Considered the centre of Buddhism in southern Taiwan, Foguangshan a good place to learn more about Buddhism as the staff and some of the monks and nuns speak English. The temple complex covering five hills and 30 hectares consists of older Buddhist temples and other religious (as well as educational and burial) facilities, and the newer Buddha Museum.

The Buddha Museum ( consists of eight pagodas symmetrically arranged along a boulevard at the end of which is a main hall and a giant Shakyamuni Buddha. There are exhibits, interactive activities and even a Buddhist wedding room in the pagodas. The main hall has multiple shrines and several galleries of Buddhist relics and artefacts, some quite fascinating.

If you want to spend the night here, the sizeable Pilgrim's Lodge offers clean family rooms and dormitories. Food wise, take your pick among a buffet-style vegetarian canteen (it's for volunteers so make a donation), an all-you-can-eat vegetarian eatery, a classy Hong Kong–owned vegetarian restaurant, food stalls, and Starbucks (vegetarian too!).

If you're interested in guided tours and short Buddhism courses, make contact with the temple.

There are 11 buses a day between Foguangshan and Kaohsiung (NT$85, 1 hour); 15 buses run between Zuoying HSR station and Buddha Memorial Centre (NT$70, 40 minutes). The old and new parts of Foguangshan are within walking distance of each other, but you can also hop on the shuttle buses (NT$20, every 20 minutes) that link the two places.

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