This place blew my mind. I am having a very hard time to find words for this extraordinary experience. Randomly I read about this mountain in the shape of a lion’s head (-> lion’s head mountain), which is supposed to have plenty of temples inside its caves. Apparently one can even stay overnight in one of them, no website, no telephone number though. I instantly thought: this is a great alternative to Jiufen, another holy place with thousands of visitors literally pushing each other through the temples, which I wanted to avoid. And I’m 100% sure we made the right decision here. With the help of a Taiwanese friend we were able to contact them, thanks again! With some rough information we were already on our way.
We barely met anyone on our way and when the bus driver dropped as at the bottom of the stairway, we had no idea where they might bring us. Once at the top we arrived in the middle of the scenery. In the middle of all these colorful temples with so man dragons, flowers and incense sticks. I really have to say this place made it to my top 10 beautiful places I ever got to visit. And the best thing about it: we were alone. Apart from some buddhist day tourists we were the only visitors in the monastery. Sometimes I felt uncomfortable, since I was walking through the monk’s home and I barely know anything about their practices. But even though they didn’t speak english they were so kind and greeted us with a big smile. We joined them for their vegan dinner and breakfast, that was quite something. We ended up with four kinds of tofu, different in texture and color, next to some nuts and dried fruits.
We had the best time watching the sun going down in the hills around, the evening light shining through the temple roofs. It was Valentine’s day actually :D, something I will never forget and perhaps the best part of this journey.