Audrey and Harry Lesner, otherwise known as The Budget Savvy Travelers, are full-time travelers and digital nomads. Born and raised in Chicago, their passion to show others how to break free without breaking the budget. They are the proud winners of the 2019 Top Budget Travel Blog.
The Guandu Temple is located in the Beitou District, along the riverfront. As a folk temple, it’s dedicated to several gods but its main focus is worshipping the sea-goddess, Mazu. Dating back to 1661, it's the oldest Mazu temple in northern Taiwan. It’s celebrated for its over-the-top extravagance and unique location, as it was constructed directly into the side of Mount Ling. The temple is inundated with wall sculptures, stone lions, and dragon pillars.
At the entrance, you'll be greeted by relief carvings of the gods which serve as the temple’s protectors. You may also notice the strong scent of incense, which is constantly being burned to relieve the worshipper’s mind of any earthly worries. As you approach the center of the temple you’ll notice an altar and a picture of Mazu with an interesting expression on her face. Guandu Temple is considered by many to be one of the most authentic and well-kept temples in Taipei.
Just to the right of the temple is a 300-foot Buddha cave that runs directly through the mountain. Along the way, you’ll pass by several statues that illustrate the 28 heavenly emperors. The end of the walk will bring you to a bronze statue of a thousand armed Guanyin and the cave’s riverside exit. The location of the temple makes it especially popular with residents as it's next to the Guandu Nature Park, Danshui River, and the riverside bicycle path. The temple is also a short walk from the MRT Guandu Station.
Cover image by jarryyi is made available on Pixabay.