Thinking to find a place to enjoy yourself during the Lunar New Year? Taiwan can be one of the answers to consider. To be more specific, you may try to visit Fo Guang Shan which is located on the southern side of the country. This is a Buddhist temple area, notable for being the biggest one in Taiwan. Curious about what this temple has to offer? Find out the answer by reading this article below.
What to See in Fo Guang Shan
There are so many to see in this tourism area. The complex itself is divided into two main parts: the monastery and the Buddha Museum.
While visiting the monastery, at least you will find six main attractions to see, ranging from the main shrine, the Great Buddha Land, even a cemetery, which is far from being scary—greeting you when first entering the monastery complex.
After an encounter with the cemetery (that is basically a row full of statues), you will reach the reception area. Ksitigarbha Shrine is what comes next, with an impressive number of 1000+ statues on its outside.
Walk more, you will find other attractions which we’ll list as follows:o Amitabha Buddha tower. From this, you will be able to access the cemetery mentioned earlier.
- Pure Land Cave. In this place, you may see many peculiar statues that begin to look old already. But it is still worth visiting, though.o The Pilgrim’s Lodge and Bamboo Garden Lodge. Here you go, a lodge. Reserve your place here and you’ll be able to discover the complex at night.
- The Main Shrine. The shrine is basically designed by the founder of Fo Guang Shan—Hsing Yun. Situated in a vast area of 3,570 msq, it houses other three Buddha statues and 14,800 smaller statues in the walls.Unquestionably a marvelous place to visit.
The Buddha Museum
As for the Buddha Museum, be prepared to notice how different it is from your regular museum visit. Why so, the indoor exhibition is not the ‘norm’ here.
The museum itself is completely new when compared to the monastery—given the fact that it was completed in 2011. Previously, it was named Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Center.
Interestingly, despite the gigantic, modern-looking space conforming classical Buddhist architecture depicted on Fo Kwang Shan monastery, this whole museum complex is built to house the tooth relic of Buddha.
However, the tooth relic isn’t the only attraction. In this museum, you will also see the huge, 108-meter Big Buddha, which is basically a Buddha statue considered the largest in Taiwan. Add visiting the main hall and capturing the ‘Great Path to Buddhahood’ which flanks eight Pagodas along the way to your bucket list.
How to Go to Fo Guang Shan
Before diving too far, let’s just discuss how to reach Fo Guang Shan. The Buddhist temple is located at 153 Xingtian Rd., Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Open your map and you’ll find the area is placed on the southern side of the country. So, it’ll take you a bit of extra work if you landed in Taipei.
Taipei to Kaohsiung means work to tackle more than 300 km of distance. Well, don’t worry since you can catch a train and sit cozily for around 4.5-6 hours. For this, you need to invest a good amount of 900 TWD, currently equal to USD 32.4.
Another trip you’ll need to take to the northern side of the city. This time, it takes around 40 km to reach the temple area, which you can do by bus. However, some sources mentioned that it’d be quite tricky to catch a bus, so they are recommending a cab catch (Uber). But, of course, the price could be higher.
Alternately, consider reaching Kaohsiung Zuoying Station first. From there, you only need to invest in some walks to reach the bus stand. Ask locals where the bus to Fo Guang Shan temple is, and you will likely be ushered to a bus stop with a big queue. This is where you can start to reach Fo Guang Shan Taiwan.
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Best Time to Visit
Note that the open hours of Fo Guang Shan monastery is from 8 AM – 5 PM (every day), while for the Buddha Museum and Big Buddha, it is 9 AM – 6 or 7PM (Monday, Wednesday-Sunday; Tuesday is a day-off).
It is said that the best time to visit the Fo Guang Shan temple is around the time of Lunar New Year. Visiting the area during this time will ensure you a plethora of beautiful lanterns you never want to skip. Definitely a good capture if you are interested in such unique stuff.
In addition, we recommend you visit the temple in the morning. The area to discover is undeniably huge and it can cost you lots of sweat to walk under the scorching sun. Well, it doesn’t mean you can finish sightseeing in less than 6 hours: but the earlier you get into the place, the more you can discover without being disturbed by the crowds, especially if you visit the place around the Lunar New Year.
So, are you ready to discover Fo Guang Shan? While the vast Buddhist temple is yours to tackle, Airpaz.com is here for the flights and accommodations. The best deals are only for you. All sets easily and you’re just a few clicks away!