City God Temple

Top choice in Tainan

When you enter the temple, look up for the two large abacuses used to calculate whether you have done more good than bad in life; check out the most famous words ever written on a temple plaque in Taiwan: '爾來了' or 'You're here at last'. Nonchalant words in a wild and formidable script that may evoke fear, unease, relief or joy, depending on how you've lived your life.

The City God (Chenghuang), officially the protector of towns, also tallies this life's good and bad deeds after we die. It is therefore not unusual that his image appears in the last chamber of Dongyue Temple, which is dedicated to the underworld, nor that these two temples sit near each other.

In the worship hall, look for pink slips of paper on the altar. They're from students asking for help to pass an exam. Yep, school is hell everywhere.

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