Two of the temples I was looking forward to visit were the Confucius Temple and Dalongdong Bao-an Temple, both located at Dalong Street, Datong District. Both temples are seldom visited by tourists in comparison to the Longshan Temple of Wanhua District, but they are also very beautiful.
The Confucius temple honors a philosopher, who valued simplicity, and simplicity is the dominant characteristic of his temple. Here you see none of the densely rich decor of many other temples, even the usual stone lions are missing from the entrance.
The columns, doors and windows here are also different, in that they bear no inscriptions. This indicates, it is said, that nobody dares flaunt his literary prowess before the Master.
But there are some lovely ceramic figures – like this little warrior standing next to one of the gates and guarding the entrances. He’s only 50cm tall, but looks like bigger than his real size!
The whole temple was fairly quiet when we visited, not many people were around – but we could still hear and even see the airplanes landing at the Taipei airport, which is just a few miles north.
There were a few musicians playing in this temple and also a few students dressed up in traditional dresses – they were taking pictures of each other and even filmed each other. They had a lot to laugh about and it was funny to see them recreate a love story (at least that’s what I gathered was being played).
We continued our walk around the temple, before we left the same way we had come in and then walked a few minutes down the street, to reach the Bao-an Temple.
Established in 1742 the Bao-an temple is usually visited by people praying for good health or recovery from illness. The temple took 25 years to built, with every materials used mostly imported from Mainland China, and shows the architectural style of early settlers.
There was some sort of ceremony under way when we visited the temple – a couple of young girls were dressed up beautifully and took part in a ceremony, which was accompanied by music and a big drum. It must have been related to the Baosheng Festival, which was taking place about the same time, but we could not find out what the dance was about.
It was interesting to watch – and the music was great to listen to. We actually stayed for almost an hour, watching the ceremony to unfold and listening to the music. What a great experience.
Finally, after the ceremony, the whole group posed together for a group picture:
We cheered and clapped, they smiled back at us. It seemed we were one of the few Westerners, who watched this unique and very interesting show.