With its main hall standing in the middle of a carp and turtle filled pond, Yuantong Temple is a particularly attractive Buddhist shrine. In fact, it’s a wonderful surprise: even if you’re suffering from temple burn-out, Yuantong Temple is well worth visiting. The active worship taking place here makes it all the more interesting and the fact that it is a little run-down gives it a more authentic feel. The hills behind the temple make the overall picture even more serene – maybe there is something to feng shui principles after all.
Yuantong Temple dates back around 1200 years to the Tang Dynasty. One interesting thing to note is that, in contrast to other temples, the ground slopes down from the entrance instead of up. Also check out the Copper Buddha Hall at the back of the temple complex, which houses a statue of Sakyamuni gifted by the King of Thailand. The Thai-style architecture provides a contrast to the Chinese design of the other halls.
Admission: ¥4. Open: 8:00-18:00.
Address: 30 Yuantong Jie.
Directions: Yuangtong Temple is located directly north of the city center on Yuantong Jie, a couple of hundred meters west of the intersection with Qingnian Lu.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去圆通寺, 谢谢。 (Please take me to Yuantong Temple. Thank you.)