Overnight stay in Fo Guang Shan monastery, Taiwan

Great Buddha Land in Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan - photo by Rob McFarland
Great Buddha Land in Fo Guang Shan, Taiwan - photo by Rob McFarland

It’s a magical, if slightly surreal, moment. We’re standing in the courtyard of the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan, surrounded by 480 identical gold statues of Buddha, listening attentively to the softly spoken words of one of the monks, the Venerable Yi Jih. The early evening light is just starting to fade and there’s not a breath of wind.

Suddenly, a mobile phone rings. Some of us tut disapprovingly and look around accusingly for the culprit. To our amazement, the offender is Yi Jih. She apologises while rummaging comically beneath her flowing orange robes to locate her phone. After a short conversation, she declares that the monastery office is closing soon so we’d better be quick if we want to check our emails.

And there was me thinking that technology was the root of all evil.

Read the rest of this story here.

Published by Rob McFarland

Hi! I'm an award-winning travel writer who divides his time between Sydney, the US and Europe. I regularly speak at travel events and have helped hundreds of aspiring travel writers, PR professionals and tourism operators through my writing courses.

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