Buddhism is one of Taiwan’s main religions, and just outside Kaohsiung City in Dashu District, you’ll find Taiwan’s biggest Buddhist monastery, Fo Guang Shan.
Spanning over 100 hectares, Fo Guang Shan temple features perfectly manicured gardens, towering pagodas, an impressive museum filled with ancient Buddhist treasures, and more importantly, the famous Fo Guang Shan Big Buddha. At 108m high, it is the tallest copper-cast seated Buddha statue in the world.
Even if you’re not into religion, Fo Guang Shan Taiwan definitely deserves a spot on your Kaohsiung itinerary, as it is hands-down one of the best things to do in Kaohsiung! Although the monastery is a little outside Kaohsiung City, getting to Fo Guang Shan is actually surprisingly easy. And with a bit of planning, you can also visit this stunning Taiwanese landmark.
To help you figure out the best way to travel to Fo Guang Shan, here’s a quick guide on exactly how to get from Kaohsiung to Fo Guang Shan!
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Before Going to Fo Guang Shan
Before we dive into how to get from Kaohsiung to Fo Guang Shan, here are a few tips to make your trip all the easier.
- There is no dress code for visiting Foguangshan, but since it’s a religious site, it’s best to dress modestly.
- Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum is open from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 7 pm on weekends. Note that the museum is closed every Tuesday.
- To fully experience Fo Guang Shan’s best bits, I recommend setting aside at least 4-6 hours to explore the grounds. That way, you’ll have plenty of time to browse the main hall, see the exhibitions, take photos and enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal at one of the restaurants.
- Make sure to grab a map of the grounds at the information desk upon arrival. To learn a little more about the history of Fo Guang Shan, visit the official website here.
- If you’ve got luggage or extra bags you don’t want to schlepp around, you can safely store them at the Info desk.
- Remember your camera – you’re going to need it!
How to Get to Fo Guang Shan Kaohsiung
Taking the Bus from Zuoying HSR Station
The cheapest way to get to Foguangshan from Kaohsiung is by hopping on a bus at Zuoying HSR Station. From there, take the E02 Harvard Express bus (also called E02 Hafo Express), which travels directly to Fo Guang Shan.
The bus departs roughly every 1.5-2 between 8 am and 5.50 pm from Platform 3, just outside the HSR station. The ride takes about 40 minutes and costs TWD 70 per way. Have your Easy Card ready to streamline things.
Another thing to note is that you should get off at the Fo Guang Shan Buddha Memorial Hall stop (佛陀紀念館), also called the Buddha Museum. Note the bus also stops at Fo Guang Shan Monastery (佛光山), but that’s not where you can see the Big Buddha and the main museum. If you still have time or doing a temple stay, you can take the monastery’s shuttle bus between the two spots or walk (about 10 minutes).
Need help figuring out how to get to Kaohsiung? Read my guide on getting from Taipei to Kaohsiung.
Zuoying HSR Station to Fo Guang Shan Bus Schedule
- Weekdays: 8:00, 10:10, 11:40, 13:40, 14:00, 16:00, 17:50
- Weekends & Holidays: 8:00, 9:20, 10:10, 11:40, 14:00, 16:00, 17:50
Fo Guang Shan to Zuoying HSR Station Bus Schedule
- Weekdays: 9:30, 11:00, 13:00, 14:20, 15:00, 17:00, 18:30
- Weekends & Holidays: 9:30, 10:10, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 18:30
Travel tip: If you’ve missed the E02 Harvard Bus, another option is taking the EDA bus 8501. You may need to transfer buses at EDA World, which could be inconvenient if you don’t speak Chinese.
Joining a Guided Tour
If you’re not comfortable navigating public transport in Taiwan, the most convenient way to get from Kaohsiung to Fo Guang Shan is by joining a tour. With an organized tour, you won’t need to plan a thing, and you’ll have the added bonus of having a guide to explain everything to you.
Taking the Bus from Kaohsiung Railway Station
It is also possible to take bus 8010 to Fo Guang Shan from Jianguo Station, about a 10-minute walk from Kaohsiung Railway Station.
The ride costs TWD 101 and takes roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, you should know that the buses are very infrequent. There are only three departures a day, leaving at 6:00, 12:55, and 18:35. The bus returns to Kaohsiung from Fo Guang Shan at 6:58, 13:03, and 17:13.
Since the earliest bus leaves at 6 am, you’ll arrive a couple of hours before the monastery even opens. The second bus is only at 12:55, and seeing that it takes about 1.5 hrs travel time to get there, I wouldn’t recommend taking this route as your visit might feel a bit rushed.
If you must travel from Kaohsiung Railway Station, a better option is to take the Red MRT line to Zuoying Station instead. Then follow the steps highlighted above. It will save you a lot of stress! Plus, you’ll have more time to explore the grounds. It’s also a good idea to download Google Maps on your phone to check real-time schedules.
Getting to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung Conclusion
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing break from the urban jungle, want to learn a little more about Buddhism, or see the Big Buddha for yourself, a visit to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung won’t disappoint!
Well, there you have it – exactly how to get from Kaohsiung to Fo Guang Shan Monastery! I hope this guide has helped you figure out the best way to get to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung. If you found an easier route, let me know in the comments below!
Don’t forget to pin this guide for your future trip to Fo Guang Shan from Kaohsiung!
Francis Cheung says
Thanks for your useful information!
thank you for this useful information