This Buddhist temple complex on the southern side of Xiamen is one of the most famous temples among the Fujianese, and is also considered a pilgrimage site by dedicated followers from Southeast Asia. The temple has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. Its latest incarnation dates from the early 20th century, and today it’s an active and busy temple with chanting monks and worshippers lighting incense.
The temple is fronted by a huge lotus lake. In front of the courtyard is the twin-eaved Big Treasure Hall (Dàxióng Bǎodiàn), presided over by a trinity of buddhas representing his past, present and future forms. Behind rises the eight-sided Hall of Great Compassion (Dàbēi Diàn), in which stands a golden 1000-armed statue of Guanyin, facing the four directions.
The temple has an excellent vegetarian restaurant in a shaded courtyard where you can dine in the company of resident, mobile-phone-toting monks. Round it all off with a hike up the steps behind the temple among the rocks and the shade of trees. It takes 20 to 35 minutes to reach the top, where there is little but views across the city and some seats and the rear entry to a Botanical Gardens.
Take bus 1 from the train station or bus 21, 45, 48 or 503 from Zhongshan Lu to reach the temple.