Wenshu Monastery

Top choice in Chengdu

This Tang dynasty monastery is dedicated to Wenshu (Manjushri), the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, and is Chengdu’s largest and best-preserved Buddhist temple. The air is heavy with incense and the low murmur of chanting; despite frequent crowds of worshippers, there’s still a sense of serenity and solitude. At weekends free Chinese- and English-language tours of the complex run frequently. Look for the stand advertising them inside the main courtyard.

The temple’s popular vegetarian restaurant and teahouse are lovely attractions in their own right. The 'old' neighbourhood streets surrounding the temple are crowded with teahouses, snack stalls and shops; touristy, yes, but fun to wander through.

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