The Most Fascinating Temples in China

I’m sure we can all agree that temples can be beautiful, majestic, serene, opulent, austere, spiritual... and, after seeing five in one day, hard to tell apart or care about. The temples on this list all have a claim to fame so you can skip to the most awing ones and give yourself a break in between for some dancing in the park.

Highlights
Liwan, Guangzhou, China, 510140
Guangzhou’s opulent jade market is outshone by the nearby Hualin Temple and its 500 gold buddhas. Call out Marco and see if you hear Polo--maybe that way you’ll find the Marco Polo that has been metamorphosed into a buddha. Even if you don’t find it, you’ll be awed by the range of facial expressions, gestures, and props displayed on these enlightened statues.
1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100061
This complex of Taoist religious buildings was constructed in the early 15th century under the Yongle Emperor, who also commissioned the Forbidden City, just to the north. The temple’s central building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a 38-meter-high (125-foot), three-tiered structure atop a three-tiered marble base. The wooden hall was built entirely without nails. Inside, the beautifully painted walls and ceiling make it a riot of color. On spring and summer mornings and on sunny winter afternoons, locals gather here to sing, dance, play games such as mah-jongg, and sip tea while catching up on neighborhood gossip.
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