If I had to describe the temples of Taiwan in one word, that word would be “sensory”. The kaleidoscope of color, paintings and carvings, the hazy plumes of fragrant incense offerings, the clattering of fortune sticks tossed repeatedly by those souls seeking guidance from the gods offered as counterpoint to the melodic chanting that is piped through hidden speakers… all of these unite to push your neurons into overdrive, their firing rate resembling that of a Morse code message on speed. Make no mistake about it: Taiwanese temples are a gluttonous feast for your senses and I would argue that there is no better place in all of Taiwan to stuff yourself silly on them than Tainan.
Tainan is Taiwan’s oldest city, a fact made apparent the instant you exit its train station. The buildings are low, in some areas the streets are cobbled, and—as befits an old city—there are So. Many. Temples!
Don’t believe me? We spent four days in Tainan, visited at least 10 temples (most of them simply stumbled upon when wandering through the old quarter), and took over 1400 pictures.
If that didn’t just blow your mind, check out this selection of our favorite temple photos we captured while in Tainan.
Truly, Taiwanese temples might just be the most beautiful—but also the most mind-boggling—structures on the planet. They defy comprehension, they defy description, and sometimes, when they offer a venue for the past, present and future to coalesce, it seems they even defy the laws of the universe. I know this all seems hyperbolic, but in comparison to actual Taiwanese temples, my highfalutin praise is actually quite understated. Wouldn’t you agree?
Hungry for more photos? Well, you’re in luck! We’ve put up a gallery on our Facebook page with more great shots that we just couldn’t fit into this post. Remember to like our page while you’re there to receive updates and news about our latest adventures!