Tainan, on the southwest coast, is Taiwan's temple town. Designated the provincial capital for over 200 years, until the 1880s, Tainan still has a firm grip on Taiwan's traditional culture. It's also one of the best places in the country to witness Buddhist parades and festivals.
There are hundreds of temples in Tainan: some of the most interesting are East Mountain, a busy Taoist temple where people come to communicate with dead relatives or exorcise ghosts; Mito, with its magnificent statue of the 1000-armed goddess Kuanyin; Chuhsi, Tainan's largest and most beautiful temple, set in an athletic park; and Kaiyuan, a classical Buddhist temple with spacious grounds and plenty of pagodas.
To see temple building in action, visit the suburb of Luerhmen, where three temples are constantly trying to outdo one another for the title of 'biggest temple in Taiwan'. Choose your favourite and donate some cash to building expenses - your name will be engraved on a temple artefact in gratitude.