Long Shan Temple in Taipei
Founded in 1738 by Han immigrants from Fujian, this temple has served as a municipal, guild and self-defence center, as well as a house of worship. These days it is one of the city’s top religious sites, and a prime venue for exploring both Taiwan’s vibrant folk faith and its unique, temple arts and architecture. The temple is dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy, Kuan-in.
Long Shan Temple carries the perfect fusion of tradition and modernity. You’ll get a glimpse of the daily religious life of some Taiwanese locals. The best times to visit are around 6:00 a.m., 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., when crowds of worshippers gather at the temple.
Many locals come to Long Shan Temple to have their fortunes told and quite often it’s a feathered friend that’s doing the telling. Birds hop along tables choosing slivers of bamboo or picture cards that indicate the paying customer’s future luck or lack of good fortune.