No.61, Heping Rd., Liuqiu Township, Pingtung County 929, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
There are three kinds of “many” on the only coral island in Taiwan: many fishermen, many school principals and many temples. Because the coral environment is very barren, 90% of the residents on Xiaoliuqiu depend on fishing. Hence why there are so many fishermen! A life of fishing is very difficult, so many residents hope that future generations will have the opportunity to go to school and improve their education instead of working on boats. More and more, children without good academic performance end up working on boats, while those with better grades at school become teachers. Hence why there are so many school principals that come from Xiaoliuqiu! And because so many unexpected events can occur when boats are involved, residents have come to rely on religion for their peace of mind. Therefore, the many temples of Xiaoliuqiu have become the unique characteristic of the island. Guanyin Buddha (觀音佛祖) is most worshipped on the island. Those needing weddings, funerals, or a profitable harvest of fish are all drawn to Biyun Temple to draw lots and ask for signs. You can tell from the appearance of this beautiful solemn temple, with its fruit-laden tables of tributes, that it is a very important place.
It is rumored that the origin of Biyun Temple is related to an immigrant from Fujian called Tian who came to Kaohsiung during the Yongzheng era of the Qing dynasty. He built a range for racing goats at the site of the current temple. One night he dreamt that Guanyin Buddha from Mount Putao asked him to build the temple, and after waking the next morning, excitedly told the islanders of his dream. They all pooled their land to build a temple together, constructing one out of grass in 1736 and calling it Guanyin Ting (觀音亭). After people heard that Guanyin was very responsive to their needs, scores of fishermen believers began to worship there. After the reconstruction of the temple in the Guangxu era of the Qing dynasty, even more worshippers were drawn here. In 1954, community fundraising enabled the reconstruction of the current Biyun Temple.