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Cebu Taoist Temple
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrCebu Taoist Temple is a famous tourist attraction in Cebu City built in 1972 by the Chinese community residing in the city. It is located in the upscale area of Beverly Hills Subdivision in the northern part of the metro. The Taoist Temple has an elevation of 300 meters above sea level with an architectural design derived from the typical multi-tiered Taoist temples in China. The premises consist of several prayer temples, a wishing well, viewing decks, and a main worshiping temple with a pagoda-styled roof.
Worshipers and non-worshipers can enter the temple and enjoy its serenity. The scenery of the temple is divine as it offers a great view of the modern and crowded city outside its walls.
Inside the Taoist TempleUpon arriving at the temple, the first thing you will notice is the entrance replica of the Great Wall of China. Next is the long and steep flight of stairs going up to the main area of the Taoist Temple. It is said that the main staircase has 81 steps because it was based upon the 81 chapters of the Taoism scriptures, but most people would say there are actually 99 steps (they might have counted it as they went along).
What really catches the eyes of the visitors are the several majestic dragon sculptures displayed within the area. The devotees of the Taoist Temple also follow the teaching of the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lao Tze . The religious influence and history of Taoism is vibrant and alive within the walls of the temple.
VisitingThe temple is open from Monday - Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM. Admission to the Taoist Temple is free of charge, although they follow a very strict dress code (like all other temples in the world). Sleeveless shirts and short pants are not allowed if you want to enter the main worship temple. Being a place of solace and prayer, visitors are expected to observe silence while within the premises. Also, it is prohibited to take pictures of the temple’s altar.
There is also a ritual that needs to be observed before entering the main temple. Visitors are asked to wash their hands and to remove their footwear before going in. Once you’re inside the temple, you can either get a fortune stick from the altar and have the monks read it to you (the fortune is written in Chinese characters), or you can make a wish by dropping two wooden, bean-shaped blocks on the floor. A wish is given if both blocks are face up, if none of the blocks are facing up (or only one is face up) then the wish is not granted at that time and you can try it again when you visit the temple another time.
Getting ThereThe Taoist Temple is easily accessible by renting a taxi. Since there are no other public transportation directly outside the temple, it is very important that you inform the driver upfront that you want the ride to be a round-way trip. If you fail to do so, you can try your luck waiting for an available taxi to pass by outside the gate (or wait for taxis dropping off passengers), or you may have to walk down the hill towards the main road, which is a very long walk. Regarding tourists or visitors who have poor health, they can have the driver drop them off at the back entrance of the temple and enter the temple without having to walk up the long flight of stairs at the main entrance.
Another option is by booking a day tour at one of the travel agencies available in the city (most luxury hotels also offers their guests trips to the temple). This eliminates the difficulty of getting a taxi ride back to your hotel.
- It is advisable to visit the Taoist Temple in the morning or at noon so you can explore the entire area. Those who visit a few hours before closing time will have a lot less time to enjoy the view.
- Be sure to check out the gift shop. They offer handmade crafts, fancy trinkets, and statues which are a bit pricey, but can be a very nice souvenir or present to someone.
- The Taoist Temple is an ideal place for self-contemplation and meditation. It is one of the few places in Cebu City where one can be alone with their thoughts while enjoying a great view of the city.
- Since it is very difficult to get a taxi back to the city (or to your hotel), you can ask the driver to wait for you outside the temple and just keep the meter running. Usually it will only cost you around a ₱100 ($2.20), depending on how long you plan to stay inside the temple.
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Author: radiantan. Last updated: May 21, 2015