One of the most surprising things about the temples was just how alive they were. Nothing like the sterileness of ones in other countries. In a way I felt that this was the china that would have been if the Nationalists had won.
The first temple I went to was a buddhist one in central Taipei. It was swarming with people, the incense and offering boxes were overflowing. People came and went in a great hurry.
The second experience was a pagoda out in the suburbs. It was maybe 5 stories tall. A fence surrounded it for crowd control. I went in. The floor was covered in ash from burnt offerings and flowers. I wales past so many people paying their respects to their ancestors. The pagoda was set up for one way walking. Up only. At the top there was a circular caged steel stair case built alongside the pagoda. This was the way down. I walked down and out the spinning metal exit gate. 2012: However, I now wonder if this was actually because it was the Qingming Festival.
I visited various other temples, buddhist, Confucian and Taoist. There were never the huge crowds but always there were many people just there as part of their daily lives.