The Baiyang Temple of Heaven (金陵山天壇) is a jaw-dropping Taoist temple located in Wufeng District just on the outskirts of Taichung, Taiwan.
Also known as the Yiguandao Patriarch Memorial Hall, this sacred temple was only recently completed in 2020, making it one of the best Taichung hidden gems out there.
If you’re spending a couple of days in Taichung and looking for a change of scenery, Taichung’s latest attraction (and possibly the world’s tallest copper dome building) is just the answer!
Since there’s no English information available online, here’s a quick guide covering everything you need to know about visiting Taichung’s Baiyang Temple of Heaven in Jinling Mountain.
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What makes Baiyang Temple of Heaven so special
Taichung’s newest tourist attraction is a visual masterwork inside and out! The Baiyang Temple stands 54 meters high, surpassing the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China, by a staggering 16 meters.
What really makes this gorgeous three-tiered dome so unique is that it is almost entirely constructed from copper! Although the main structure was assembled with steel, the outer and inner walls consist of pure copper adorned with detailed carvings and cloisonné work – all done by hand. Little wonder the temple took more than 20 years to build and cost a whopping 1 billion Taiwanese dollars!
While the building’s exterior is exquisite, it’s what lies within the temple that will really take your breath away. However, before you can admire the temple up close, you’ll need to tackle a 108-step stairway. But don’t worry, it will be worth every step!
The main hall covers more than 300 square meters, complete with shimmering black marble floors, towering detailed copper pillars, a golden ceiling full of incredible paintwork and scriptures, and more than 30 lifelike golden statues of religious figures. But that’s not all; each element here tells a story.
First of all, the three-story eaves symbolize heaven, earth, and people. Moving into the hall, the four inner pillars, featuring plum, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum, depict the scenery of spring, summer, autumn, and winter. There are also 12 pillars representing the months of the year around the temple, each unique in its own right. On the outer wall, each of these 12 pillars sports an image of a dragon. While those on the inner wall picture phoenixes, creating a beautiful “Dragon and Phoenix Formation.”
Besides the delicate carvings on the pillars, each door features different carvings. Don’t forget to look up, because the ceiling boasts beautiful paintwork of dancing figurines. There are also 31 golden statues of ancestral figures on either side of the center throne. The most noteworthy being the centerpiece – three giant figures, known as the “Three Saints of Baiyang.”
When to Visit the Copper Temple in Taiwan
Since Bai Yang Temple of Heaven is hidden gem in Taichung, it’s a great place to visit with minimal crowds. In fact, you’re likely to have the temple all to yourself on most days!
The temple is open daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm but feel free to browse the surrounding area longer. If you can, it’s worth sticking around until sunset to witness the day’s last rays flickering off of the copper dome!
Since Taichung lies in the central region of Taiwan, expect great weather year-round. However, for a truly remarkable experience, visit during spring. With a bit of planning (and luck) you’ll get to see some of the prettiest cherry blossoms in Taiwan. There’s a tiny lane lined with cherry blossom trees right next to the temple, creating a stunning backdrop.
How to get to the Jinling Mountain Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is housed within a large religious park at the foothills of Jinling Mountain, not too far from the 921 Earthquake Museum of Taiwan. While the Baiyang Temple is undeniably the shining star here, several other religious sites are also housed within the sprawling grounds, making it a great day trip from Taichung.
The easiest way to get to the Baiyang Temple of Heaven is to self-drive, rent a car or hire a private driver for the day. That way, you can explore the temple at your own pace and easily see a few other iconic spots nearby like Dali Art Plaza, Guangfu Village, and even Xianfo Temple. For more ideas, be sure also to read my detailed guide on best Taichung side trips!
Address: No. 900, Fenggu Road, Wufeng District, Taichung City, 413. (See on Google Maps here)
Getting to Jinling Mountain by bus
Although it is possible to take the bus here, the temple is in the far-flung corners of Taichung City meaning you’ll be wasting much time on traveling. If you really must use public transport, know that it’s a long and tedious journey that takes just over 2 hours and includes taking more than one bus. Nonetheless, here’s how to get to Bai Yang Temple of Heaven by bus.
Catch Ubus 151 at Taichung HSR Station toward Chaoyang University of Technology. Get off at Linsen Zhongzheng Rd. Intersection and walk over to Zhongzheng Road. From here you’ll need to catch Southeast Bus 17 at the Provincial Council bus stop traveling toward Fuxing 8th St. Intersection. Get off at Fong Kuo Elementary School, and walk 1.3km northwest. It’s quite a steep walk, so make sure you’ve got sunscreen on, mosquito repellant in your bag, and plenty of water to keep you hydrated!
Travel tip: I really wouldn’t recommend taking the bus from Taichung Station as you’ll spending at least 3 hours on transport.
Baiyang Temple of Heaven Entrance Fee
There’s a tiny fee of NT$50 per person to enter the park, as well as NT$50 per car. The cost goes towards cleaning and is a small price to pay to enjoy such exquisite scenery.
Just a heads up: Before you enter the Temple of Heaven, be sure to take off your shoes. There might be a few slippers floating around, but I strongly encourage wearing socks on the day of your visit.
Things to do in Jinling Mountain Religious Park
After exploring the interior of this incredible temple, be sure also to visit a few of the wonderful sights nearby. Here are a few points of interest not to miss while exploring this incredible scenic area.
- The Nine Dragon Wall is a colorful wall depicting nine lifelike dragons, each different in color and action. The wall is located on the outer wall of the Zhishan Temple, opposite the Baiyang Temple, so you can’t miss it! There is also a beautiful little square in front of the wall where you can take a breather, take photos, and marvel at five white marble statues in its center.
- Afterward, walk up the stairs adjacent to the Nine Dragon Wall. Here you’ll find restrooms as well as an elevator leading to the top of the Jinling Mountain Religious Art Park complex. The rooftop offers so many excellent vantage points of the surrounding area that one could easily spend hours here taking photos or simply enjoying the scenery. While the views are incredible, it’s worth popping into the main hall, where you’ll find a giant buddha statue, astonishing interiors, and intricate wood carvings.
- The Eighteen Ahrats Trail is a small road lined with stone figurines. The road leads to the entrance of a massive complex that seems to be a crematorium.
- If you’re not in a hurry, you can also visit the Jinling Mountain Perfection Church. There’s a nice garden filled with flowers and statues, making it a nice spot for a relaxing stroll.
Where to Stay in Taichung
Since the Baiyang Temple is in a pretty remote location, it’s best to stay in Taichung City. Taichung has loads of accommodation options to choose from, so I’ve narrowed it down to the best places to stay. Here are my top recommendations for Taichung hotels.
- Luxe: Kun Tour Hotel is a gorgeous 4-star hotel only 5 minutes walk from Fengjia Night Market – the best night market in Taichung. The hotel features beautifully decorated and spacious rooms, a gym, and a glimmering rooftop pool and bar. Check rates or read reviews here.
- Mid-range: The Carlton Hotel is a beautiful 3-star hotel right the heart of Taichung’s West District. The rooms are clean and modern, and come with a bathtub and the softest beds imaginable! See rates & availability here.
- Budget: Norden Ruder Hostel might be one of the most beautiful hostels you’ll find in all of Taichung. It sports sleek minimalistic decor, spotless rooms and is located mere steps from the Taichung Train Station. Check rates & availability here.
Even if you aren’t interested in religion, the Baiyang Temple of Heaven is an incredible place to visit in Taiwan and an unmissable Taichung day tour. I hope this quick guide comes in handy on your trip to this Taichung hidden gem. If you think I’ve missed anything on Taiwan’s Copper Temple, please let me know in the comments below!
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