Every village in China has a small temple or two. The ones in Xingcun, down by Clearwater Bay, are especially beautiful. It seems like everything is just a little more colorful and vivacious in this coastal town, and the temples are no exception.
Here are some tips for visiting a village temple:
—Take off your hat, and look around to see if other visitors are barefoot and you need to remove your shoes as well. (Or, simply point at your shoes as a way of asking if you can keep them on.)
—Try to cover yourself as much as possible, to show respect; this goes for men and women. A sarong or shawl is handy for this.
—Don't touch, sit by, or climb on a Buddha statue or its platform. Also, keep your head below the Buddha. Ask for permission before taking photographs and never take photos during worship. When leaving, back away from the Buddha before turning your back.
—Stand up if a monk enters, then sit again. Monks often don't eat after noon, so be sensitive when snacking.
—Give a donation: 1 or 5 RMB is enough.