We began at the LongShan or LungShan (depending on who is speaking) temple. Founded in 1738 and dedicated to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy this beautiful building is not the original. It was rebuilt between 1919 and 1924 and during this time a number of Taoist deities were included in its grounds. A beautiful gate leads to a courtyard and then the 3 halls of prayer which surround their own courtyard. The beautiful jasmine incense filled air and praying people mingled with tourists like us. Kid greatly admired the Koi pond and artificial waterfall.
We left the temple and headed to the Heritage and Cultural Education Centre. Located just a few blocks away from the temple this little gem is a block of its own; interconnected streets showcasing the original two storey buildings of the Bo-pi-Liao neighbourhood.
The rooms showcased the evolution of this areas history starting from 200 years ago (Qing Dynasty), passing the Japanese colonial rule and then later the Nationalist era. Using the old buildings as a base the many rooms and courtyards showcased various transport modes for trade (rickshaws, barges), architecture (2 stories, deep shaded corridors to keep rain and sun at bay), education (from Confucian moral and ethical views to Japanese New education to the Nine Year compulsory national schools), leisure pursuits (the old style wooden games were a hoot to play - I enjoyed them as much as Kid), commerce (shophouses and various stores/ services), missionaries and the introduction of various types of medicine (apothecary, herb alley to modern medicine). It was a fascinating if hot few hours and we were grateful for the few rooms which were air conditioned.
Sated, we headed back to the hotel while the clouds began to gather and thunder threatened.
Instead of the zoo and the MaoKong cable car it turned into indoor afternoon admiring the lightening and thunderstorm. We read, did puzzles, ate cake & ice cream, watched Wimbledon and had an epic pillow fight. Then we went for a swim and ended the day with dinner in the local arcade.
Thank you Taipei. It's been fun.