Fo Guang Shan (佛光山) is a 50-years-young international Chinese Buddhist movement. The headquarters, of which I visited, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.
My girlfriend and I took a day trip from Kaohsiung to see what Fo Guang Shan had to offer. If you visit Taiwan, don’t miss Fo Guang Shan!
Getting to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung
I am slowly learning you can’t always trust Google Maps in rural areas of Asia! We were misinformed with infrequent, 3 hour-long busses.
In fact, we jumped on a public bus on the way home after befriending a few elderly Chinese ladies who were visiting Taiwan. It took us just 45 minutes and cost NT$130 (~£3.25) for the two of us. This was cheaper and much more fun than the NT$581 (~£14.50) Uber we took earlier that day. Travel fail.
Get yourself on an MRT to Zouying Station. You can catch the 8501 bus from there and back via E-DA World. You can also take the 8010/11 bus from Kaohsiung Main station.
What to Bring with You
Fo Guang Shan, a Buddhist complex in the Dashu district of Kaohsiung is well equipped. You will find plenty of vending machines for drinks. There’s also restaurants, cafes, and gift shops. It made me chuckle that there was even a Starbucks. You really can’t escape globalisation, even from within the most impressive Buddhist monastery in Taiwan.
So, there’s no need to bring anything. Just remember your camera!
What to Expect
If you go during summer, it will be hot! Don’t forget you will be walking around outside for most of the day. Seriously, we had to buy an umbrella to protect us from the heat.
If you do, consider arriving at around 3pm to avoid the hottest part of the day when the sun is directly above you. If you stay for a few hours, you will also get to see the sunset behind the Big Buddha statue!
I have read other blog posts about Fo Guang Shan of which say it is more catered to the elderly. Some can argue, it isn't the most exciting place in the world and it is frequented by older generations. However, I really enjoyed myself! It is a fantastic destination to test your photography skills and I was recently gifted my first DSLR (Nikon D3300).
The Big Buddha statue stands 108 meters tall! Comprising of steel and bronze, it is the highest seated bronze Buddha in the world. For me, this was a big enough reason to visit Fo Guang Shan.
A final reminder to enjoy yourself! The whole area is an incredible and humbling experience. The staff are all extremely friendly and if you don’t understand what you are doing inside one of the worship rooms, like I did, there’s always someone to guide you.
Address: Fo Guang Shan (佛光山)
No. 1, Tongling Rd, Dashu District, Kaohsiung City, 840
Do you want to discover more in Kaohsiung? Check out my latest blog post:
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