legends of the hidden temple

for the past 2 years, I have been spying this temple out of the corner of my eye. a quick flash of red and a dragon-topped roof, peeking out of an alley. it's just off one of the main roads I drive on a weekly basis.

nearly every time I'd drive past, I would tell myself "I should stop there are and take pictures." or "I should drive down that alley and check it out." BUT I didn't have my camera, or was on my way to get my haircut, or had groceries that needed to get home. so in my mind this place became more and more of a mystery. I started referring to it as "that hidden temple in that alley" which inevitably led to 90s gameshow flashbacks.

well, I finally made it a point to stop with my camera and grab some pictures.

it's not the largest temple. not the prettiest or oldest. it's build in the most awkward of places. but it's a symbol of something I love most about Taiwan - the unexpectedness. because around these parts, you never know when a hidden temple will reveal itself around the next corner.

and now I'd like to introduce you to this month's featured sponsor: Maria of Wanderlust. she is currently living on the coast of Portugal, and it is every bit as lovely as you'd imagine. [I'm dying over the photos of this beach!] her recent posts detailing her travels to London are filled with gorgeous photos as well.

I'm Maria Ana, an nineteen-year-old university student who's currently living in Lisbon. My biggest passion is to travel and that's the main subject of my blog. Explore new cultures, its people, its food, its art, its language, fascinates me. I'm also very interested in photography, books and cinema. In regular days, I like to take long walks to rest my head from this crazy world or enjoy, with good company, some hours talking about anything and everything.

your two favorite posts to share: One of my favourite posts is about Barcelona. It was such an amazing trip, and I loved all the photos I took. Barcelona is such a vivid city: the architecture, the markets, the streets... The beauty of this city is beyond words.

I think it's important to travel inside our country. That's why I really like to share some photos and info about the beautiful places near where I live. This post is one of my favourites. It's about my "home", it's about the beauty of the region and it is something I like to share, because I think everyone would enjoy to visit these places.

what is your favorite trip/vacation you've ever taken - where to and why? It's really hard to choose one favorite trip, I must say it is impossible! I've been to quite a few places, but I didn't have my blog back then, so you won't find any photos or details about those adventures. I loved every trip I've been, but I can refer two "special":

New York City: I was only ten years old when I went to NYC, but I will never forget those days. I was astonished with the tall buildings, the people, the environment... It was all new, different and amazing at the same time. I was just a kid, but since those days that I wish I could live there. There, you have the world in just one city. I remember that when we went to Chinatown, it amazed me how every neighbourhood made you feel your where in a different part of the world. I also visited Newark, which is where many portuguese live and I felt like I was home when, truly, I was in NYC. I can't find the words to describe the hapiness and the marvel of a kid that was suddenly transported to the most amazing city in the world.

Italy: I went on a nine-day trip to Italy with my mother and some of her friends back in 2009. From Milan to Rome, we visited many many italian villages and cities along the way. This country is so welcoming, so comforting. The culture, the food, the language, the people, it is impossible not to love it all. In almost every city, you are literally walking through history. You have beautiful monuments everywhere. You have the most amazing museums. And of course, you'll eat the best pizzas of your life, what's not to love? I can never forget Italy, it's a magical country where the history and the art really touch you, deep in your heart.

where would your dream trip take you? That's an excellent question! I wish I could travel all around the world, but there are certain places that are definitely on the top of the list, such as: Egypt, Mexico and a road trip across the United States.

describe yourself in 3 words: I think I can describe myself as a fair and compassionate person who is, above all, a dreamer.

learn more about Maria Ana on her blog: Wanderlust
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