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An experiential journal of synchronicity and connection

Postcards From Changhua City 2 彰化市明信片二號

The gates to Kaihua Temple in the heart of Changhua City.

Not long after moving to the capital of Changhua 彰化 in 2014 I published a collection of photographs entitled Postcards from Changhua City. All of the photos in that post were shot in my first few months of residency but I ended up staying for half a year. In that time I gathered more than enough material for a sequel while making my daily rounds. Although long overdue this second collection is now complete so here it is: more photos from my time in Changhua City 彰化市, a historic town in central Taiwan 台灣.

The city through the gates of Kāihuà Temple 開化寺. This temple dates back to 1724!
In Qing dynasty times Changhua was a walled city but the Japanese colonial authorities tore them down and imposed a new urban planning order on the city. Hidden in an alleyway, the North Gate Land God Shrine 北門福徳祠 used to stand next to the northern entrance to the walled city.
As the name would imply the Great West Gate Land God Shrine 大西門福德祠 marks the former location of the walled city’s western gate. This one is far more accessible than the north gate shrine, however.
Inside the courtyard at the famous Changhua Confucius Temple 彰化孔子廟.
Doorway to the main hall of the Confucius Temple in Changhua City.
Gāobīngé 高賓閣, or the Changhua Railway Hospital 彰化鐵路醫院, is a unique colonial building that with a long and interesting history. It was abandoned for many years but is now being renovated by the city.
A stately row of colonial shophouses on Chángshòu Street 長壽街. The one on the left has since been demolished.
An impressive example of Japanese colonial architecture at the base of Baguashan. Today this is the Changhua Arts Museum 彰化藝術館 but it was built in 1933 as the Changhua City Assembly Hall 彰化市公會堂.
Inside the courtyard at Yuánqīngguān 元清觀, a temple with an unusual name. The censer appears to be levitating.
Ghost flowers: intricate arrangements of folder paper destined to be set ablaze.
Blessings from Mazu. Tiānshàng Shèngmǔ 天上聖母 is one of her names.
A chubby red Buddha in a temple in Changhua City.
Study hall in the right wing of Qing’an Temple 慶安宮. These rooms are open to the public; just walk in and get to work!
A row of abandoned shophouses next to Zhonghua Road Bridge 中華路橋. These buildings surely predate the construction of the bridge from which this image was captured.
On the other side of Zhonghua Road Bridge is the Changhua City Fish Market 彰化市魚市場. There isn’t much to see here by day but long after dark it’s a bustling hive of activity.
Peeling paint and utility stickers next to a disused apartment block on the far side of the railway tracks.
A vintage home in the back alleys of Changhua City.
A palanquin entering Nányáo Temple 南瑤宮 on the south end of town.
A round portal with carved versions of the Republic of China flag inside Nanyao Temple 南瑤宮.
A cuckoo clock on a wall in the back alleys of Changhua City. Totally random.
The entrance to an old medical clinic on the south side of town. The sign on the right is the schedule.
A stack of ghost money for anyone who needs it.
Poetic divination in Báilóng’ān 白龍庵, a rooftop retreat in the heart of Changhua City. These fortunes are drawn by lot after asking questions of the gods in a short ceremony.
Another day in the office at the obscure Bìyìng Shrine 必應祠.
This mysterious statue at Biying Shrine vexed me while living in Changhua. I have since learned that this is Lín Xīlíng 林錫鈴, the founder or one of the original administrators of the shrine.
An electric flower car 電子花車 behind Jīngchéng Night Market 精誠夜市. I think they were doing some kind of raffle.
A shrine to light up the dark night on the north side of Changhua City. This is a land god shrine, an ubiquitous feature of the Taiwanese urban landscape.
Taking the train from Changhua City on new year’s day.
Boxed scooter waiting on the platform at Changhua Station 彰化車站.
No evidence of a night market by day—but after dark this empty lot will come alive with activity.
A popular local delicacy: fried and stuffed bread at Āzhēn Zhàmántou 阿貞炸饅頭.
Propeller of a warplane in Jiànkāng Trail Park 健康步道公園 up on Baguashan.
Buddhas galore inside the big temple at the edge of Baguashan.
Looking south from Baguashan over a university campus and the more residential side of town.
Baguashan 八卦山 in the drought of 2015. The fountain was shut off to conserve water.

Be sure to see the first in this series and browse around the rest of my posts from Changhua City 彰化市 and Changhua 彰化 for more from this part of Taiwan 台灣.

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