This photo I’m drawn to, actually I seem to be drawn to photograph graveyards when ever I travel, it might be the history, it might be the solitude, it might be the story each grave provides, and it might be the unknown of life after death? I struggled to even come up with a title for it; it was between Til Death Do Us Part, No Vacancy, or Gated Community. The picture is of the Tongpanqian Cemetery in Tainan, it is vast and contains some of Taiwan’s oldest and most historic tombs and graves. The tomb of Ceng Chen Yang is the oldest known Ming dynasty tomb in Taiwan that dates back to 1642. The Ming dynasty tombs are marked for tourism, but may not attract much attention form tourists. In Western countries, visiting tombs of historic figures is a large part of tourism and cemeteries can have a National Park feel and look to them. In Taiwan this type of a cemetery or tourist destination would not seem appropriate. Cemeteries are not tourist attractions, and often cemeteries are only visited during Tomb Sweeping Days or when the proper attention can be paid to the grave site. You can visit cemeteries in Taiwan, and you’re free to wonder around as long as you don’t disturb the solemnity of the place. You may find your Taiwanese friends reluctant to accompany you, however. There are many superstitions surrounding cemeteries, and no one wants to risk any negative attention from the ghosts.
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