Longshan Temple – Taipei, Taiwan

Even if you only have a half day in Taipei make sure you get to the Longshan Temple!  Its a stunning Buddhist temple with regular visitors and local parishoners.  Founded in 1738 as a haven for Chinese immigrants from Fujian the settlers built Longshan in honor of Kuan-in the Buddhist goddess of mercy.

Long Shao Temple

How to get to Longshan Temple
MRT Station: Longshan Station
Hours: 6am to 10pm
Fee: Free


Longshan (alternately spelled Lungshan) was erected in the Manka district of Taipei.  It was dedicated after the Lungshan temple in their home town and aptly named for the root temple.


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Don’t Drink December: a crazy idea to raise money for Typhoon Haiyan

We all love drinking, well since I’m talking about alcohol I guess “most of us” love drinking.  Unfortunately there is a massive population of people who not only can’t drink alcohol but even worse, they don’t have access to clean water!  That number skyrocketed after Typhoon Haiyan and as a result I have dubbed December 2013 “Don’t Drink December.”

The typhoon killed thousands, demolished tens of thousands of homes leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and even more needing to scrounge for safe water to drink.  In order to raise money for those affected I have decided not to drink alcohol for the month of December. At the end of the month I will be visiting the Philippines (a vacation I planned well before the superstorm) and am currently looking for volunteer opportunities after the new year.

Don't Drink December

Yes, that is my skeptical face.  I hope you notice it; it looks a lot like my happy face, or my “I have 2 drinks in my hands face”, or my “why the heck am I double fisting face.”  But have faith!  I will still go out and enjoy myself at bars and other establishments but whenever I would normally have bought a brew I’ll order a water and put that money into a donation account.  Anytime I would have run to the store to grab a bottle instead I will pick up some soda or juice and put the money towards a better cause than getting me slightly intoxicated.

My current plan is to collect all the money and donate it to the Philippines Red Cross; based on the last 3 months in Seoul I estimate that I will be donating approximately $150 dollars to those affected by Hurricane Haiyan.

I invite you to start your own Don’t Drink December too.  If you aren’t the kind to put the bottle down for a few weeks or can’t fathom facing the family at holiday season without a little eggnog then I humbly ask you for a flat or “per drink” donation.  If you can’t donate to me or don’t trust this Eagle Scout than donate directly to the Red Cross here!


Two weeks in!