Guandu Temple

The Guandu Temple (關渡宮) is one of Taipei's oldest, largest and most elaborate Taoist temples. It was first built in 1661, into the side of a Mount Li, and has been reconstructed many times over the centuries. While Taipei's Longshan Temple is more famous, if you will only see one temple in Taiwan I recommend it be this one.

A tunnel through the mountain, protected by some rather fierce deities, leads to a charming altar facing directly over the river. It's a stunning spot, but please be sure not to disturb the continual stream of worshippers with your camera.


While the main, milt-storied structure is an impressive sight in itself,  what gives this temple its edge for visitors who aren't there to bai bai (worship) is that it's possible to climb up Mt Li (a few minutes' walk) and watch the sun set over the Tamsui River. On clear days it also offers impressive views over Taipei, and of course the temple itself.


The temple is a twenty minute (1.5 kilometre) walk from Guandu Station. There's footpaths most of the way, but the road is busy and it's not especially pleasant. Just below the temple is the Guandu Pier, from which it's possible to take a boat up to Tamsui (or, if booked in advance, sometimes Taipei) but it's a lot easier to just take the MRT, and save your ferry trip for getting to Bali from Tamsui.

See Also

A few stops up is Beitou, and further up (also reachable by ferry) is Tamsui.
Consider a birdwatching session at the Guandu Nature Park (coming soon)...

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