Longshan is not Taipei's largest temple, but its unique beauty and proximity to the MRT have made it a very popular one. It's an awesome place to stop by at sunset when the after-work crowd comes to worship. The temple fills with people from all walks of life praying and telling fortunes using traditional bua buei blocks. The slanting light from the setting sun highlights the smoke rising from incense urns, giving it a supernatural feel.
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Light a Candle at Longshan Temple
My sightseeing in Taipei began at the Longshan Temple, one of the the 5 most famous temples in Taiwan. It was majestic! So colorful and ornate. There were monks outside selling flowers and fruit that worshippers left as offerings. The steady stream of incense and throngs of people praying made for a very authentic experience.
One of the things that struck me when I was in Taipei was the amount of temples it had. It must have one of the highest temple per capita ratio. From the huge and overwhelming Longshan Temple (pictured) to smaller ones down random streets in the city I kept discovering different ones I couldn't even remember all their names by the end of the trip.
Longshan is huge and definitely the most crowded. It's almost like a temple complex with different altars dedicated for different things and different deities. If you're up to it you can try to join the crowds as they light incense and candles and walk in a procession as they chant their prayers. Or you can perch yourself at a corner and just observe it all.
And when you're out in the streets of Taipei just pay attention to the whiff of incense. Chances are it'll lead you to another small temple.