Tainan,Taiwan: September 8-9, 2018
Tainan is the oldest city in the country. In 1683 Tainan became the capital city when the Qing dynasty gained control of the island. It remained the capital until 1919 when the Japanese moved their colonial capital to Taipei. As a result of this loss of status, Tainan did not suffer the same amount of over development as Taipei.
Tainan has many, many temples. We used the Lonely Planet's walking tour to see some of the best or at least the ones we could find. It was an interesting walk around the older parts of Tainan.
The Five-Concubine Temple (Wufei Temple) was established in 1683 after the Qing Dynasty invaded Taiwan and defeated the Ming. Zhu Shugui, the Prince of Ning-Ching, his five concubines, and two eunuchs killed themselves rather than be humiliated and killed by the victors.
|Temple of the Five Concubines|
|The closed doors to the Temple of the Five Concubines|
The Grand Matsu Temple
This temple was originally the palace of the Ming Prince Zhu Shugui. It was built in 1664. After the prince surrendered to the Qing forces in 1683, his five concubines hanged themselves one by one from a roof beam in his palace bedroom. The concubines claimed that their honor was as important as the prince's. The next day, the prince also committed suicide.
We searched the inside of the temple trying to locate the famous beam, but could not find it.
We were in and out of temples all day long.
|Women come to Lady Linshi's Temple|
to ask her to protect their children
|Dongyue Temple where you can communicate with the dead through spirit mediums|
|The City God Temple, Judge of the Afterlife|
We saw and heard a lot of people seeking guidance using Bwa Bwei blocks. We'd not seen anything like this before so, of course, we had to find out more. We found a guide to Bwa Bwei blocks posted at the Great Matsu temple.
The people we met in Tainan were extremely helpful and in temples often gave us English booklets explaining the temple and their religion. It was permissible to roam through the temple and take photos. A sign at the Grand Matsu Temple advertised that they were "English Friendly."
On our hike around Tainan there were quite a few things that caught my eye.