other sanctuaries, the Chih Nan temple complex is inhabited by around 50 monks. The monastic community underlines the extraordinary importance of this sanctuary for both Taiwanese Taoism and Buddhism. Dedicated to Taoism, the temple complex of Chih Nan is one of the most important seats of religious education in Taiwan.
Due to its 200 or more large temple complexes and numerous small shrines, Tainan, also known as The City of Temples, the Tien Gon Temple is one of the city’s most recently built sanctuaries which is very popular with the local population.
On the western coast of Taiwan is the small harbor town of Luang. This was the first landing place for many of the immigrants who arrived from the Chinese region of Fujian. Lungshan’s “Dragon Temple” dates back to the Qing Dynasty and was built to commemorate the Goddess of Charity, Kuan-Yin, who had once transported immigrants safely to the island and was worshipped as the Patron Saint of Seafarers.
An almost totally lost part of historic China lives on in Taiwan, a legendary island of gods, spirits and pagodas because this island, at the end of the rainbow, has somehow managed to retain its thousands of years old traditions and beliefs.