Sat, Aug 10, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Online poll lists top love temples, romantic sites

CHINESE LOVERS’ DAY:Longshan Temple in Taipei topped the list for the best temple, while True Love Pier in Kaohsiung was voted the most romantic place

By Lin Chia-chi and Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An undated picture shows the “Old Man under the Moon,” or the deity of love and marriage, front row center, at Taipei’s Xiahai City God Temple.

Photo: Huang Chi-hao, Taipei Times

For couples or singles in search of romance, an online survey has pinpointed the top “temples of love” and romantic sites around the nation.

The survey was conducted by online travel.yam.com and pk.yam.com sites to coincide with Chinese Lovers’ Day — the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar, which falls on Tuesday this year.

The always flourishing Longshan Temple (龍山寺) in the heart of Taipei’s old “Monga District” (艋舺) topped the poll among temples. Longshan Temple contains a shrine for the “Old Man under the Moon” (yuexialaoren, 月下老人), or the deity of love and marriage.

According to local legend, the “Old Man under the Moon” helps single people find suitable partners and couples seeking smooth relationships.

The True Love Pier (真愛碼頭) in Greater Kaohsiung topped the poll among the most romantic sites.

Located near the mouth of the city’s Love River (愛河), the seaside pier is a favorite for locals and tourists to enjoy the panoramic views of Kaohsiung’s skyline by day and by night. It has also gained wide attention as the setting of several popular television dramas in recent years.

Other picks in the top-five selection for “temples of love” to seek divine intervention for romantic relationships are Taipei’s Xiahai City God Temple (霞海城隍廟) on Dihua Street (迪化街), which is especially popular with locals and Japanese tourists; and Butian Temple (補天宮) in Yilan County’s Jhuangwei Township (壯圍), which is devoted to the worship of the goddess Nuwa (女媧娘娘), the archetypal female deity in Chinese mythology who created mankind and repaired the wall of heaven.

It is followed by the Shrine to the Four-Faced Buddha (四面佛) on Taipei’s Changchun Street, which is said to be an authorized overseas branch shrine of the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, devoted to the worship of Phra Phrom, the Thai representation of the Hindu god Brahma, who is reputed to have powers to sow burning passions ablaze among singles and couples.

Rounding out the top-five list is Lugang Matsu Temple (鹿港天后宮) in Changhua County, which pays homage to Matsu, the goddess of the sea.

The poll’s other top five most romantic destinations in the nation are: Twin Hearts Stone Tidal Weir on Penghu’s Cimei Islet, Cisingtan Beach (七星潭) in Hualien County with its crescent-shaped bay, Taipei Fisherman’s Wharf (台北漁人碼頭) on the mouth of the Tamsui River (淡水河) and Pingsi District (平溪) in New Taipei City (新北市) with its mountain railway and quaint rural setting.

According to yam.com officials, the online poll was conducted from July 24 to Wednesday and received 170,000 votes from netizens.

In related developments, the Taipei Flower Auction Co said yesterday that the wholesale prices of roses have risen 10 percent in the run-up to Chinese Lovers’ Day due to the devastation wrought by a recent typhoon.

Red roses, which are the top-selling products on Chinese Lovers’ Day, are selling wholesale for between NT$250 and NT$350 per bunch of 20 blossoms this year, the company said. The retail price averages around NT$1,000 per bunch, the company added. Wholesale prices this year were pushed up by a 20 percent fall in production in the wake of Typhoon Soulik, which struck last month and devastated the main rose-growing regions in Nantou County, it said.

Additional reporting by CNA

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