When traveling around the world, it is important for one to experience different cultures and also learn from it. The famous Fo Guang Shan in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is one of the destinations that combine travel and a learning experience. This is a perfect site for travelers to learn and experience the Buddhist culture while enjoying beautiful landscapes and architecture.
The first days of Fo Guang Shan
Constructed in 1967, Fo Guang Shan is the biggest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan and was founded by Hsing Yun, a Chinese Buddhist monk. Fo Guang Shan covers an area of more than 30 hectares, which includes shrines, university buildings, and also a cemetery. In the middle of 1997, Fo Guang Shan was actually closed from the public to give a more concentrated Buddhist practice among the students. However, at the end of 2000, the mountain gate was reopened due to request of the local government.
The Buddha Memorial Center
The Buddha Memorial Center is an educational, cultural, and religious site where the public can learn about the Buddhist culture. With the support of the local government, the Buddha Memorial Center went through 9 years of construction and was opened in 2011. The most famous icon of the Buddha Memorial Center is the gigantic Buddha Statue with the height of around 108 meters.
The site consists of a Welcoming Hall, the famous 8 Chinese Pagodas representing the Eightfold Path, Photo Terrace, Memorial Hall, four stupas representing the Four Noble Truth, and the giant Buddha. Inside the Memorial Hall, there are various exhibitions where travelers can learn about the history of Buddha. Some of the exhibitions also shares information regarding the Buddhist history in Taiwan.
Send your regards!
The Welcoming Hall actually has a few gift stores where travelers can purchase souvenirs. One of the stores offers post services so visitors can send your regards from Fo Guang Shan. Many types of postcards are available at the site, ranging from the classical photos of Fo Guang Shan to the colorful-styled postcards. After purchasing postcards, travelers can buy stamps, decorate their postcards at the shop, and throw them in the postal boxes outside the shop.
Getting to Fo Guang Shan
Like many other popular destinations in Taiwan, Fo Guang Shan can easily be reached by public transportation. Travelers can hop on a bus at Zuoying Station, which is accessible by taking the redline MRT to Zuoying MRT Station. Once outside the station, travelers can wait at the bus stop and take bus number 8501. The bus fare is averagely around 60-100 NTD (approximately 2-3 USD); when paying on the bus, travelers should have the exact amount because drivers will not give any change. The journey from Zuoying Station will take about 30 - 45 minutes, depending on the traffic.
Fo Guang Shan awaits!
Fo Guang Shan is an attraction that is not to be missed when visiting Kaohsiung. This monastery and memorial center has been receiving quite the attention and is known as one of the best spots to learn about the history and culture of the Buddhists in Taiwan. Not to mention, this attraction is surrounded by beautiful scenery that will definitely bring travelers a calm sense of mind. Visitors usually come to enjoy the scenery, immerse in the culture, and stroll around for half of the day. So, if Kaohsiung is on the itinerary, be sure to visit Fo Guang Shan!
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