Built in 1988 to commemorate two thousand years of Buddhist history in China, Nanshan Temple and the surrounding Buddhism Cultural Zone serve as a window into China’s rich Buddhist heritage. Nanshan is also the largest Buddhist temple established since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
Situated at the foot of Nanshan Mountain, the temple architecture was heavily influenced by the Tang Dynasty. Visitors enter the grounds through The Mountain Gate, where two figures of the Buddha stand guard. Several more statues of the Buddha in his various forms live within the two main halls of the temple. A terrace in front of the temple looks out over the South China Sea, affording stunning views of the nearby 354-foot (108-meter) copper statue of the Buddhist goddess Guan Yin.
Come hungry, as the vegetarian food served at the temple restaurant is famously tasty.
Nanshan Temple is located 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Sanya City along the Hainan West Expressway.