Kāiyuán Temple

Buddhist Site in Quanzhou

In the northwest of the city, one of the oldest temples in Quánzhōu dates back to AD 686. Surrounded by trees, Kāiyuán Temple is famed for its pair of rust-coloured five-storey stone pagodas, stained with age and carved with figures, which date from the 13th century. Behind the eastern pagoda is a museum containing the enormous hull of a Song dynasty seagoing junk, which was excavated near Quánzhōu in 1974.

The temple’s Great Treasure Hall (Dàxióng Bǎodiàn) and the hall behind are decorated with marvellous beams and brackets. The main courtyard is flanked by a row of wizened banyan trees; one is 800 years old! Take bus 2 (¥2) from Wenling Nanlu.