TAIWAN TRIP DEC 22, 2004
Part 2 The Lotus Lake Temples Continued
Leaving the Tiger and Dragon pagodas, I bought ice cream cones for everybody (NT$20 each—and, no, contrary to the guide books,
we did not die of food poisoning from them), and we walked along the lake shore to the next temple, Wu Li.
I’m not sure what Wu Li is all about, but it is very impressive, sitting at the end of a pier 200 yards long out in the middle of the lake.
There are no altars or shrines, just some steps closed off from the temple where people could at one time have gotten into boats or walked into the water to swim.
Now, there is a collection of NT$10 rocking horses, trains and rocket ships for toddlers to ride while their parents make out or just enjoy the scenery.
The yellow paper lanterns hang everywhere, and Joy wants to find some to bring back.
It offers a terrific view of the other parts of the lake as well as the huge temple we visited afterwards.
Below, Looking back from second floor of Wu Li. The giant dragon and princess statue
are flanked on either side by pagodas. The temple we visited can be seen behind her across the street.
The First Temple we visited----We took a LOT of pictures, so be prepared to go to another web page
with just more pictures of this temple.
On either side of the temple, are large furnaces with metal chimnies for burning paper "spirit Money" (see metal chimney on left just above light pole)
The gray squares in te middle ofthe steps are elaborate carvings in slate of intertwined dragons. The litle pagoda like structure aove the slate
dragons just under the pink lanterns, is an incense burner and the place where the faithful seem to start their prayers. On either side at the top of the steps are
old ladies in booths selling packages of spirt money, bundled with incencse sticks, asmall candy offering. for NT$100 a bundle. There seems to be no
admission or donantion charge.
Below, a view of one of the squares of slate dragon carving in front. GOld leaf, red and white paint seem to be standard decoration colors.
Below, detail of the temple portico ceiling at top of the stairs.
Stone Fu Dogs guard the temple, scaring off evil and bad influences. NOTICE THE FADED RED SCARF:
many of the carving have a red scarf around ther necks in the belief that too realistic statues could come to life
so the red scarf keeps them from being too real and locks them into remaining stone.
So, here we are, finally, at the top of the temple steps. Slate carvings, painted.
Mother and son, praying---I tried to discreetly follow them since they prayed at all the altars, and the son bought
spirit money and burned it. Here, they pray at the incense burner at the top of the stairs. When they finish praying,
they will stick the still burning incense sticks upright in the sand inside the burner. Kneeling pads in front of all the altars are
streaked with incense ashes and flecked with little burn holes. Note they are barefoot. Not everybody was,
but the devout seemed to be.
The ladies below, came in, whipped out incense sticks, prayed, left the sticks in the burner and walked back out of the temple.
The stacks of spirit money in the booth behind them look like rolls of bread in this photo.
CLICK HERE TO GO TO PHOTOS TAKEN INSIDE TEMPLE