Shi Zheng-yang: Peony and
Traveling through a hundred-year-old town: Lukang
Translated by Naomi Lai
The recent film "Monga" recalled the unique early Taiwanese urban life of the '70s, using stories about Taiwanese mobsters and conflicts between local Taiwanese and more recent Chinese immigrants in the Wanhua District area of Taipei, traditionally known as "Monga". Today, the Changhua county town of Lukang (Lugang) stands alongside Monga and Tainan in significance as the three historically largest ports for China-Taiwan trade from the Qing Dynasty period on.
In contrast to Monga, Lukang developed more slowly due to the less-convenient transportation network that its narrow waterways offered. However, this more sedate pace of development is precisely why Lukang has been able to retain its historic appearance and flavor over the last hundred years, with its vintage buildings, cultural activities and traditional foods. The song, "Lukang, the Little Town", by famous singer Lo Da-yu has conjured up the simplicity and warmth of this historic town, in stark contrast to the busy but cold city of modern Taipei.
Today, Lukang is famed for its various historic sites, including Lungshan Temple, Lugang Mazu Temple, picturesque old streets, and traditional Chinese doors. Visitors can find many elaborately-decorated buildings with exquisite window frames and calligraphy, each telling stories about Lukang's history.
The traditional art which developed through local temple culture has resulted in a town filled with nationally-renowned artists creating wood sculptures, statues, lanterns, temple paintings, clay art, weaving and other works. This, together with traditional cuisine such as many local seafood dishes and pastry snacks, means that the town is overflowing with commercial and cultural activity, and offers local and foreign travelers an abundance of opportunities to experience Lukang's century-old food and art culture.
A tour at Lukang will open your eyes to its historical beauty, your mouth to its traditional flavors, your hands to the touch of its artworks, and your heart to the warmth of its people. Using all of their senses, visitors can fully enjoy and experience every facet of Lukang's unique cultural heritage.
We warmly welcome you to visit the various historical sites of Lukang.
Right: Lungshan Temple
Left: Traditional Chinese door
Left: Narrow Alley (Mo-lu Lane)