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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Tainan,Taiwan: September 8-9, 2018

We arrived in Taiwan without much of a plan except that we needed to get from the airport in Taipei to Tainan. Tainan is 317 km/197 miles south of Taipei. It was much easier than we expected. Transportation in Taiwan is quite easy to navigate with signs in English all along the way. In little more than an hour after we boarded the high-speed train we were in Tainan.

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.

Wufei Temple

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
In most of the temples we visited, we watched people throwing moon blocks known as "bwa bwei" in Taiwanese. These blocks are tossed by a person in an effort to arrive at an answer or the best course of action. It's kind of like flipping a coin for the right answer except there are more variations.

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.

We were in Tainan two nights but only one whole day. The next day we repeated our journey in reverse to get back to Taipei for the rest of our time in Taiwan.