Friday, August 1, 2014

Touring Temples, Memorials, Markets--7/31--Day 5

When I got up, I was greeted by this rainstorm just outside my window so I thought that it would be a book reading day or a mall shopping day, but by the time I finished getting dressed and having breakfast, the rain dropped off so I headed out with my rain jacket just in case.
 

I started off by visiting Longshan Temple just before the rains came again. There was a beautiful waterfall just inside the entrance to the temple.

 
Not only is it a popular tourist spot, but it is also visited by interdominational worshipers who leave offerings of fruits, flowers, funny money and gold leaf papers. The main chapel is dedicated to the worship of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy while the other chapels are dedicated to other deities. Some include those that support pursuits such as scholar, military, business, and safe travels.
 
The most popular form of offering are the incense sticks. You have to offer them in lucky groups of three and not singles or doubles----bad karma will follow you. The smoke is from all of the smoldering incense sticks.
 
The temple just opened so the tables are not yet full of various offerings.
After the temple, I went next door to the Herb Lane which has a number of stores crammed into this short alley with all types of dried herbs and fresh herbs ready for sale and used for a number of Chinese medicine treatments.
 
 
 
 
There were also a number of night markets in this area, but since it was not night, they were mostly shut down with those ever popular rolling metal shutters for security.

Now that the rains have passed for a third time today, I again jumped on the metro to visit the Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. It had a kind of Lincoln Memorial feel to it with the addition of two stiff guards on either side of the statute.

 
 

It is located in a big plaza between the National Concert and National Theater Halls with their bright orange tiled roofs.

 
 
 

I then headed to the Shilin Night Market---the biggest in Taipei---just a short walk from the Jiantan metro station. It was just beginning to get dark and the crowds began to swell as I approached the many streets and alleys that made up this market place.

 

There were a few fruit and fruit shake vendors, but most of the places were selling clothing and accessories. Plus there were many street side take away food vendors selling a range of foods from raw oysters, squid, hot dogs, beef on a stick, corn, duck, etc. I ended up eating at a sit down restaurant for one of my last beef noodle soup dishes.

 
 
 
 
 

A number of stores specialized in certain offerings like this one was focused on kids' stuff.

 

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