Lukang is a sleepy Taiwan town where narrow winding streets are lined with old heritage buildings and quaint little shops. However, right up until the end of the 19th century the picture looked quite different, as Lugang was once a significant cultural and commercial center serving as the economic and transport hub of central Taiwan.
The Japanese invasion, the silting of its harbor, and a refusal to allow railroads to pass through the city eventually led to Lukang’s commercial decline. However, this lack of more development meant that the town avoided the process of modernization that saw historical buildings in cities such as Tainan and Taipei torn down. As a result, Lukang is one of the few big towns in Taiwan that remains preserved just as it was in its heyday.
Nowadays, visitors take day trips to Lukang to soak up all that history and sense of tradition. It’s a place to wander around local handicraft shops, stopping only to indulge in the distinctive cuisine that came about as a result of the town’s multicultural past. Lukang is also home to some 200 temples, including some of the most visually stunning Chinese temples in the whole of Taiwan.
To get to Lukang from Taipei, take the train to Changhua Station and head to the bus station across the street. From here, you can catch the bus to Lukang.