Fo Guang Shan Monastery and Buddhist Museum are one of the top things to do in Kaohsiung, it’s truly impressive, especially the huge bronze Buddha, but Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung is also a great way to learn more about Buddhism, one of Taiwan’s main religions.
When looking on a map of Kaohsiung, Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung looks quite far out of Kaohsiung city, that’s what put me off visiting on my first trip to Kaohsiung. However, I made sure to visit on my second trip to Kaohsiung and felt silly because it’s actually very easy to get from Kaohsiung to Fo Guang Shan.
In this Kaohsiung travel blog and Kaohsiung travel guide, I’m going to tell you how to get to Fo Guang Shan Monastery from Kaohsiung and things to do at Fo Guang Shag.
Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung
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Bus to Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung
Firstly, to get to Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung, take the Metro / MRT to Kaohsiung Zuoying Station which is Kaohsiung’s High-Speed Rail Station.
Exit the station at the back and head towards the bus stand.
I suggest the best time to visit Fo Guang Shan is in the morning as you need a few hours there and later you can come back and visit Lotus Pond and Ruifeng Night Market in Kaohsiung (more on that below).
As you leave the station it’s likely you’ll see a big queue at one of the bus stops and this will be the bus to Fo Guang Shan.
Bus E02 and Bus 8501 to Fo Guang Shan run regularly, they are yellow buses which is what most tourist buses in Taiwan look like:
FIRST TIMERS GUIDE TO TAIWAN
I’ve been to Taiwan twice. I love the country so much! I have written lots of posts to help you visit Taiwan, start with my 8 Helpful Tips For Planning a Trip to Taiwan from Start to Finish and the Best Places to Visit in Taiwan!
TAIWAN SIM CARDThe best way to stay connected in Taiwan is to buy this EasyCard & Sim Card package deal in advance. You’ll need an EasyCard to get around on transport in Taiwan anyway and at the same time you can get a Taiwan Sim Card with 4G and pick them up at Taipei Taoyuan Airport when you land!
GETTING AROUND TAIWAN
The Metro within cities in Taiwan is really great, easy to use and so safe. You’ll need an EasyCard which you top up with credit to use the metro and buses.
To get around Taiwan, I loved travelling by train. As a tourist, we can’t use the direct Taiwan train booking system. Instead you can go to a train station a few days before and purchase your ticket, or book online in advance using 12GO Asia!
You will need to pay using your EasyCard which is the same card you use for the metro and buses in Kaohsiung and in the rest of Taiwan. Get your EasyCard in advance here!
The bus from Kaohsiung to Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum takes about 30 minutes.
When I was in the queue a few men were approaching people and offering taxi’s to Fo Guang Shan, this might be appealing to you if you are a group, but I found the bus to be comfy and easy. Uber does work in Kaohsiung and would be a good way to get to Fo Guang Shan.
There are buses from Kaohsiung Main Station to Fo Guang Shan but I believe they are less frequent so I would suggest going to Xin Zuoying Station in Kaohsiung instead.
Trains are the best way to get around Taiwan. You can’t book trains online via Taiwan’s train system but you can book them online using 12GO Asia, the top transport booking platform in Asia. Search for your trains here:
Fo Guang Shan Tour
If you would rather take a tour to Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Memorial Centre which includes hotel transfers and a visit to nearby Cheng Ching Lake and the Bridge of Nine Turns, I would suggest this Fo Guang Shan Day Tour.
Going on a tour will not only make it easier to get to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung but you’ll have a guide to help explain what you’re seeing and where you’re visiting!
Things To Do at Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung
Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung covers a big site and is split into 3 sections – Buddha Museum, Sutra Repository and Fo Guang Shan Monastery. I personally stuck to the Buddha Museum section as the big Buddha is what I mainly wanted to see. It also took me about 2 hours to see this, plus travel time of over an hour so do make sure you plan your trip to Fo Guang Shan Monastery well!
It’s also worth noting that the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum Entrance Fee is nothing, it is free to enter the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum which is great!
Big Buddha Terrace
The Buddha is the star of the show in Fo Guang Shan I think. It is the largest bronze seated Buddha statue in the world at 48m tall and 108kg in weight.
It’s possible to get really close to the Buddha statue by going up to the Big Buddha Terrace on the third floor of the main hall.
Life of the Buddha Museum
I loved it in here so I recommend you visit and take your time, the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum offers a modern and interactive look at the teachings and life of the Buddha.
Museum of Buddhist Festivals
Another museum within Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung with interactive technology that offers a bit of fun is the museum of Buddhist festivals. It explains what festivals happen around the world that are linked to Buddhism, where they are and how they are celebrated.
Museum of Buddhist Underground Palaces
This Buddha Museum in Fo Guang Shan Monastery has been designed specifically to house 48 underground palaces to preserve a wide variety of artefacts and to preserve the culture.
Golden Buddha Shrine
This is an impressive Fo Guang Shan Temple, it’s located in the main hall and houses a seated golden Buddha statue from Thailand and the walls are decorated with 5000 small Buddha statues. Before you leave, be sure to take some words of wisdom which are in front of the statue and are in Chinese, Vietnamese and English.
Fo Guang Shan Restaurants
There are a number of restaurants at Fo Guang Shan (and a Starbucks!), all of which are Vegetarian and I had some delicious food at a Fo Guang Shan Restaurant in the Front Hall and entrance to the Buddha Museum.
TAIWAN ITINERARY HELP
Here are my top Taiwan itinerary posts to help your plan your trip:
- 2 Week Taiwan Itinerary!
- 1 week Taiwan Itinerary!
- 18 Best Places to Visit in Taiwan!
- How to Plan a Trip to Taiwan!
TAIWAN ON A BUDGET
Taiwan isn’t the cheapest country but it’s not the most expensive either and can be travelled on a reasonable budget. Here’s my post on the cost of travel in Taiwan and how to travel Taiwan on a budget!
Fo Guang Shan Temple Stay
It is possible to stay overnight and for a few days at Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung to help out and understand the life of the monks better.
Need help booking a train to Kaohsiung from elsewhere in Taiwan? You can’t book trains in Taiwan using the Taiwan Train System but you can book them on 12GO Asia. So book your trains around Taiwan here!
Fo Guang Shan to Lotus Pond
After your visit to the Buddha memorial centre, you’ll get the bus back to Zuoying Station Kaohsiung. This station is very close to Lotus Pond which is a must-visit place in Kaohsiung and a good way to see more of Kaohsiung Temples.
For all the details on how to get to Lotus Pond and what the Lotus Pond Temples mean (so you don’t get any bad luck), have a read of my full blog post to Lotus Pond here!
Lotus Pond is slightly out of the way so if you don’t visit today you’ll have to come back up here another day which will take time out of your Kaohsiung itinerary and therefore combing ho
The best time to visit Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung is in the afternoon and during sunset so after a few hours at Fo Guang Shan, you’ll be there on time.
After Lotus Pond, make sure you head to Ruifeng Night Market because this is also in North Kaohsiung and not far from Lotus Pond. Ruifeng Night Market is my favourite night market in Kaohsiung, although take note that it is closed on Monday & Wednesday.
Kaohsiung has lots of night markets, here’s my blog post on all of the night markets in Kaohsiung!
- Kaohsiung Guides
- The Best Kaohsiung Night Markets.
- Visiting The Lotus Pond in Kaohsiung & What The Temples Mean!
- 2-3 Day Itinerary for Kaohsiung.
- Visiting Cijin Island From Kaohsiung & Things To Do in Cijin Island!
- Taiwan Guides
- 1-3 Day Itinerary for Taichung!
- How To Do a Day Trip from Taichung to Sun Moon Lake!
- 16 Places to Visit in Taiwan!