Taiwan Preview 7 – Tea Time

I’m just about to leave for the airport, so this will be the last Taiwan preview post, though there were still a couple more topics I’d hoped to cover.

There are teashops all over Taiwan. I’m particular to taro flavoured bubble tea, but a friend took me to a more traditional tea house the last time I was in Taipei. It was interesting to learn about the different tea varieties and proper preparation techniques. Unfortunately such a tea tradition is not part of the culture in which I grew up, and since that visit I’ve forgotten much the finer preparation and serving details. But as my friend mentioned during that visit, there’s more than one right way to prepare tea, and as long as you’re consistent about it and happy with the results, that’s what counts most.

In the first few images we’re receiving instruction by one of the tea house employees:

Taiwan Preview 4 – Longshan Temple

As mentioned in one of the previous posts, the last couple times I’ve been in Taiwan I enjoyed visiting temples. When I was in Taipei for about a week two years ago, I spent most of a day at the famous Longshan Temple (also spelled Lungshan). It rained constantly that day, which made a good excuse not to be out wandering the streets, so I hung out until early evening and observed. Having been to a number of temples now, I’ve noticed that people there are usually quite focused on their prayers and not as easily distracted by a photographer as I expected. Maybe hanging around for several hours and the fact that Longshan is a significant tourist attraction visited by lots of camera-toting visitors also helped here. But I still always get a feeling that I’m distracting the people I’m trying to observe, and being a tall foreigner with a couple big cameras certainly doesn’t help me become inconspicuous, at least not in Taiwan. Over the course of my visit to Longshan, I was approached by a couple people, though they were more interested to find out what interested me about the temple, and by extension, religion, than to lay down any kind of rules. One was even kind enough to give me a small booklet about the temple.

By the end of the day I amassed about 1500 images, 1100 of those just from the temple, which made for a colossal editing session. It’s by no means the definitive Longshan photo essay, but considering I was there for maybe only six hours, I’m pretty happy with the results. BTW, The images are sorted in chronological order rather than in any special manner…