The 3rd in the Trilogy

by Mark Forman on August 25, 2008

This is the last in the series of 3 photo essays centered around my friends-the Saito family. This portion is from our trip to Lukang-the 2nd commercial center of Taiwan after Tainan and marking Taiwan's commercial development gradually migrating north. Founder of Acer Stanley Shih is from Lukang as well as the powerful Koo family.

At entrance to the main Matsu temple. The center of old Lukang. It is neighbored by all kinds of food stands selling local area treats, primarily oysters and oyster based dishes.

One of the many are stands selling seafood treats. This one owned by my friends the Lin family. The Saitos loved the simple yet flavorful dishes and were amazed that the 5 of us could eat so well for $20. More rounds of "oishis" FTW!

How many cameras can you spot in this picture? This is the courtyard to a shop of the historic "9-Turn Alley" a series of shops in Ching Dynasty period houses. The Alley winds at every corner to keep the nearby sea winds from blowing freely down them causing cold drafts and making a windy mess.

Here some of the local Lukang oyster ladies out in force shucking away...

We visited on a Sunday-usually a busy day since many tourists have free time to come to Lukang and visit. This Sunday was also in the middle of Ghost Month so temple activity at a peak level.

Every angle of temple is alive with activity and movement. Here the Keyhole gateway allows us to focus on one portion of that.

This is a pretty enamel painting of the home town on Matsu-the female deity and patron saint of fisherman. She was from the town of Meizhou in Fujian,China.

This is a long view of the Koo family mansion. It is now a museum. They have several out buildings and a beautiful garden surrounding the mansion. It was constructed in early 20th century Japanese occupation-style. Supposedly the Koo patriarch made good friends with the new Japanese rulers of the day. He also helped them find the rightful owners to much property which coincidentally was himself. There were no land deeds under the traditional Taiwanese agrarian system.

Some kids and moms have a traditional Chinese-style top throwing contest.

Nice garden cottage now serves as administrative office for the museum. Quite peaceful and nice here.

The balance of the Lukang set can be viewed here.