The Longshan Temple in Taipei was built in 1738 and had been destroyed numerous times, either due to natural disasters or war. Each time, it was rebuilt. It was (and still is) a very popular place of worship.
The Longshan Temple is not really a Buddhist temple. It’s more like a mixture of Buddhist and Taoist temple. It has Buddha statues in the main shrine but also has statues of other deities in the other shrines. There is a waterfall in the courtyard, right by the entrance.
I went at around 4:30pm and it was very crowded. There was a service going on in the main shrine so I didn’t go in. A lot of devotees kneeled outside the main shrine, on the gravel floor and under the sun, to pray. A lot of people also threw two pieces of crescent-shaped wood onto the floor and prayed. I’m not really sure how that works. My Taiwanese friend said you are supposed to throw the two pieces of wood onto the floor and after you get 3 “face-up and face-down” (apparently the two sides of the wood are different), you can pick a wooden stick that contains your fortune.
Where to stay in Taipei? Visit Hotel deals in Taipei for some suggestions.