Lang Shan Temple and Taipei 101

After a great night of sleep (it's amazing what a good hot soak will do for your body) I woke up for another day of sightseeing. Ike was busy today, so Jonah offered to show me around. Our first stop was the Lang Shan temple. I have visited a few Chinese temples around Asia, but this was the first time that I was with someone who could explain what it all meant.

Once entering the temple, worshipers are given seven incense sticks. After lighting the sticks, they walk around to the shrines of the seven gods of the temple to pray to each. When the prayer at each stop was completed, they put one of the smoking sticks into a large container full of incense ash.

Jonah told me the name and background of each god. For example, one god is prayed to before taking exams. Another is prayed to for good luck in love. As you might expect, the former was surrounded by hopeful students, while the latter was very popular with young Chinese girls of the marrying age.

After walking around and admiring the intricate carvings and decorations, we left the temple, being careful not to leave through the same door we entered. After all, our bad spirits were stopped at the temple gate on the way in, and we certainly didn't want to pick them back up on the way out!

Our next stop was the Taipei 101 tower, which is currently the world's tallest building. The inside is not quite finished, but the six story mall at the base was open for business. The tower is a bit odd, I think. It actually doesn't seem all that tall, but I think that is because there aren't any tall buildings around it to compare it to. Imagine a 101-story building completely surrounded by 20-story buildings.

We are meeting Ike for dinner tonight and then sampling a bit of Taipei nightlife. (The nightlife outside of the 24 hour bookstores and hot spring spas, that is.)

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on March 26, 2004 8:07 PM.

Just Like Chinatown, plus the 228 Memorial Park, Presidential Protests, and the Chiang Kai Shek Memorial was the previous entry in this blog.

Food and Spas: McDonalds, Dim Sum, Bookstores, and Hot Springs is the next entry in this blog.

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