Xuan Guang Si
Xuan Guang Si
3.5
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OrderintheHouse
By OrderintheHouse
A reflective temple visit telling a great story of courage and perseverance.
Jan 2020
In January 2020 my wife and I included a 6 night Wendy Wu private tour of Taiwan as part of our 18 day Asian trip we arranged to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Our Taiwan tour took in Taipei, Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, Tainan and Kaohsiung. During our visit to the beautiful Sun Moon Lake we took an enjoyable boat trip on the Lake from the main wharf at the Ita Thao village to the wharf below the Xuanguang Temple or Holy Monk Shrine. To reach the Shrine we needed to climb a number of steps to the entrance. At the base of these steps is a bush area where squirrels are on display and fed by the locals. We enjoyed taking photographs of these fast moving creatures. We did not find the climb up the steps all that difficult; however we did take our time to get to the top. The Holy Monk Shrine is dedicated to Xuanzang, a famous Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk. He was sent to India on the order of the Tang Emperor to seek Buddhist scriptures. Inside the temple is a golden idol of Xuanzang above which is written “Great National Scholar”. There is a detailed map on one of the walls showing Master Xuanzang’s amazing travels in a 17 year period from 627AD to 645 AD. On a display board in the temple there is written in Chinese and English a short summary of the purpose for his journey and the struggles he encountered throughout his travels. It is indeed an inspiring story. The display board, worth quoting as part of my review, reads as follows – “Master Xuan Zang , unafraid of difficulties and confronted with dangers and restrictions, travelled to India to receive Dharma; his intentions were on his hunger for Dharma. In his biography he stated ‘After meeting most masters, I learnt what they taught and understood the meanings in detail, but they were specializing within their schools and straying from the Sage’s Sutras; thus, they were different from each other. I couldn’t know what was right. That’s why I vowed to go to India to solve the confusions.’ From this, we know that his intentions in India were to solve confusions and doubts. Along the way, he was confronted with barren deserts, devoid of living animals, humans, and plants; skeletons were everywhere. Amidst those dangers, he persevered. Master Xuan Zang bravely ventured on”. The visit to the shrine was made more meaningful for us once we learnt the story of the courage and perseverance of this young Monk and what he had achieved all those hundreds of years ago. Outside the temple is a large open area with a large rock with red Chinese characters carved into it which is popular for tourist photographs. It is so popular that the temple authorities have had to erect queue ropes to control the masses seeking photographs so that everyone has to wait so that everyone gets the opportunity to have their photos taken. I understand that the Chinese characters read “Sun Moon Lake”. This area is also a fantastic vantage point for viewing wonderful vistas of the Sun Moon Lake and nearby Lalu Island. From this vantage point we could really appreciate the sheer beauty of this picturesque man made lake. This was a reflective temple visit telling a great story. We were glad it was included on our Taiwan tour itinerary.

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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


3.5
88 reviews
Excellent
14
Very good
28
Average
39
Poor
4
Terrible
3

PaulSiow
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia2,731 contributions
Nov 2019
After getting down at Xuan Guang Pier, we climbed up a short flight of stairs to this temple. Nothing very special here as this is a small temple. However, you do get a good view of part of the lake from here.
Written 18 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OrderintheHouse
Brisbane2,819 contributions
Jan 2020
In January 2020 my wife and I included a 6 night Wendy Wu private tour of Taiwan as part of our 18 day Asian trip we arranged to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Our Taiwan tour took in Taipei, Taroko Gorge, Sun Moon Lake, Tainan and Kaohsiung.

During our visit to the beautiful Sun Moon Lake we took an enjoyable boat trip on the Lake from the main wharf at the Ita Thao village to the wharf below the Xuanguang Temple or Holy Monk Shrine.

To reach the Shrine we needed to climb a number of steps to the entrance. At the base of these steps is a bush area where squirrels are on display and fed by the locals. We enjoyed taking photographs of these fast moving creatures. We did not find the climb up the steps all that difficult; however we did take our time to get to the top.

The Holy Monk Shrine is dedicated to Xuanzang, a famous Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk. He was sent to India on the order of the Tang Emperor to seek Buddhist scriptures. Inside the temple is a golden idol of Xuanzang above which is written “Great National Scholar”. There is a detailed map on one of the walls showing Master Xuanzang’s amazing travels in a 17 year period from 627AD to 645 AD.

On a display board in the temple there is written in Chinese and English a short summary of the purpose for his journey and the struggles he encountered throughout his travels. It is indeed an inspiring story. The display board, worth quoting as part of my review, reads as follows –

“Master Xuan Zang , unafraid of difficulties and confronted with dangers and restrictions, travelled to India to receive Dharma; his intentions were on his hunger for Dharma. In his biography he stated ‘After meeting most masters, I learnt what they taught and understood the meanings in detail, but they were specializing within their schools and straying from the Sage’s Sutras; thus, they were different from each other. I couldn’t know what was right. That’s why I vowed to go to India to solve the confusions.’ From this, we know that his intentions in India were to solve confusions and doubts. Along the way, he was confronted with barren deserts, devoid of living animals, humans, and plants; skeletons were everywhere. Amidst those dangers, he persevered. Master Xuan Zang bravely ventured on”.

The visit to the shrine was made more meaningful for us once we learnt the story of the courage and perseverance of this young Monk and what he had achieved all those hundreds of years ago.

Outside the temple is a large open area with a large rock with red Chinese characters carved into it which is popular for tourist photographs. It is so popular that the temple authorities have had to erect queue ropes to control the masses seeking photographs so that everyone has to wait so that everyone gets the opportunity to have their photos taken. I understand that the Chinese characters read “Sun Moon Lake”.

This area is also a fantastic vantage point for viewing wonderful vistas of the Sun Moon Lake and nearby Lalu Island. From this vantage point we could really appreciate the sheer beauty of this picturesque man made lake.

This was a reflective temple visit telling a great story. We were glad it was included on our Taiwan tour itinerary.
Written 24 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SK Ho
Sydney, Australia110 contributions
Jan 2019 • Family
We went to Xuan Guang Temple because it is close to one of piers of the Sun Moon Lake cruise boat. There is nothing special.

However we found a trail - walking uphill for 40 minutes to Syuen Tzang Temple which is better than Xuan Guang Temple. Surprisingly Syuen Tzang Temple is not widely prompted in Sun Moon Lake brochures.
Written 18 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kimitaka S
Taichung, Taiwan14,141 contributions
Nov 2018 • Solo
You get off a round lake boat at Xuan Guang Pier and walk 5 minutes, then you can reach this temple. The majority of tourists just visit this temple. But if you are fit, you can walk another 20 minutes on a hiking path to Xuan Zhuang Temple.
Written 23 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mi L
Hong Kong, China121 contributions
Nov 2018 • Couples
We take a boat ride to here & go up to Xuan Guang Si. After that back to down, one group for live music (Taiwan songs).
Written 21 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Google Rinpoche
Jiaoxi, Yilan226 contributions
Sept 2016 • Couples
My girlfriend and I visited this temple by taking the boat, and once we got off, we saw many tourists and of course the famous tea egg.

There were two temples there, one was under renovation, and the other was filled with visitors, so we just took some photos outside and left for the Xuanzang Temple, which is about a 10 minute walk away.

Overall, this temple guards the other temple, 玄光寺 meaning that the light of 玄奘 or Venerable Master XuanZang.

He has translated many sutras from Sanskrit in the Tang Dynasty, his story was eventually turned into the novel "The Journey to the West," and recently turned into a movie called 大唐西域記.

Namo Amitofo.
Written 10 August 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MANILAROSE59
MANILA30 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
We took the boat to Xuan Guang Si, The ride was fun. We got down and walked around. Nice view. But takes a lot of walking,
Written 3 November 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kookyKY
Bangkok, Thailand120 contributions
Oct 2016 • Solo
This is a second pier when travel by boat ticket. Small temple with good view of Sun moon lake (You have to take the stairs to go up to reach temple about 10 minutes). Unfortuately I visited in October 2016, The temple is in maintainance, only take the pictures at roof and stone.
Written 27 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Qing Q
Singapore, Singapore704 contributions
Oct 2016 • Couples
Seriously it's just a temple, with ah mah selling the famous tea leave egg down the slope is very cheap, 13TWD, it's really good and tasty.
Written 23 October 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob H
Mississauga, Canada17,997 contributions
Apr 2016 • Couples
This temple is pretty small with nothing spectacular to see. The view is pretty good. It still seems to be popular with locals.
Written 7 July 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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