Lukang, situated on the western coast, was once an important port in Taiwan, starting with the Dutch in the 17th century. After the Dutch left, Lukang remained an important port until early in the 20th century when railroads, highways and harbor siltage reduced the city to an isolated relic.

This is good news for visitors, because Lukang's decline in importance as a port city has allowed the preservation of historical buildings and temples, as well as the Old Market Street area. There you can wander down the historic alleys lined with old narrow-facade houses with deep front patios. Nine Turns Lane is another interesting attraction—built to make it hard for attacking bandits and to protect Lukang against strong winds. The Lukang Folk Arts Museum is also worth a look.

Lungshan Temple is a must-see. It could well lay claim to being the most famous temple in Taiwan. It's an old temple built in the style of mainland China's Ching dynasty (1644-1911) with a network of courtyards and halls. Tienhou Temple is dedicated to an important deity, Matsu, Goddess of the Sea, and is also worth visiting.

Lukang can only be reached by road. Buses from Taipei take around three hours. The bus trip from Taichung takes about 90 minutes. 90 mi/150 km southwest of Taipei.

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