South Sea Guanyin


The first thing you see as you approach Putuoshan by boat is this 33m-high glittering statue of Guanyin, overlooking the waves at the southernmost tip of the island. It's the symbol of the island. To get closer to her and 33 other bronze Guanyin images, and for grand seaviews, you'll have to pay an entrance fee and climb hundreds of steps.

The number 33 is significant because Guanyin is said to be able to take 33 forms in her quest to hear all human suffering. Putuoshan lies at 33 degrees latitude north, with an apparent circumference of 33km.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Zhejiang attractions

1. Duobao Pagoda

0.79 MILES

Putuoshan's oldest structure is this five-storey, 18m-high stone pagoda, with alcoves carved from the rock sheltering Buddhist statues. Built in 1335, its…

2. Buddhism Museum


This small museum contains some of the Ming and Qing dynasty relics from Putuoshan's temples, including effigies in bronze and jade and ritual implements,…

3. One Hundred Step Beach

0.91 MILES

The most popular of Putuoshan’s beaches has a pretty pagoda perched on terraced rock that always has a crowd. Swimming is allowed between May and August…

4. Puji Temple

0.99 MILES

Fronted by large ponds and overlooked by towering camphor trees and luohan pines, this restored Chan (Zen) temple stands by the main square and dates from…

5. Chaoyang Cave

1.15 MILES

At the jutting point that marks the boundary between One Hundred Step Beach and One Thousand Step Beach, 'Sun-facing' Cave is a small, rarely visited…

6. Guanyin Cave

1.35 MILES

Crouch with an arched back into this magnificent, smoky and mysterious old grotto with a low, head-scraping ceiling to witness its assembly of Guanyins…

7. One Thousand Step Beach

1.48 MILES

Putuoshan’s largest beach stretches all along the northeast coast of the island – a long unspoilt stretch of blonde sand. Swimming is only permitted…

8. Fayu Temple


Colossal camphor trees and a huge gingko tree tower over this yellow-roof-tiled Chan (Zen) temple, where a vast glittering statue of Guanyin sits…