Mazu temple

Guanyin in Long Shan temple

Many people wonder if Long Shan temple in Taipei is a Daoist or a Buddhist temple. Because they can see many statues and paintings of Daoist Gods inside, but they can see also Buddhist Gods. Meanwhile, the architecture and decor of the Longsan temple is clearly looks like Daoist style.

However, the main God in Long Shan temple is Guanyin, and Guanyin is a Buddhist Bodhisattva. Guanyin Bodhisattva is a symbol of people or gods who practice "Guanyin dharma". Guanyin means to observe our inner voice, to look into our mind, to listen to the words which we don't express outwardly.

Guanyin is also called the Bodhisattva of compassion, Guanyin dharma is a widely spread teaching in Taiwan, and even in Asia. When people have difficulties in their lives, they often pray for Guanyin Bodhisattva's help.

Mazu Temple beer garden

During our Dihua tour, we usually have a lunch in Mazu temple beer garden if it is not raining too badly. We normally order few hot stir-fried dishes and bottles of beer from the street seafood restaurant.

Mazu: the Legend of the Sea Goddess

The Mazu temple in Dadaocheng, Taipei

Three or four hundred years ago, war and famine drove many people to emigrate from south China to Taiwan. Piling their belongings into small wooden boats, they embarked on the dangerous 100-mile sea crossing. The area is regularly swept by typhoons. For protection, the immigrants would always bring a statue of Mazu, the goddess of the sea, from their local temple. They believed she would calm the seas and guide them safely to Taiwan.
 

Things to do in Taipei, Taiwan: Mazu temple's beer garden

Mazu Temple Beer Garden (photo by Joyce Tay)Mazu temple's beer garden

Did you ever see a church with its own beer garden? Probably not, but in Taiwan people have a more relaxed attitude to such matters.

For example: the beer garden in the Temple to the sea-Goddess Mazu, near Dihua Street. You might think that it's very disrespectful to put a beer garden here, but I would say it must be the mercy of the Goddess, that more than 40 family-run restaurants could make a living by her temple, and the hard-working people could enjoy very good food and beer in her courtyard at a bargain price.

There are many street restaurants around the temple, and people enjoy eating and drinking under the banyan tree in the temple yard. It's a place the hard working people have traditionally gone to relax after work. There are more than 40 authentic Taiwanese street food restaurants and food stalls.
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