Around Wutaishan


The Foguansa and Nanchansa monasteries are home to the oldest wooden buildings in China dating back to the Tang era. Meanwhile, both monasteries are so little visited by tourists that you will have to look for a watchman to get inside. Foguans and Nanchans can be explored in a day: all buses running between the mountains of Wutaishan and Taiyuan pass through the towns in which these monasteries are located.


The long main temple of the Buddha ‘s Radiance Monastery was built in 85 . Its main decoration is a statue of Shakyamuni Buddha surrounded by 1 multicolored sculptures of the Taisky era and 296 sculptures of arhats added during the Ming dynasty. The monastery stands among fields 6 km from the village of Doucun. After leaving the Wutaishan Bus station by Taiyuan bus, you will find yourself in Doutsong in an hour. From there you can take a taxi to the monastery or take a local bus. In the latter case, you will be dropped off 2 km from the monastery, but the walk will be a pleasure.


45 km southwest of Foguansa, near the town of Dongye, there is an even more secluded monastery of Contemplation of the South. A small wooden temple on the territory of the monastery has been preserved since 82 and is considered the oldest structure of its kind in the whole Celestial Empire. After getting from Doutsun to Dongye by bus, take a taxi to the monastery. The last Taiyuan bus leaves Dongyi around 16.00.