Zhanshan Temple, Qingdao. On our latest Monday with Mari, we visited the Qingdao Tv Tower and then we made our way, on foot, through some local neighborhoods towards Zhanshan Temple. When Justin and I visited this temple in 2013, we had to make a steep uphill climb to find it. We had spent the morning admiring cherry blossoms and enjoying street food in Zhongshan Park. You can read about my first visit to Zhanshan Temple HERE.
This Buddhist temple is located to the east of TaiPing Hill at the base of Zhan Mountain, and it was built in 1945. It is the only temple in downtown Qingdao and also the newest one in China. Surrounded by beautiful natural scenery and the vast sea, the scenic area is a superb place for sightseeing in urban Qingdao. The monastery has five halls and a pagoda, with a total area of 20,000 square meters. Upon entering the grounds from the main gate visitors walk past a large pool centered around a white jade statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. After ascending the steps, lying on both sides to the opening of ZhanShan’s mountain gate are two mighty stone lions which are relics from a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) prince’s mansion.
The large pond just inside the temple’s gates is filled with an unbelievable amount of bright red fish. It is quite a sight to see! All along the edges of the pond there are hundreds and hundreds of turtles and frogs basking in the sun. We leaned over the stone wall to take a peek at all the sunbathers below.
From across the pond, the view of the fish, the pagoda and the tower in the background is quite beautiful. Although it was a hot day, there was a lot of shade in and around Zhanshan Temple. As you can see, we were blessed with a brilliant blue sky day. We couldn’t have been happier about the weather!
Above, there’s me back in 2012, and below, Mariska in the same spot four years later. I wanted to take a picture of me holding Eli while standing here to show the different the years have made. However little man was sleeping. No surprises there!
There must have been some sort of special event taking place because the temple was very full and there were hundreds of people chanting outside one of the halls. After about an hour, we saw a procession line (I only managed to snap the one picture below) and then that massive crowd followed the monks to another hall. We weren’t sure what was going on, but we were there to explore and take pictures so we weren’t really too phased about asking what was happening.
While we were walking around, a couple started pointing at my feet and saying something to me. Another man then came over to tell me that my shoes “were no good”. I immediately figured out that I was probably not supposed to be within the temple grounds wearing flip flops, but it was silly that they had let us pay and no one had said anything at the gate. After that I tried to take smaller steps, and keep my feet hidden below my dress, but I was constantly aware – and self-conscious – of my feet. Chinese people already point, stare, and make comments when we pass by, so I wasn’t sure if that was what they were saying after that… But that was ALL I COULD THINK OF!
2 ZhiQuan Road
Telephone: +86 (532) 8386-2038
ShiNan District > ZhongShan Park Area
Qingdao, Shandong Province. China
湛山寺, 芝泉路2号, 中国山东省青岛市市南区
Hours: 08:00 – 16:30
Admission fee: 10 RMB
Dress Code: No flip flops!
Closest Bus Stops:
Zhan Shan Si: #206, #310, #370.
Hua Yan Lu: #25, #104, #202, #225, #232, #314, #604.