Fo Guang Shan Monastery – The Old & The New … Which Is Better?
June 08, 2018
The Fo Guang Shan Monastery is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and there are two complexes – the new and the old. The old complex is referred to as the monastery while the new complex is usually called the Buddha Museum.
The old monastery complex is constructed on a hill and houses numerous Buddha statues along the long slopes and stairs. The ambience is more spiritual and peaceful at this less touristic complex, which is why I prefer this complex to the museum complex.
On the other hand, the new museum complex holds tooth relics of the historic Buddha, and beyond the Welcoming Hall are eight Chinese-styled pagodas on either side of the main avenue leading up to the Bodhi Square where there are statues of the Buddha’s main disciples and of the founders of the principal schools of Chinese Buddhism. The path leads onto the Memorial Hall which holds several shrines, including the Jade Buddha Shrine. Above the hall are four stupas that symbolize the Four Noble Truths, and standing behind but separate from it lies the enormous seated metal Shakyamuni Buddha that’s 108-metre high.
There are many shops in the new complex selling local snacks and souvenirs and if you’re travelling on a budget, the vegetarian buffet lunch priced at 100 TWD per person is great for you. You can purchase the meal vouchers at the first level before you proceed upstairs for lunch.
I hired a driver to bring me to a few attractions near Kaohsiung city, but if you just want to visit Fo Guang Shan, you can take the KMRT to Zuoying Station in the city, and wait at Bus Platform 2 for the 哈佛快線 bus.
Both the new and old Fo Guang Shan complexes are huge, so it’s better to allocate half a day, or even an entire day to explore the monastery and the museum.
Fo Guang Shan
Address: No. 153, Xingtian Road, Dashu District, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan 840