Guandu Temple

Top choice in Taipei

Dating back to 1661, this gawdy, grand, massive multistorey temple (one of Taipei's oldest) is built right into the side of a mountain. In fact, a 100m-plus tunnel runs through the mountain itself. Take either flight of steps at the rear of the temple and climb as far as you can for a panoramic view of the Tamsui riverscape. The temple makes a great stop if you're planning to do a bike trip along the river to Tamsui or Bali.

Guandu Temple is a riot of decorative arts, especially rooftop jiǎnniàn (mosaic-like temple decoration), and there are Qing-era stone columns in the worship hall.

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