Anyone living in China knows that some days you just want, no need, to get OUT.
It’s not that we don’t like our high-rise residential life, but more so, its about finding a change of pace: as peace, tranquility and nature are not often in great abundance.
Jintai Temple is that very change of pace.
Away from the mega malls and traffic madness, is an beautiful Buddhist temple nestled atop Huangyang mountain in Doumen about 40 minutes drive from Zhuhai.
Built during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) the temple is a brightly-coloured sanctuary surrounded by striking turquoise waters of the Yamen seaport.
The temple borders beautiful deep-green mountains, including Green Dragon Mountain to the East and White Tiger Mountain to the West.
While you can simply drive to the top, tackling the 300 or so stairs is a well-worth scenic alternative.
With plenty to see along the way – from Buddhist statues to curious Chinese tourists wanting a photo with the Laowai (foreigner).
Reaching the top, you will start to see a rainbow of flickering prayer flags stretching between the corners of the orange temple rooves and fences.
Then there is the Grand Hall, filled with golden statues of worship with all manner of offerings – from fruit to money – at their feet. The pillars, walls and even ceilings are intricately painted with beautiful motifs.
Aromatic smoke floats through the grounds thanks to pots of burning incense, with some sticks so big they look more like fireworks readying to launch into the sky.
Behind the grand hall, stands a bright-red, triple story temple – yet another place to offer prayers and gifts.
Local Buddhist Monks wander the temple grounds, which is one reason the area is in such pristine condition.
Another explanation is that Jintai Temple has undergone various restoration works, after much of it was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
Instead of taking the stairs back down, swing right and carefully follow the road to the bottom, where you will spot another temple and rock formation shrine.
While we didn’t stop for lunch, my fellow expats tell me after visiting the temple you can enjoy a buffet-style, all vegetarian meal.
With no menu, there is a ‘pay-what-you-feel’ price running on the ethos of human generosity.
So why not escape the daily grind and visit this hidden, temple in the sky.
Entrance Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:30
How to get there: Bus 603