This blog was created for USASTRATCOM Long Lines Battalion Army personnel who served in Taiwan during the 1965-72 time frame. Specifically, those who lived and worked in and around Taipei are the target. If you worked at the Grass Mountain or Gold Mountain facilities or anywhere in downtown Taipei, we would like to hear from you. All are welcome to visit and contribute to this blog. Your comments and pictures are encouraged.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baoan Temple, Taipei (Continued)

For as little contact as we actually had with the Taoist Temple, here is yet more of it as shown from south to north.

A picture from our time there is shown as well as its update. Maybe you'll see how many resources were used to make it tourist-friendly.
Driving by on KuLun Street, you can see the very front of the Baoan Temple garden wall.
Walking north on DaLong Street, an entrance to the temple garden can be seen on the left. This is actually the right wall of the temple garden.

On the right side of this street is the west wall of the Confucian garden.
And here we are in 1969 at the side entrance of the Baoan Temple garden. Notice the white walls and the closed gates.
And here is the same gated entrance, but updated. Yes, it is the same entrance as the previous picture, but doesn't it look more inviting?
Closer to the garden entrance
Further north along the east wall of the garden on DaLong Street is this building.
Someone other than me could tell you just what this building is and how old it is. To me, it looks younger than the main Baoan Temple.


Chinese religions and spiritual beliefs emphasize peace, harmony and balance in one's life. This symbol is not unique to Taoism. Try drawing this freehand. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baoan Taoist Temple Taipei, Taiwan

Next door to the left (west) of the Confucian Temple is the Baoan Taoist Temple. The first picture, after Google Earth photo, was taken in 1969.

Back then, The Confucian Temple was  beautiful, well-maintained and visitor friendly. The Baoan Temple wasn't quite ready for prime time.

It looked rundown and dirty.  Older men sat near its entrance and they weren't smiling.

We never made it inside the enclosure. Instead, we visited the garden area south of the temple.

It's too bad we didn't go inside the temple as it is quite ornate and detailed. For a general explanation of the temple and Chinese philosophies, click HERE.


Along HaMi Streeet and DaLong Street is the Baoan Taoist Temple. 

Again, taken in 1969, the Taoist Temple was quite different than it appears today.

Here is the temple from approximately the same angle as the previous picture, just a mere 40+ years later. 

Notice the knee wall has been removed. Flood lights are across from this view. At night, both temples are bathed in light. DaLong Street is shown at the far right.
Here is a description of the temple as indicated by our Taiwan booklet.
Here is part of what we missed in 1969 by not entering the temple. It is also surrounded on four sides by walls..

Quite a beautiful interior
This is the inside of the front wall looking south.
Directly across the street is this continuation of the temple. It has a gate and leads to the temple's garden area.

To keep you more confused, this photo was taken inside the fenced-in area. Right across HaMi Street is the front of the Baoan Temple. For more intricate views of the temple, click HERE.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Confucian Temple, Taipei, Taiwan

Once you get on the main drag, turn right onto the alley beside the Officers' Club. Continue slowly for about 800 yards and you'll come upon the Confucian Temple.

Those were the instructions we followed and they were quite accurate. We did creep along as vendors were all along the alley. Other alleys crisscrossed ours as we proceeded.

Once there, we usually had the place to ourselves. Tourism wasn't big yet in Taipei.

To get an introductory view of the temple, click HERE.

The yellow line stretches from the approximate location of the old MAAG Officers' Club on Chung Shan North Road to the Confucian Temple. It is about .4 miles long.

KuLun Street leads to the front of the garden sections of both the Confucian and Baoan (Taoist) Temples. Between the temples is the north-south DaLong Street.

The Confucian Temple and garden is at the right. At the left, west of DaLong Street is the Baoan garden. DaLong Street is pedestrian.

At the upper left is the actual Baoan (Taoist) Temple. KuLun Street is at the bottom of this picture.

From our Taiwan booklet, this page describes the Confucian Temple

Here is the main temple building inside the four walls surrounding it. The photo was taken in 1969.

This is the back cover of our Taiwan booklet.

A present-day picture of the temple

And yet another of the main building

Taken from inside the 4 walls of the temple is this shot. Turning 180 degrees from the previous picture, you see the inside of the front of the enclosure. You would be looking south.

The buildings surrounding the main temple have some beautiful architectural details.

This wall is along Kulun Street. It is part of the Confucian garden area. Behind this section of the front wall is a bridge over a small pond and stream.

To see and hear the essence of the temple, click HERE.

The bridge and pond behind the main front wall (previous picture) is shown.

This is a terrible picture, and not just because I'm in it. Here we are, back in 1969, and this is the bridge behind the garden's main wall.

Ink and glue from our scrapbook bled over onto this photo. Maybe the previous picture should not be followed by this.

Here you see a side entrance off DaLong Street which leads into the garden area.

Here we are inside the temple area.
The temple was beautiful, quiet and always inviting. 
One of Victor W. Cheng's many contributions to this blog is a diagram of the temple.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Club 63, Taipei Taiwan, 1968-69

Having a place to socialize and relax seems to be a reoccurring theme for American service people, diplomats and media no matter what country they are in.

This was no different in Taipei. Very shortly after the ROC came to power in Taiwan, Madame Chiang Kai-shek apparently had the Friends of China Club  built. This was in the early 1950s and was meant mainly for couples.

By the 1960s, there were clubs for officers, enlisted personnel and their families.

Here are some pictures and souvenirs from this time. The MAAG Officers' Club was on the west side of Chung Shan North Road, near what is now the police station.

The enlisted personnel club, was on the sight now occupied by the American Club. Officially, it was the Club 63, but we used the Chinese numbers for 6 and 3 to get our taxi ride there.

Photo by LTC R. Rayle

This is a 1957 photo of the Friends Of China Club. Ready for another fare is a pedicab driver. By June of 1968, when we arrived, they had been outlawed in Taipei.

The word was that, in Taipei, many of the former pedicab drivers became pilots of the thousands of Datsun Bluebirds which could be found everywhere in the city.

Photo from The Slide Guy
This club was located directly across from the Presidential Palace. It was preceded by a place called the Lucky Bar. This car looks like a mid-50s Ford.
Photo by Gary Roske

Here is a picture taken directly in front of the Club 63. By the mid-1970s the name was changed to the China Seas Club.

We took this picture near dusk near the stag bar. it can't be seen here, but it was a separate building. Saturdays there meant free pizza all afternoon and happy hour when drinks were just a dime apiece.

Also, just inside the side entrance to the club was a small dining area. It couldn't have had more than 10 tables, but it was very convenient in case you didn't want to enter the main club room.

Across the street from where this picture was taken was a locally famous Mongolian BBQ.
Being of a lower enlisted grade, we could not be full members which, I believe, meant we had no voting privileges. Notice, however, that we were FULL associate members, whatever that meant.

What was important was that we were in the monthly men's night crowd, which was a unique experience.

A cheap souvenir

After we paid our initial dues in June of 1968, we were given this cigarette lighter.

Being a non-smoker, I put this lighter, which came in a small box, in my duffel bag and later in our cedar chest. There it stayed for over 40 years until being scanned for this blog.

This page came in handy many times.

This is the banner for the Taipei American Club, officially known as the American Club in China.
Located on the land once occupied by the Club 63, The American Club is very lavish and offers many amenities for those who have memberships. 
It is actually quite large. One photo only doesn't convey its vastness. Notice the Grand Hotel in the background. The street address of the club is 47 BeiAn Road, Taipei.
Even the parking is organized. Membership is multinational with reciprocal agreements with clubs in other countries. This parking lot may be on the former location of the stag bar.

The Martyrs' Shrine was located just a little further east on the road from the 63 Club. It actually opened in 1969. 

After we left the car to take pictures, the two soldiers exchanged places and came to attention. We thought it was a nice gesture since we were the only people around.