The three cornerstones of Chinese tradition – Confucism, Taoism and Buddhism – have combined in Taiwan to create a unique, thriving religious culture where the worship of ancestors, polychrome dragons and folk deities are often conducted under the same roof.
Over 15,000 temples may be visited on the island, and your TransIndus guide will know the most interesting. Among our favourites is the elegant Longshan shrine in Lukang, whose wood carving and painted ceilings are in a class of their own. Often overlooked by foreign tourists, the narrow, winding streets of old Lukang are lined with workshops of fan and lantern makers, and there’s a wonderful museum of folk art in the town.
Another great cultural attraction in Taiwan is the National Centre for Traditional Arts, in Yilan County near the capital, Taipei. Here, you can experience performances of music, dance, and puppetry, and watch traditional weavers, ceramicists and glass makers in action.
For an insight into the island’s monastic life, we recommend spending a night at the Pilgrims’ Lodge of the Fo Guangshan Monastery near Taiwan’s second city, Kaoshiung. This will enable you witness the morning prayer ritual performed by the monks – an unforgetable experience.