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Crowds outside Lugang's town-god shrine. (RM)  <img src='http://www.guidegecko.com/images/spyglass1.png' align='texttop' /> Click for full image
Travel Guide > Asia > Taiwan > Sights & Attractions

Cheng Huang Temple (Lugang)

  
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A short walk northward of Lugang's Three Mountain Kings Temple you'll find a much busier place of worship. Like other city- and town-god shrines around Taiwan, Lugang's Cheng Huang Temple (城隍廟) is where, during the Qing period, newly-appointed mandarins would pray and make offerings before assuming office.

Since the early 18th century, Lugang natives have been coming here for a different reason. The town god enshrined here (his birthday is celebrated on the 28th day of the fifth lunar month) appears to have a solid track record of successful divine intercessions; in particular, he and other gods worshiped here have been credited with amazing powers to resolve cases of theft.

The best-known story involves the founder of one of Taiwan's best-known computer companies. In 1986, valuable proprietary items went missing from an Acer Inc. facility. Conventional efforts to find them failed, so the mother of Acer's then chairman, Lugang-born Stan Shih (施振榮), visited the temple. She sought the help of Fanqiangqing, a deity represented by a small, black-faced icon on the left as you enter. Via divination blocks, the god gave permission to be taken to Shih's Taipei residence, and within five days of his arrival in the capital, the items had been recovered and the wrongdoers identified. More recently, in 2008 Changhua County's chief of police sought the city god's help when faced with a string of difficult cases. Within a month arrests had been made, so the police chief showed his gratitude the traditional way – by presenting the god with a solid-gold pendant.

Across busy Zhongshan Road from the temple there used to be a small plaza called Yaguidia, which in Taiwanese means "courtyard of the hungry ghosts." This name didn't come about because of supernatural activity, but because it was where, at the end of long voyages, sailors and fishermen would come to enjoy their first proper meal in days. These men ate with such gusto locals nicknamed them "hungry ghosts." There's nothing to be seen these days but a plaque (Chinese only) which fails to mention that, in Lugang's heyday, the waterfront was just a stone's throw from this spot.

Directions

Frequent buses from Changhua and Taichung stop near the temple on Zhongshan Road.

Type: Monument/Building
Costs: free
Location: Taiwan
Street address: 366, Zhongshan Road, Lugang, Changhua County
Nearest public transport: Zhongshan Road bus stops
Opening hours: Daily 6am-9pm
Telephone: +88647788545
Email: square@cheng-huang.com







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