Chih Nan Temple (Zhinan Temple)
A visit to the Chih Nan Temple makes a good excuse to escape Taipei for a morning or afternoon, and you’ll get to witness local Taiwanese practicing their religion firsthand in one of the city’s most visually impressive temples. Many guided tours to Taiwan’s Maokong District, known for its tea production, stop at the temple on the way to or from the tea plantations of Maokong Mountain.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Chih Nan Temple is a must-visit for spiritual travelers or anyone looking for a scenic escape from Taipei.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Remember to dress respectfully and speak in a low voice, as this is an active place of worship.
How to Get There
Be prepared to climb to access the temple, as it’s known for having a staircase of 1,000 steps, though in reality there are closer to 1,200. Alternatively, you can ride the Maokong Gondola from the Taipei Zoo and get off at the Chih Nan Temple station. If you choose to climb on foot, local legend says you’ll live an extra 20 seconds per step.
When to Get There
The temple grounds are open daily from 5am to 9pm. Check the weather and plan your visit for a clear day when the views of the river valley below are at their best.
According to local legend, Lu Tang Pin, the temple’s resident god, was a jilted lover and developed a penchant for splitting up unmarried couples. Today, you won’t see many young Taiwanese couples at the temple, as they tend to avoid it.
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