Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 04: Sihcao Dajhong Temple, Temple of Zhenhai Generalissimo the First God of Taiwan

Our accommodation at Tainan was Dorm 1828, a youth hostel near Sheng-Li Campus of NCKU. It is a small but well-equipped hostel.

Layout of Triple Room

My brother's dormitory, 1st Sheng-Li Dormitory could be seen from the balcony

View from balcony

Courtyard in the hostel

Washing machine and dryer are available at the balcony. Residents could hang their clothes at balcony too. A stall, which selling breakfast like fried eggs and toast, is located opposite the hostel. A lot of students from NCKU have their breakfast here. However, we are not used to eat such kind of breakfast. So, when we came to the kitchen at 1st floor the next morning and saw the cookies inside big jars, we just took it as our breakfast. We were worried whether those cookies were free at first, but a card written "Just eat if nobody's name on it" was shown beside the jar, so we just enjoy it.

An enjoyable breakfast with cookies and a cup of coffee

The kitchen was quite ancient in design, the cabinets and utensils could be dated back to 70, 80's or even earlier. Most of them could never be seen nowadays

Pots in the kitchen

Courtyard view from kitchen

We started our Tainan one-day trip after our breakfast. There are two tourism bus routes offered in Tainan. One of them is 99 Taijiang route, while another is 88 Anping route. 99 Taijiang route focuses on the ecological tourism at Qigu salt fields, while 88 Anping route focuses on the historical sites at Tainan. Although both routes have their own focuses, tourists could take both to two major historical sites, Fort Provintia (or Chihkan Tower) and Fort Zeelandia (or Anping Fort).

Our planned trip was visiting Sihcao Green Tunnel via boat, so we took 99 Taijiang route to Sihcao Ecological and Cultural Area. There is a tourism site at there, which is Dajhong Temple, a more than 300-year-old temple.

Tainan City Bus

It was noon time when we reached there, so we had our lunch at the hawker center nearby.

Odie, a vegetable cake with oyster

Steamed one-mouth meatball

Milkfish porridge and mee-sua

Mesona beancurd ice, a popular dessert in summer

The hawker center beside Sihcao Dajhong Temple
We watched how auntie made Odie before we left.

We visited the Sihcao Dajhong Temple after lunch. This temple was built in 1700 during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty. The warriors who died during the First War of Taiwan at Boxemboy Island (Sihcao currently) between Koxinga and Dutch and the ancestors who first developed Taiwan were first worshiped in this temple. It was then switched to Zhenhai Generalissimo, who was believed to be a general called Chen You. 

Chen You was the regional brigade general (Zongbing) of Taiwan and Provincial commanders-in-chief (Tidu) of Guangxi during the reign of Emperor Kangxi. He was known as a man of integrity and strict in military discipline. After framed up by his opposition, he committed suicide by drowning himself into the sea. When the bad news was reported to Emperor Qianlong, Chen You was entitled as Zhenhai Generalissimo as a tribute to his loyalty and integrity.

Sihcao Dajhong Temple

Zhongsheng Hall at the left side of Dajhong Temple

Furnace at the left side of Dajhong Temple

Main entrance of Dajhong Temple

Interior of Dajhong Temple

Sacred sedan chair of Zhenhai Generalissimo

Wishing well at the left inside the temple

The random fortune drawing in Dajhong Temple is different from the way of shaking the fortune cylinder to get divination stick. After requesting permission from the god, the requestor could draw a stick from the big cylinder at both sides, then confirm the result again with the god. Once confirmed, the requestor could look for the fortune paper from the small drawer at the side of the cylinder.

The fortune cylinders are quite special. Other than common fortune telling, there are cylinders for requesting medication. Men and women have different cylinders to draw the divination stick. Besides that, the numbering of the sticks uses Chinese Era, instead of common Arabic number.

From top left, clockwise are medication for men, medication for women and normal fortune telling

The smoke rising from fire crackers showed an image of auspicious lion during the birthday celebration of Zhenhai Generalissimo, the first god of Taiwan in 2012

The harbour for Green Tunnel is located at the right side of Dajhong Temple

Due to the long queue at the harbour, we gave up our original plan and went to Fort Zeelandia (Anping Fort) instead of the Green Tunnel.


Fort Zeelandia, Witness of Early Taiwan

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