Guandu Temple, District, Taipei City, Taiwán

Located along the riverfront, this temple dedicated to Mazu, goddess of the sea, and was first built in 1661. Alongside the main temple is a smaller Buddhist chapel dedicated to Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of mercy, as well as a small food court and the Guandu Wharf, providing ferry services up and down the Tamsui River from as far as Dadaocheng Wharf to Tamsui Fisherman’s Wharf

Up on the hill behind the temples is a small park that provides great views of the river, Taipei City (including Taipei 101), and the mangrove swamps along the river. Guandu is an excellent place to take a short rest during a stroll or bike trip between Tamsui and Taipei City.

The temple at Guandu is the oldest Mazu temple in northern Taiwan, originally named “Ling-shan Temple” as it is located on top of Mt. Ling.

Guandu Temple is unique in its architecture and design. Filled with traditional Chinese stone lions, dragon pillars, and countless wall sculptures, even the stone gods that serve as guardians to the door of the temple are relief carvings instead of a typical painting. At the centre of the temple sits an image of Mazu, whose expression is in stark contract to those who guard her. This temple is one of the more well-kept and authentic temples in Taipei City.

Alongside the temple is Buddha cave, an 80 meter deep cave lined with 28 devas and the cave’s river-side exit.

Epic Taiwan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound

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