City God Temple

Top choice in Northern Taiwan

First built in 1748, and masterfully restored in 1924, this Hsinchu landmark has the highest rank of all the city god temples in Taiwan, and is a splendid example of the fine work local artisans were capable of in the early 20th century. A wide selection of food stalls fills the courtyard by the temple entrance.

Examples of this work include the elegant structure itself, with sweeping swallowtail eaves, the shallow but vivid plafond ceiling, and the wealth of carved wooden brackets and beams: look for dragons, phoenixes and melons, as well as panels of birds and flowers (auspicious symbols when placed together). The jiǎnniàn (mosaic-like temple decoration) dragons on the roof are superb.

The temple is most lively during the seventh lunar month and on the 29th day of the 11th month, when the birthday of the temple god is celebrated.