A Trip to Lukang

We caught up with one of our Reach to Teach teachers, Michaela Gray. She recently took a trip to Lukang and had an unforgettable experience. Below she shares with you some of the highlights of her trip.

UntitledIf you are headed to Taichung, you may have certainly heard of the big tourist spots like Sun Moon Lake; but have you heard of Lukang? It is located within Changhua City and is home to a temple built in the 18th century and some great traditional foods and crafts. It is definitely worth a stop to see. I took a trip to Lukang, here are some of the highlights.

Longshan Temple and Matsu Temple

One of the oldest temples, Longshan was built at the turn of the 18th century. As you head in to see the temple, you will notice a couple of lucky game stands.

The first stand enables you to donate money to receive a blessing by crawling through a small tunnel under a god. The second stand allows you to throw small coins at gongs under certain deities to receive their blessing. If you hit a gong, it will emit a sound that means you will receive more money!

The architecture of the temple is stunning– the rooftop features three deities in the center, two twin dragons, and a phoenix on the side. The resident deity, Bodhisattva Guanyin, resides in the temple.

After gazing and praying at the temple for luck, make sure to visit the traditional shops around the perimeter of the temple. They also have some great traditional snacks to try! I recommend the food stall to the left of the temple as you enter– it sells a type of steamed rice cake that is cooked with a bamboo shoot then coated in either sesame seeds or peanut. It is a very traditional recipe dating back to the Qing Dynasty!

Also, as far as traditional pastries, be sure to try the cow tongue pastry– named for its long, oblong shape. Made out of either taro or bread, this sweet definitely does not deserve its name!

A Trip to Lukang Old street

Many traditional Taiwanese towns have an old street which are lined with shops selling traditional Taiwanese crafts, tea, and food. They are all unique and worth checking out! Lukang’s old street has outstanding traditional crafts, antiques, and food that are all sold from old style houses on a tiled street.

When you are on old street, look at the lanes just off the center of the main way– they are very thin! There is one in particular, called ‘Mo-Lu Lane’, which is rumored to be a lane so thin, members of the other gender would brush against each other – how romantic!

Also, look for the half well; a well that is separated by a wall. A long time ago, only the affluent families could afford water. This family offered half of their well to the poor in a gesture of kindness and community. The well still stands as a symbol of generosity.

Lukang is definitely worth a day trip when you visit Taichung– it’s one thing I’ve grown to love about Taiwan. The modern is mixed in with tradition and you can smell, touch, taste and see all of it in these small locational gems!

Have you ever been to Lukang or any other small hidden location in Taiwan? What were your experiences like? Let us know in the comments section below. 

 

 

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