A&E on the World Heritage Train East 2009 travel blog

Lukhang street

Tianhou Matsu Temple, Lukhang

Incense burner, Tianhou Matsu Temple

Tianhou Matsu Temple

Tianhou Temple

More columns of thousands of Buddhas, Tianhou Temple

Tianhou Matsu Temple

Tianhou Matsu Temple

Beardies, Tianhou Temple

Tianhou Matsu Temple

Tianhou Temple

Lukhang Market, with scootering shoppers

Longshan Temple, Lukhang

Longshang Temple, Lukhang

Longshan Temple, Lukhang

Great Buddha Statue, Baguashan, Changhua

Confucius Temple, Changhua

Confucius Temple, Changhua

Floating garden, Sun Moon Lake, late afternoon


I started the day on the coast in the old port of Lukhang and finished it at Sun Moon Lake high in the central mountains. I have only got internet access in Sun Moon Lake through the visitor centre when its open and no-one else wants to use the PC, so no pics and little news for a while! Its nice here, though my travel plans have been thwarted again. I've just been told I can't get to Aowanda National Park (lots of autumn colours) tomorrow as the road is destroyed. Bloody typhoon and landslides again! And later on I found out that this nice pagoda at Sun Moon Lake has been damaged by a recent earthquake a few days ago. What is this place like?!

The highlight in Lukhang was probably the highly atmospheric Tianhou Matsu Temple. Matsu is a predominantly Taiwanese Goddess focussed on helping sailors, but like most deities, flexible and able to help out across a range of areas. Apparently she was originally an accomplished human doctor several hundred years ago, and as is the way in this part of the world, has morphed into a goddess. Tianhou Matsu in Lukhang is her oldest temple in Taiwan, and is like several really nice little and different temples all crammed together. The Longshan Temple was the other highlight of Lukhang, apparently the oldest Buddhist Temple in Taiwan. Lukhang is clearly the place for lovely old temples. On my way up into the mountains I passed back through Changhua to pick up my luggage from my hotel there and have a quick look at the local Confucius Temple, very nice too.

So now I am up at Sun Moon Lake, the biggest Lake in Taiwan. It is quite developed where I am, not so much so around the rest of the lakeside. The water is an incredible turquoise colour and the lake is surrounded by some pretty big forested mountains, a few of which I intend to climb. I am staying above a restaurant on the main street on the main drag in the main town, very convenient. My landlady - who is very friendly and speaks very good English - got me a free tour on a friend's boat, which I wasn't very keen on, but turned out OK as we went out so late half the tour was in the dark, which I at least thought was really nice out on the Lake.



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