I have been to so many temples in China, and the most impressive ones I’ve been to are up north. After visiting so many temples over the years, I no longer have any interest in visiting another one. But as we had a guest who was in Xiamen for the first time, we took him to Nanputuo Temple.
Nanputuo was first built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.) It was destroyed during the war around 1300s and rebuilt in the 1600s.
Many practicing Buddhists come, but there are probably more tourists.
When I first came to China I did not really think of a temple as a place of worship because most people were just taking pictures. But one Christmas at the church where I used to go, tourists came inside the church during mass and took pictures of the altar and the priest. I was at first shocked, and then angry. When I calmed down I realized the rudeness of these people were due to ignorance. They thought the mass was a show, like a concert.
Although I had never misbehaved in a temple, I became more conscious of my actions in a temple which may be misinterpreted by Buddhists.
Nanputuo can get very crowded especially during weekends, but if you visit Xiamen, it is one of those must-see places. It is right next to Xiamen University, which has a beautiful campus.
Nanputuo also has a vegetarian restaurant, which serves a variety of delicious vegetarian dishes. But if you are not vegetarian, there are countless restaurants nearby to choose from. One good thing about going to touristy places in China is you will always find some place to buy food!