Jing’an Temple

Jing'an Temple, Jing'an District, Shanghai, China

Once in the temple, breathe deeply, close your eyes, and smell the incense. During your visit, you will be surrounded by monks, tour groups, and savvy travelers like yourself. The temple also has its own restaurant that, of course, specializes in vegetarian food, a pond of koi you can feed for a small price of 50 RMB, and several temple shops that sell jade, and “safe driving” car talismans. Although the temple might seem small on the outside, it is, in fact, rather large and features three major halls. Make sure to not rush through and miss one of them!

Jing’an Temple can take some time to get to, given its semi-remote location. If you’re willing to pay for a taxi, you’ll have no problem getting there, but if you opt to take public transportation, you will most likely have to switch lines a few times on the metro. The temple has its own metro stop, conveniently called Jing’an Temple.

The tough part might be finding the temple once you’ve stepped out of the station. If you are with someone who speaks Mandarin, asking for directions is always a superb idea!

Tip: The temple has a 30 RMB entrance fee
Tip 2: You can haggle in the temple stores.
Tip 3: Take a look around outside of the temple walls. The streets are teeming with locals going about their daily lives.

Depending on whom you ask, some will say to skip this temple due to it being “too touristy.” Ignore what others say and take this advice: Go.

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Jing'An Temple

Jing’An Temple is one of Shanghai’s most popular attractions for a reason. The building was moved to its current location in 1247, and the contrast with the modern skyscrapers surrounding it is striking. There are three main halls where the faithful offer prayers, and the main courtyard contains a large incense burner.

Jing’an Temple

Exiting a modern metro station to find a temple whose history dates back to 247 AD is another example of Shanghai’s blend of the new and ancient. Jing’an was relocated here in 1216 and—after doing time as a factory during the Cultural Revolution—is once again a thriving place of worship, complete with a renovated pagoda. Entering the courtyard, you’ll be struck by the aroma of incense, gold-adorned towers bathed in sunlight, and intricate wooden carvings. Explore the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Three Sage Hall, and Mahavira Hall, with an imposing jade Buddha statue that measures 20,000-plus pounds and nine feet high. On your way out, toss a yuan into the courtyard’s massive urn for good luck. Photo by Jim Bowen//Flicker.

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