Immerse yourself in Buddhism at Taiwan's largest Buddhist monastery, a serene mountain complex overlooking the Kaoping River.
Depart from the pier by coach and drive northeast through the scenic, orchard-dotted countryside toward Fokuangshan, a famed center of Buddhism. Approaching the monastery, which was founded in 1967 by Buddhist master Shingyun, you will notice several giant statues of Buddha in the distance. Hundreds of similar, although smaller statues of Buddha lie inside the main gate around the many squares.
Painstakingly built into the mountainside, Fokuanghan or Light of Buddha Mountain, features an array of characteristic temples, meditation halls, gardens and exhibition halls displaying spectacular religious artifacts. Nearly 15,000 lanterns rest in openings in the walls of the four shrines, the largest being the Tahsiungpao shrine.
The monastery's mission is to make Buddhism relevant in modern life, often influencing others through charitable work performed locally and through its many chapters worldwide. One of the best ways to understand the intent is by touring Fokuangshan's impressive Buddhist Cultural Museum. It is filled with ritual instruments, beautiful calligraphy, and significant objects d' art carved out of jade, bronze and porcelain. The works are from various countries and time periods, providing an in-depth view of Buddhism.
During your time at Fokuangshan, you will be treated to a vegetarian luncheon, consisting of traditional dishes made with fresh, locally grown ingredients. Afterward, you will rejoin your coach for the drive back to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 2 1/2 hours of moderate walking and there are numerous steps to negotiate. The tour is not considered suitable for wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Casual clothing; a hat; sunglasses and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested.