Southern Shaolin Temple in Quanzhou, China


On August 5th 2005 I visited the Quanzhou Shaolin Temple. On this page I will show and tell you what I saw and heard in there. Click here to see and read the temple leaflet. Below my story is a short historical view on the Quanzhou temple and a short report from somebody else's visit to the temple and below a contribution of Klaas Everberg Padbeg who visited the temple as well, as a part of his Southern Shaolin tour.

I went to the temple by taxi, costing just 7 yuan RMB; Quanzhou is a small city. But if you want one can go there by bus as well. Get nr 20 anywhere in town and get of at the Shaolin Si bus stop.

Just a short walk up the mountain and you will arrive at the temple gates, making it a more easily accessible that the Putian temple wich is located pretty far away from the city. The Quanzhou is also easier to reach than the Fuqing temple, making it an easy to reach place for visitors.

Once you reach the entrance you will encounter this new looking archway.

Left is the entrance, right is looking down the mountain again.

 

At this moment the temple is relatively small. It is still in the process of being build. Construction stop if funds run out; the temple is completely funded by donations.

At the temple gates one can see how big the temple will be in the future.

 

There also is a 'pricelist' with the amounts of money needed to construct certain parts of the temple. For example: the Abbots Room will cost 1.090.000 Yuan RMB and the toilets  250.000 Yuan RMB. The amounts look a bit on the high side if you ask me ...
One you pass the gates you will find the dormitories of the monks and students of martial arts. Also some foreigners study there; an overseas Chinese from Singapore.

And after this you enter the actual temple grounds.

The little girl posing suggests that it is a touristy place, but it really isn't. For starters; there is no entrance fee; you can come and go as you like and nobody will bother you.

The building on the left is the only 'real' building so far. There are some smaller, wooden side buildings as well.

 

The sign says 'Shaolin Zen (Chan in Chinese) temple.

It was written by some high official from 'Buddhist Affairs' (or something like that ...) implying that it isn't just another Shaolin temple, but a serious place of Buddhism as well.

 

Another look at the main building. You can also see one of two giant trees growing in front of them, giving the place a historic feel.

Tree on the left side.

The main building was erected in 1992.

Inside the main building; 3 Buddha's and 18 arhat. Your average Chinese temple statues.

When I was inside, outside a class was doing their exercises. I was told that The Quanzhou Shaolin temple has adopted the Wuzu Quan  (or Ngo Go Kun) style as their main martial art. Wuzu Quan means 5 ancestor boxing.

Chinese overseas from Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines re-introduced the style in mainland China.

Wuzu Quan is a traditional style, belonging to the category of Southern Shaolin. It is totally different from (North) Shaolin form Henan. Although Shaolin in Henan is respected as the birthplace of Shaolin Martial Arts, the monk look down upon the North Shaolin style as being to showy and flashy. In Quanzhou heavy weapons are used and jumps and leaps like the butterfly kicks are not on their repertoire. 

Besides Wuzu Quan they also practice other styles; see the temple brochure for more details.

 

 


Students just before their lunch brake.

Students lining up and having their picture taken.

 


The monk wearing the black clothes was kind enough to invite me to tea and tell me all about Wuzu Quan and the Quanzhou temple.

Here at noon he's on his way to perform his Buddhist duties. His name is Shi Lirong.

He was also kind enough to arrange a short demo for me when I said I never saw Wuzu Quan before.
As I said before, the temple is still being build as we speak.

You can see some workers here, but they were the only ones there.

You can make a donation of 50 Yuan RMB. In exchange you can write your name on a roof tile which will later be used in a roof on one of the buildings in the temple.

 

 
The Heavenly Kings building is almost completed from the outside. You can see the skyline of Quanzhou city on the background. Still a lot of work to be don on the inside though.

This is me in front of the main hall of the Shaolin temple.

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