Bright Filial Piety Temple (Guangxiao Si)
The temple is popular with Chinese and foreigners alike, making the grounds an excellent place for people to listen to the soothing sounds of monks and nuns chanting in the background. The complex comprises several structures, including the main hall, the Sixth Ancestor Hall with its bodhi tree symbolizing the Buddhist ideal of wisdom, and the East and West Iron Towers, among the oldest structures of their kind in China. Visit independently or as part of a guided culture tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Bright Filial Piety Temple is a must-see for architecture buffs, spiritual travelers, and anyone interested in the history of Buddhism in China.
Allow about 30 minutes to an hour to tour the temple grounds.
Remember to dress modestly and be quiet inside the temple, as this is an active place of worship.
How to Get There
The most convenient way to reach the temple on public transportation is to take the Guangzhou metro Line 1 to Ximenkou Station. From there, walk north toward Yuexiu Park, and and you’ll reach the temple in just a few minutes. Several public buses also stop nearby at the Renmin Beilu stop, just west of the temple.
When to Get There
The temple welcomes visitors year-round. Visit in early April to experience the Qingming Festival (Tomb Sweeping Day)—when locals clean and decorate the graves of their ancestors—and to see the temple grounds in bloom.
Dajian Huineng and Zen Buddhism
Besides being the oldest temple in Guangzhou, Bright Filial Piety Temple holds an important place in Chinese Buddhist history. Dajian Huineng, one of the most important figures in Zen Buddhism, spent time as a novice monk at the temple during the seventh century and the Sixth Ancestor Hall was built in his honor.
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