Zhenguo Temple


While not as famous as Shuanglin Temple, Zhenguo Temple also houses a magnificent collection of old halls and ancient statues. Don't miss the still-living 1000-year-old Dragon Scholar Tree. The incredible Hall of the Ten Thousand Buddhas, built in 963 AD (Northern Han dynasty), is one of the oldest wooden halls in the land. Housed within its time-worn timbers is a collection of 11 10th-century painted sculptures and frescoes.

At the rear of the hall a Guanyin sits lalitasana (a lithe and very relaxed regal posture). Inside the Three Buddhas Hall, you are greeted by three ancient statues of the past, present and future Buddha. The Hall of the King of Hell houses Ming dynasty effigies of Dizang and his attendants. The Hall of Heavenly Kings is no upstart either, it dates to the Yuan dynasty.

The temple lies around 12km northeast of Pingyao. Take bus 9 (¥4, 30 minutes) from Guangda Shangcheng (光大商城) on Shuncheng Beilu (顺城北路) to the west of the city wall.