Robin's Adventures

Beautiful Island

Interesting Architecture

The Lingxing gate, also known as the top scholar gate, has large red doors which each have 108 golden studs. The studs are designed to protect the temple from evil forces and to expel demons.

In front of the doors are two intricately carved pillars with coiled dragons. Above the gateway there is a double eve roof with ceramic mosaic creatures along it. There are also colorful designs on the beams and ceiling overhead.

Confucian Rituals

The next gate is called the Yi gate, or etiquette gate. There are brightly painted carved window screens across the front of the gate. The gate leads to the Dacheng, or Great Success Hall which is the main building at the temple. There is a stone with a cloud dragon carving on the front of the platform and a double eve roof with elaborate carvings.

There are two cylinders on the central ridge of the roof called tong tian tong or heavenly interface canisters. They represent secret containers that were used to hide books during the Qin Dynasty when the emperor, in an attempt to keep people illiterate so they would not question his rule, burned books.

Inside, the alter is surrounded by ancient musical instruments used in Confucian rituals.

Bao'An Gong Temple

The Bao'An Gong Temple was just a short walk from the Taipei Confucius Temple. Bao'An Gong is a Taoist temple. The main deity here is the God of Health, although there are many others, and people light incense sticks and say a prayer asking for the deity to intercede on their behalf or to help a loved one.

There is also a lighted wall. Each candle represents a family who made a donation for a loved one. In addition, people left all sorts of other offerings, such as flowers or food, on a table in the covered area of the courtyard.

Colorful Rooftop Sculptures

There are many detailed clay pottery sculptures adorning the roof and eves at the Bao'An Gong Temple. Many of the colorful figurines are placed in scenes that depict historical stories.

Comforts of Home

Steve settled in for the long flight and Robin was pleased to find the comforts of home.

A Walk in the Park

Across the street from the Boa'An Temple as a charming little park with life-sized figures and scenes. There was a koi pond with a huge dragon sculpture in the middle. The dragon sprayed water out of its mouth creating a delightfully whimsical fountain.

Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

The Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall was built in 1980 in memory of Taiwan's former president. The monument was designed with an octagonal roof because the number eight symbolizes good fortune and abundance. There are 89 steps leading to the main entrance because that was Chiang's age at his time of death.

The National Concert Hall and National Theater stand next to the Memorial Hall in Liberty Square. The pipe organ in the concert hall was the largest in Asia when it was built in 1987.

Interesting Exhibits

There is a library and museum at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial that had many interesting exhibits. There were photos of Chiang with various world leaders that we recognized as pictures we had seen in news reports when we were younger.

There was also a room with a larger than life statue of Chiang sitting in a chair that was somewhat reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial back home.

Taipei Train Station

As we prepared to take the high speed rail to Tainan, we enjoyed some of the random metal sculptures in front of the train station.

Merrily We Roll Along

Relaxing on the train and enjoying the view.