Seldom does one get to physically relive history. Many of us from this New World never really get to feel and taste the Old World unless we make the trip and brave the unknown. I was fortunate to meet a fellow blogger who took me on a trip back in time.
I met a fellow blogger through mutual friends on this recent trip to Taiwan. She offered to show me around, what I came to understand was her neck of the woods. This was the area she grew up in. Lunch was a quick trip on her motor scooter. Imagine having centuries old roads and food stands as your playground.
The day I visited was a celebration of Mazu’s birthday. Mazu is the goddess of the sea who is said to protect all sailors and fishermen. How ironic, I am an ex sailor and showed up on Mazu’s birthday? Karma? I think there were forces at play. This celebration brought drones of people from all over. The ever present string of tour buses lined the parking lots.
The ancient village of Lukang is a picturesque trek back in time. It is a living museum of 18th Century Taiwan, during the Dutch Colonial times. Trading of deerskins gave the township it’s name. Moving along the side streets it is hard to tell what is real and what is still functioning. It all appears as still functioning.
Ancient store fronts with relics of the past makes up this village. The ornate door knobs, hinges, locks, door ways, windows, seats, and walkways all tell a story of ages gone by. My blogger friend pointed out the Touching Breast Alley. This really is tiny. I could barely get by with out grazing my shoulders. We past by the Ban Bain Half Sided Well. There is a sign above the well that depicts one side was available to passerbys and the less fortunate, while the other side was for the Wang family. How generous of them.
Our trek through the many side streets and alleys, back behind old coffin stores and small food stands led to an off the beaten path specialty meat ball soup restaurant. This place makes one thing only. A soup consisting of mushroom, shrimp balls, meat balls, and squid paste. It is topped with fried batter. History in a bowl. The fried batter is definitely worth the trip.
Balsam – Bitter melon juice with lemon seems to be a favorite in these parts. It is definitely an acquired taste.
Further on the path, which is now more evident a historical living town, is Longshan Temple. This is a giant temple with three halls. The roof of the entrance is magnificent. Further in, the walls are charred black from the burning of incense. I was fortunate to witness an actual prayer session by the monks.
This spectacular trek back in time was a very humbling and touching experience. As my blogger friend explained and pointed to different objects and elements, I could not help but ask how was I to remember so much of history? I came to realize that there was no way I could relay the history of Lukang in a blog post. I can only tell you of my feelings and nostalgia through captured images as my lens pointed and clicked. There is no amount of writing that can describe the sounds and smells and feelings of a bygone era that a Walk Back in Time through Lukang can invoke.
For a full set of 118 images go to my Flickr page.