BAO SHAN: Last
resting place of songbird Teresa Teng
By Richard Saunders Translated
by Chou NaiXien
On a grassy hillside high
in the foothills of Yangmingshan lies a small
garden. An ornamental path leads past rows
of miniature hedging and beds of flowers to
the simple, dignified tomb of singer Teresa
Teng, whose unique voice conquered fans the
world over. Since her tragically early death
in 1995, thousands of admirers have flocked
annually to this secluded spot to pay their
respects. For those to whom the name Teresa
Teng may be unfamiliar, she possessed a singularly
magical, silky voice and the same ingenue
beauty of the late Karen Carpenter.
Teresa Teng's tomb is what
brings most people to Jin Bao Shan (???"Gold
Treasure Mountain"). There are also the
breathtaking views over the coast and the
eastern mountains of Yangmingshan. Dominating
the entire site is the great outcrop of rock
that rises to the right of the main driveway.
Craftsmen took eight years to carve this long,
low bluff of richly colored sandstone into
a maze of rocky trails, tunnels, small pinnacles
and countless statues of Buddha, lotus buds
and various deities, in imitation of the great
rock-carved cave temples of mainland China.
There is a path that descends
into the earth, following a tunnel for a distance
before emerging at a terrace and coffee shop,
a great place to wind up your visit. Cemeteries
may not seem likely destinations for a fascinating
half day out, but Jin Bao Shan is definitely
a noble exception.
GETTING THERE: Follow the
coastal road northwest from Keelung to Jin
Shan, from where Ju Ming Museum and Jin Bao
Shan are clearly signposted. Alternatively,
take the road over the top of Yangmingshan
to Jin Shan, although this route can be very
busy on weekends. There is a direct (privately-run)
bus service for visitors, leaving daily at
9 a.m. (reserve seats by phoning (02) 2516-6250).
Ju Ming Museum Arts busses run daily (except
Mondays when the museum is closed, at 8:40
a.m. and 1:10 p.m. weekdays, and at 9:30 a.m.,
10:30 a.m. and 12 noon on weekends; tel. (02)
2498-9940) from outside Taipei Fine Arts Museum
to Ju Ming Museum (near YuanShan MRT station).
Walk up the hill from there to Jin Bao Shan.