BEITOU DISTRICT — This is one of Taipei's most epic temples. So when it comes to blog about it you think I'd break out the DSLR, visit at the golden hour, and maybe even bring along a model for some great shots, right? Maybe in a world where I'm not a lazy bastard this would have happened.
But we live in the world where I decided to visit here on a whim with only my phone in hand. Nonetheless, I got some good shots and had a nice time.
There's a hospital nearby and lots of vendors. It's a vibrant little village near the water. For breakfast bought pork and peppers. As you approach the temple there are small shops with Joss paper and other things you can use to make offerings to the gods.
At the gate some lady approached me and asked where I was from. I told her Chicago. Then she went on for about 5 minutes about how she knows somebody who used to work in Chicago and is retired now. I'm sure if I told her I was from Boston she would have told me she had a nephew who graduated from Harvard. Taiwanese people always do this.
After escaping the lady full of stories from Chicago I made my way into the beautiful temple. It's like 6 floors. First I climbed to the top to look around from the roof. Below is what I encountered and saw.
Then I made my way down back to the 1st floor and saw a tunnel. There are actually two tunnels at this temple that both lead to the riverside. Inside the tunnels are beautifully decorated with Taoist figures.
Once I was through the tunnel and near the riverside I walked around looking for some pedestrians to shoot. But nobody of interest was to be found. I did come upon a huge flock of bird though. I met a group of old folks drinking beer next to the birds, but was unable to grab a worthy shot of them. After wandering further I found small art gallery with beautiful paintings of the temple, as well as some people doing drum practice.
So as you can see there's plenty to do and shoot at GuanDu Temple. However, since it's in northern Taipei and not very close to the MRT it doesn't really get many tourists. As somebody who likes coming here that's a great thing. But as somebody recommending places to shoot and visit in Taiwan I have to say this one is very underrated.
I'd like to come back here with a drone, a model, and a plan to see what kind of shots I could get. I think they'd be epic. Good on you if you get beat me to it. I hope to see!
📍 Find this place on Google Maps.