However, whichever sites you selected to visit from the map, you absolutely don’t want to miss these two places—the Longshan Temple and the Lukang Old
By: George Liao, Taiwan News, Staff Writer
TAIPEI (Taiwan News)–Lukang is a historic township located in northwestern Changhua
County on the west coast of Taiwan, facing the Taiwan Strait. In March 2012, it was named one of the Top 10 Small Tourist Towns by the Tourism Bureau of Taiwan.
The township office lists more than 30 sites on an updated tourist map it published, all of which are indeed worth visiting. However, whichever sites you selected to visit from the map, you absolutely don’t want to miss these two places—the Longshan Temple and the Lukang Old Street (Butou Street and Yaolin Street).
Lukang Longshan Temple
Before getting briefed on these two places, readers should have a general knowledge of
this historic township in the first place. The township’s name “Lukang,” literally meaning “port of deer,” came from the port’s trade of deerskins during the Dutch period. During the Qing Dynasty, the depth of Lukang’s harbour and its proximity to Fujian Province on mainland China made Lukang an important trading port. During Lukang’s heyday from 1785 to 1845, the city’s population reached 20,000, making it Taiwan’s second largest city after current Tainan and was larger than Bangka (now a district of Taipei , then the island’s third-largest city.
The subsequent silting of the harbor and the city’s refusal to allow railroads to pass through the city led to losses in trade in commerce, which, in turn led to Lukang’s decline relative to other cities, which were experiencing considerable urbanization and population growth. This same decline, however, averted the modernization processes that demolished historical buildings in Tainan and Taipei, leaving Lukang preserved as it was in its heyday.
The Lukang Old Street (Butou Street and Yaolin Street)
In the past, Lukang streets were developed along the old Lukang Stream. Butou Street and Yaolin Street were the earliest market streets where shipping firms and trade business were conducted, mainly with Mainland China. In 1784 Lukang Harbor was opened as an official harbor, and quickly many shipping firms developed on Butou Street and Yaolin Street. These two classical old streets are actually connected together and close to Zhongshan Road, the main thoroughfare of Lukang. Once setting foot on the long brick pavement flanked by the old exquisite stores and houses, visitors could have the illusion that they were walking on a Qing Dynasty street. [FULL STORY]