1. Nanshan Temple (China)
Nanshan Temple is the largest Buddhist holy site built in China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It features a towering 100-meter (350-foot) glimmering white statue built onto a rocky outcropping in the South Sea of Sanya. The entire temple grounds is built with this statue as the focal point. Its main entrance plaza, surrounded by ornate white spires, reaches out to the statue in the sea with a wide walkway. A beautiful pond sits on one side of the walkway and a cluster of woods to the other to funnel your attention to the impressive, three-sided statue.
2. Lotus Pond - Lake of Temples (Taiwan)
Lotus Pond is not just famous for its sunset views and beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains. The twenty temples worshipping different deities situated around the lake also draw many visitors. The most famous four temples are also the most visually striking. Situated inside the belly of the huge beasts, the Dragon & Tiger Towers are memorable places to pray. The nearby Pavilion of the North Pole and Confucius Temple are also popular destinations for locals and visitors alike.
3. Golden Temple (India)
This stunning temple which is placed in the middle of a sacred lake is the holiest of all Sikh shrines. Gold panels cover most of the exterior of the temple and its dome is also gilded, hence its name. Located in Amritsar, Punjab and has an interesting story. If you visit this temple, try to catch the ceremony held each morning to install the Guru Granth Sahib - the sacred scripture of the Sikhs into the temple or the ceremony held each night to return it to the Akal Takht, the seat of the Sikh parliament.
4. White Temple (Thailand)
The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) is a gorgeous gingerbread creation that is one of the newest temples in Thailand, being built in 1997. Reminiscent of a fairytale castle covered with snow, it might be the ogre’s home since statuary has a ferocious look. A highlight of this privately owned temple is the bridge of the “cycle of rebirth,” under which outstretched hands reach to the sky. Across the bridge is the Gate of Heaven where two creatures decide the fate of the dead.
5. Bulguksa Temple (South Korea)
Bulguksa Temple is found in South Korea’s ancient capital of Gyeongju, which is also fondly known as ‘the museum of walls’. One good thing about the temple stay is having the opportunity to explore the hallowed temple grounds early in the morning, where virtually no tourists are around. Take your time to wander around the various wooden and stone structures, or appreciating the vivid red foliage.
6. Kotokuin Temple (Japan)
A symbol of the city and the reason for many people want to visit Kamakura is the Great Buddha. It is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha located in Kotokuin Temple. With a height of 11.4 meters, it is the second tallest bronze Buddha statue in Japan and one of 22 historic sites recognized as UNESCO's World Heritage sites.
7. One Pillar Pagoda (Vietnam)
One Pillar Pagoda is a modest temple is constructed from wood based on a single stone pillar crafted into the shape of a lotus blossom and has been rebuilt several times, most recently in 1955 when the base was destroyed during the French evacuation. The pagoda is often used as a symbol for Hanoi and remains one of the city’s most revered sights in a beautifully tranquil garden setting with benches provided for comfortable contemplation. The shrine inside the pagoda is dedicated to the Vietnamese Buddhist deity Quan Am with her effigy nestled inside the tiny three square metres temple.