the portuguese sailors that made it as far as these shores in the sixteenth century called taiwan ilha formosa, or ‘beautiful island.’
wen wu temple.
a view of sun moon lake from above the rooftops of wen wu temple
one of the lions that sits in front of the giant buddha at baguashan
matsu is the taoist goddess of the sea. the taiwanese have erected hundreds of temples in her name (this one, for example), and the islands way off to the north are named after her as well.
matsu is usually accompanied by two guards, former generals that served her once upon a time. the guy who took us to this temple explained that this one, with his large eyes, could see very far into the distance, while the other, with his enormous ears, could hear anything.
inside a temple on the outskirts of kaohsiung
the sandy, hole-y cliffs at jialeshui