Temple of the Six Banyan Trees
While not the most inspiring temple you will see in China, or in Guangzhou, the Six Banyan Tree Temple is worth visiting for its incredible 54 meter pagoda,which is more than 900 years old. This Buddhist temple was founded in 537 AD and rebuilt in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). The octagonal, 17-storey ‘Flowery Pagoda’, so named because someone seemed to think the structure was colorful, was built in 1098. Originally called the Baozhuangyan Temple, it went through several name changes. The current name was the work of famous poet Su Dongpo (1037-1101), who was so very impressed by the six, grand banyan trees growing in the grounds (now long gone), that he had to write down the words liu rong (six banyan trees). The name of the temple was changed to this a few centuries later and Su’s inscription (or a reproduction of it) remains at the temple. You can climb to the top of the pagoda for an extra ¥10. This affords you some wonderful views of the surrounding area, though Guangzhou’s many high-rises prevent you from seeing too far. Also on the way up you will notice plenty of Buddha statues in little alcoves along the way. There are numerous halls and pavilions in the grounds of Six Banyan Tree Temple. Of greatest note is the Grand Hall (behind the pagoda) which houses three large, striking statues of Buddha dating from the 17th Century.
Admission: ¥5 (Another ¥10 to climb the pagoda). Open: 8:00-17:00.
Directions: 87 Liurong Lu. Subway: Ximenkou (Line 1).
Directions: From the metro, head east along Zhongshan Lu and then turn north up Liurong Lu. You’ll be able to spot the pagoda from a fair distance.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去六榕寺, 谢谢。地址：六榕路87号。 (Please take me to Six Banyan Trees Temple. Thank you.)