Other Sights

North beyond Xiǎntōng Temple, is a cluster of temples that you can explore. Yuánzhào Temple contains a smaller stupa than the one at Tǎyuàn Temple. A 10-minute walk south down the road, Shūxiàng Temple can be reached up a steep slope beyond its spirit wall by the side of the road; the temple contains Wǔtái Shān’s largest statue of Wenshu riding a lion.

For great views of the town, you can trek, take a chairlift or ride a horse (¥50 one way) up to the temple on Dàiluó Peak, on the eastern side of Qīngshuǐ River (清水河; Qīngshuǐ Hé). For even better views of the surrounding hills, walk 2.5km south to the isolated, fortresslike Nánshān Temple, which sees far fewer tour groups than the other temples and has beautiful stone carvings.

Táihuái Temple Cluster

More than 50 temples lie scattered in town and across the surrounding countryside, so knowing where to start can be a daunting prospect. Most travellers limit themselves to what is called the Táihuái Temple Cluster (台怀寺庙群; Táihuái Sìmiàoqún), about 20 temples around Táihuái itself, among which Tǎyuàn Temple and Xiǎntōng Temple are considered the best. Many temples in Táihuái contain a statue of Manjusri, often depicted riding a lion and holding a sword used to cleave ignorance and illusion.

Ancient Wooden Temples

Two of the oldest wooden buildings in China, dating from the Tang dynasty, can be found at Fóguāng Temple and Nánchán Temple. Not many visitors make it out here, but it's worth the journey for the sheer rarity and the tranquillity. Many of the buses between Wǔtái Shān and Tàiyuán pass through the countryside where they are located, so both can be seen as a day trip.