Jade Buddha Temple

One of the most active and attractive Buddhist temples in Shanghai, the Jade Buddha Temple is worth a look even if it doesn’t really measure up to the temples elsewhere in China. A relatively young temple, construction was finished only Jade Buddha Templein 1918. It was built to house two exquisite jade Buddhas that were brought back from Burma in 1882. These sublime statues are without a doubt the temple’s major drawcard. The 1.9 meter sitting Buddha, housed in its own hall, is a mesmerizing sight, while the reclining Buddha downstairs, though much smaller, is equally beautiful. But while the statues are the main attraction, the Song Dynasty style design of the temple is also attractive, painted in a cheerful yellow and featuring some intricate wood carving. And there’s enough activity from worshippers and monks to give the Jade Buddha Temple life. On the downside, there’s a commercialism at the temple that tends to kill any sense of serenity: from the teahouse employees trying to pressure you into expensive tea ceremonies to the pushy fish food sellers and souvenir hawkers. Even hitting you up for an extra ¥10 to view the jade buddhas after you’ve paid admission is a bit cheeky. There’s a vegetarian restaurant on the premises that boasts cheap, quality meals and appalling service.

Admission: ¥20 (another ¥10 to see the jade Buddhas). Open: 8:00-17:00.

Address: 170 Anyuan Lu (on the corner with Jiangning Lu).

Directions: The closest subway is Changshou Lu (Line 7). Take Exit 5, head along Xinhui Lu, turn right when you reach Shanxi Bei Lu, then take the first left into Anyuan Lu. The temple is at the end of the block. Alternatively, the Jade Buddha Temple is a long but interesting (part of it is along Suzhou Creek) 20-25 minute walk west of Hanzhong Lu subway station.

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去玉佛寺,谢谢。地址:安远路170号, 近江宁路。 (Please take me to Jade Buddha Temple. Thank you.)