Zhonghe’s Little Burma to Hongludi Nanshan Temple Photowalk
Just hashing out the details of the next photowalk on April 29th. Posted in a post in the FB group… stay tuned for more details!
Outline of Walk in Two Parts
Inviting everyone to attend the next Photowalk on April 4, 29th at 4pm. We’ll be setting off from the Starbucks @ MRT Nanshijiao Station exit 4. Just go out of exit 4, turn left and walk straight. Not even 50 meters on the left. You won’t see it immediately because of the obstructed view… keep walking to the edge of the plaza. It’s on your left!
On the route, we’ll take in XingNan Market, 南山放生寺, Hwaxin Street, Hong Ludi Temple and Taipei @ Night. There should be something for everyone during the walk: markets, culture, city, urban, street, food, temples, and even a bit of nature! The route is approx. 4km though we will not be walking all of that. The walk in Zhonghe is approx. 1 hour or so. So if participants want to only do that section, then feel free to disappear at the end of part 1!
From Hwaxin Street, we’ll take a taxi up the mountain because there are almost no direct buses. We’re now looking at a possible bus up, #512. You can, of course, walk or cycle yourself! We may have to walk down! At the top, we’ll visit Hong Ludi Temple and take night views looking over Taipei, weather permitting.
This is not a difficult walk, but precautions for rain & sun are suggested. Shoes need to be sensible too, esp. for slippery or muddy ground. There’s should be a convenience store stop for essentials, esp. since there’s nothing for sale on the mountain. Weather is looking increasingly unsettled for this weekend: Google is predicting 20% chance of rain, no idea if it will be heavy like today. Google’s not known for its accuracy!
Routes, times & dates may be revised; please keep uptodate with changes as notified in the Event Page. I hope you can come; be nice to see y’all!
Updates: There is a bus service that runs down the hill from the temple on Sunday evening. We might be able to catch one going up too…
Maps & Reading
The route map: http://www.lookthroughthelens.com/hongludi-photowalk/(redirect link)
[Image Credit: M940504 CC BY-SA 3.0]
The Photowalker Route
List of Stops on the Walk
Stop 1: MRT Nanshijiao Station, Terminal Station on the Orange Line.
When you emerge from your train into the subterranean caverns of Nanshijiao Station, you’ll notice large pieces of sculpture suspended over the platform or pinned to the walls of the station. These art pieces were created by the local artist Jun Lai for the station to emphasize the youthful energy of Zhonghe.
There are 12 pieces in the Youth Melody collection located throughout the station, but heading towards Exit 4, you’ll probably only notice a few of them: Melody, With the Wind, and Sky Blue. They’re made of an acrylic/epoxy resin and fixed in place. No! They won’t fall on you!
Stop 2: XingnNan Market
Found right on Xingnan Road, it is one of the smaller nightmarkets, you’ll see plenty of stores offering affordable clothing and night market treats. It’s not one of the best or biggest night markets in New Taipei City, but you’ll find most night market staples there.
Stop 3: Nanshan Temple
It was founded in 1963 and occupies a surprisingly large campus. Of course, given the area that it is near, you’ll notice an emphasis on South East Asia with various sacred relics donated by Burmese followers, Indian Hindu worshippers, and Sri Lankan Buddhists. Features of note: the external wall with 500 statues decorated on it; Bodhi trees; and I’m sure we’ll discover a few other secrets when we’re there.
Stop 4: Hwaxin Street
has been the center of the Burmese community in Taiwan with thousands of residents living there after the end of the Chinese civil war. Many fled Burma and the chaotic struggles it faced and were relocated to this area by the sympathetic KMT government of the time. Hwaxin Street turned into their home away from home with markets, teashops, restaurants, and many other little businesses all located around the area. Though we’re visiting on a Sunday afternoon, I hope we’ll find a few stores/restaurants still open.
After Hwaxin Street, we’ll be looking for the bus stop, checking the bus times and waiting for transport to our final stops. At this point, you may feel you’ve had enough, if the weather’s bad or you’re tired! Please feel free to call it a day!
Stop 5: Hongludi Temple
Perhaps the oldest place in our itinerary today is Zhonghe Hongludi (Earth God Temple) which was originally constructed over 260 years ago and dedicated to the Earth God Fude Jhengshen.
The followers of this sect put up a 109-foot-tall statue in the deity’s image. One dutiful follower noted that she’d visit there every time she found a new job! Just a quick warning: there are over 400 steps that need to be climbed from the parking lot to the top! So gird yerself!
Stop 6: Taipei @ Night
The location of the temple offers a lot of opportunity for city gazing. I hope that we get good weather for doing that. Thanks to Kenny and Josh for helping to plan this trip! Let’s hope we get good weather!