Taipei Temples and Street Food

I set out to visit a couple of temples and then found myself in the middle of a night market with an amazing array of street food. A very nice second day in Taipei.

My first visit was to the Qingshui Temple, which was originally built in 1787. It burned down in 1853 and was rebuilt in 1867. There was hardly anyone else at the temple at the time of my visit. It is a functional temple with no admission fee and doesn’t appear to be on the usual tourist trail.

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Information about the temple
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Qingshui Temple

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Decorative ceiling

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Altar inside the temple
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Divination blocks (aka moon blocks)

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After leaving the temple, I walked to Guangzhou Street to reach the next temple. Upon reaching the street, I started to see a variety of street food stalls and carts.

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A popular street food outlet
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Whole fish at the above food stall
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I bought some fish balls from this vendor
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Fish balls – delicious

After snacking on the fish balls, I headed to Longshan Temple on Guangzhou Street. Unlike Qingshui Temple, Longshan is very much a tourist attraction, as well as being a popular functioning temple for Taipei’s residents. It was founded in 1783 as a Buddhist temple but, over the years, it has also encompassed Taoist and Confucian beliefs. It is an interesting temple to visit with its sights, sounds and smells.

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Entrance to Longshan Temple

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Intricate designs

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In the above video clip, you can see some of the worshippers using divination blocks to seek answers from god.

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Smaller temples behind the main temple

Above video clip: Worshippers pray at the smaller temples at the rear of the complex

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Food offerings left at the temple

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Decorative pillar
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Dragon design pillar
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Decorative ceiling
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Intricate wall panel
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Koi pond with waterfalls on one side of the entrance to the temple
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Dragon fountain in another koi pond

After leaving Longshan Temple, I walked a bit further along Guangzhou Street and found myself in the midst of a night market and a wide variety of street food. I love Bangkok and it’s great Thai street food, something that I missed in the Philippines. Today I realised that Taipei has a very strong street food culture that might match that of Bangkok.

There were street food outlets along several streets in the market area. A stretch of WuZhou Street was particularly impressive.

The above video clip shows the variety of street food available on a short stretch of WuZhou Street.

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Sugar cane juice stall

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Dried fish and seafood

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Chicken feet and other chicken parts for sale

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Pork, pork and more pork

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Pig tails and intestines

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Fish and seafood
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Shellfish
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Sea Cucumber

So many choices – but it was the sushi that got me again. Fresh sashimi from a street cart – with a cold beer. A very enjoyable moment!

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Sashimi and beer
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Three old men, enjoying sashimi and beer in the afternoon

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Huge sausages
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Games for the kids

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Above video: A youngster plays an electronic game

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Crab and shrimp

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Squid

I picked up a Vietnamese sandwich to take back to my room to eat later.

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Vietnamese sandwiches
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Sign for the Vietnamese sandwiches

Above video clip: A Vietnamese sandwich being made.

There is also a shopping area that runs from Guangzhou Street, called the Huaxi Street Tourist Night Market. It contains many permanent shops that line both sides of the covered walkway. Amongst the businesses in the walkway are restaurants that serve snake dishes.

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Entrance to the Huaxi St. Market

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One of the snake restaurants
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Snake soup or stir-fried snake?

With so many food choices available, I will have to return to this area in the coming days to sample more of it.

On my way back to the hotel, I stopped to watch a skilful street artist perform his act. See the video below:

 

Another very enjoyable day in Taipei. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

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