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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lukang, TaiwanTrip 2011

From Changhua, we travelled to Lukang by bus.  The journey was about 30 minutes [depending on the traffic].  As with Changhua, Lukang [Old China in modern Taiwan] also sees much development with factories such as Brand's Chicken Essence and a Glass Factory been established here.
Plenty of seafood rearing ponds
From 17th century, the Dutch used Lukang as the major commercial port. In the Qing Dynasty, Lukang was the appointed gateway between Taiwan and Cyuan Zhou [China].  Due to the early development, Lukang becomes a place with many historical heritage worthwhile to visit and hence called 'Roofless Culture Display Centre'.
Lukang Shuttle Bus - Bus stop opposite these 2 buildings
There is a Shuttle Bus that takes tourists around the popular tourist sites. The route covers these places, Longshan Temple, Folk Arts Museum, Matsu Temple, Brand's Chicken Essence factory, Show Chwan Health Park and Glass Exhibition Hall etc.  The journey was not so informative as the driver did not give us any information as  we passed by the various sites.  It should be more interesting is only the driver does his job well. 
After completing the journey, we visited the Matsu Temple by foot.
Matsu Temple [Queen of Heaven Temple] Lukang, Changhua County, Central Taiwan
This 1573 temple is devoted to Matsu, Goddess of the Sea, whose originally red face has been blackened by the smoke of incense offered by countless worshippers over the centuries and is now known as the black faced Matsu.  The temple's structure, paintings, wood and stone carvings make this an intensely artistic temple.  Among the historical and religious artifacts in the temple are wooden tablets written by Yongjheng, Qianlong and Guangsyu emperors of the Qing Dynasty.  The rear court of the temple now serves as as a museum with displays of the divine palanqiuns used by the Goddess on tours of her realm, her crowns and other artifacts.  Special religious exhibitions are held on an irregular basis.  The celebrations for Matsu's birthday on the 23rd of the third lunar month draws huge crowds every year.

Plenty of foodstalls outside Matsu temple

You get to see all these at Matsu Temple, Lukang, very fine art, I should say
Folk Arts Museum, Lukang.
This museum is housed in Renaissance structures that were once the home of a prominent landowning family.  The main structures are a western style Baroque building and a southern Fujian style Chinese building.  The more than 6000 items on display encompass architecture, furniture, food vessels and other valuable collections dating from the mid-Qing dynasty to the early Republican period.  The displays also include a traditional lying-in room, studio, accounts room, wedding room, all faithfully representing the way the local people lived in Taiwan's early years of development.
Brand's Health Museum - Lugong Road, Lukang Township.  The Cerebo's Company selling the famous Brand's chicken essence, with over 100 years of history, was established in Taiwan about 30 years ago.  Based on the thought of giving feedback to the public, the 'Brand's Health Museum' is thus established.  It is the largest health museum in Taiwan and the Asia Pacific Region.  It has implemented the latest interactive technology, vivid interesting three dimensional models with unique designs and offers free drinks.  It is a great place for families.
Show Chwan Health Park - Lugong Road, Lukang Township.  Show Chwan Health Park provides varieties of leisure facilities besides general medical treatments.  It has integrated exhibition space, coffee shops, gourment food area and shop area. In cooperation with National Museum of Natural Science, the modern Human Medical Museum Exhibition has been transferred into the park, guiding tourists to physically experience and discover the mystery of life, as well as transmitting the importance of human health.
Taiwan Glass Exhibition Hall - Lugong Road, Lukang Township.  Taiwan Glass Exhibition Hall was established by TMG Company in 2006.  The factory displays all kinds of artistic artifacts made of glass and would change your views towards glass.  The effect of 'Glistening from all angles, surprises everywhere' focuses on the special effect created from the art of glass integrating with the breathtaking river and mountain views such as the site of Moru Alley, together with special lightings it also offers dream like spaces such as glass effect maze, kaleidoscope areas etc. all aiming to provide an unforgetable environment decorated with glass art.
Food and snacks of Lukang/Changhua [central Taiwan] - The popular speciality food and snacks of Lukang are easily found around Matsu Temple.  During the Qing dynasty, Lukang was one of Taiwan's three most important cities along with Tainan and Manka [now known as Wanhua district of Taipei City].  As a major trading port on the west coast of Central Taiwan, Lukang was honored as second among the three and was home to counless businessmen, an abundance of merchandise and booming commerce.  This is where immigrants from mainland China flocked to, bringing with them all of their local foods.  After many generations, the residents of Lukang know well how to serve absolutely delicious seafood delicacies such as osyters, crabs, eels, clams,mullet roe and mud shrimps.
Popular local dishes of Lukang are squid soup, Taiwanese meatballs, thin noodle paste, pork dumplings, taro balls, shrimp balls, wonton, squid balls, oyster omelet. glutinous rice dumplings in soup, fried 5 flavoured soup, glutinous rice mochi, flour tea, almond tea etc.  It is also famous for its traditional tea snacks - phoenix eye cakes, mungbean cakes, ox-tongue cakes and deep fried glutinous rice cakes [mua lau].
Deep fried crabs, prawns and oyster fritters
Lukang - snacks and delicacies

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