Temple guides

I am looking for a book (in English if possible, if not then Chinese is ok, too) about temples/places of worship in Taiwan. Just looking for some simple information, doesn’t need to be too in-depth, just want to get an idea what I am looking at when I see temples and tudigong’s around the place.

I’m also looking for a flora and fauna book. I found this website, which is quite useful, but wondered if anyone knows anything better?


I have a book called Private Prayers and Parades (or something like that) that gives some info about practices and the various festivals etc. I think I got it at Eslite, but it was quite a few years ago.

Private Prayers and Public Parades–Exploring the Religious Life of Taipei, by Mark Caltonhill. It was published by the Taipei City Government’s Department of Information. There are likely still copies in some stores.
[li]favorable review[/li][/ul]

I second the nomination of Caltonhill. A lot of older books take a more abstract, literary approach to religion here which doesn’t really reflect what people actually do. (Leading indicators include references to the “three religions” of China, or a preference for discussing Laozi over gods and ghosts.)

For those who want to see street parades, a good way to do it is look up the next religious holiday in Caltonhill, convert from the farmers’ calendar into the normal calendar, find a temple for that god, and then ask.

BTW Caltonhill has also written a book of poetry and short fiction.