The Yuan Tong Temple in Kunming

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Yuan Tong Temple is the most famous Buddhist temple in Kunming. It is more than 1,200 years old and is built in an architecture style of both the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. The temple has a large lake that is filled with fish and turtles. You can frequently see people releasing pet turtles into this lake because setting turtles free is a wish for a long life.

Yuan Tong Temple is a working temple and you will frequently see Buddhists lighting incense and people come for retreats. As this is a working temple, be sure to be respectful of people practicing their religion. Signs clearly mark where you should take photographs and if you aren't sure think about whether the situation is appropriate for a photograph. If you want to read more about respectful photography check out this blog post by Jackie from Boy and Girl Globetrot.

Entering the Yuan Tong Temple costs 6 RMB. It is an easy walk away from the Kunming downtown and Green Lake Park. You will know you are getting close because you will see numerous stores and vendors selling incense and statues.

I love visiting any kind of place of worship because I find them beautiful and peaceful. The Yuan Tong Temple, in the center of the bustling Kunming is just a peaceful retreat.

An archway into the Yuan Tong Temple

Me standing for a photograph in front of an archway
Check out my sweet jasmine flower necklace - you can buy them from little old ladies

A family relaxing in the shade at the Yuan Tong Temple in Kunming

people lighting candles at the Yuan Tong Temple

A blooming water lily at the Yuan Tong Temple

The bright green water and lion statues at the Yuan Tong Temple

A bridge over the lake at the Yuan Tong Temple

The Yuan Tong Temple
Turtles at the Yuan Tong Temple

A lizard friend at the Yuan Tong Temple
Prayer flags at the Yuan Tong Temple

Do you like visiting temples or churches? 

Stay tuned for an extra post tomorrow!


  1. I love the idea of setting turtles free there! Why is the water so green? It's lovely but I've never seen anything quite like it! x

    1. The water is SO green. It shouldn't be that color but it has too much algae in it.

  2. Breathtaking! I adore visitimg temples & churches (to the point that my other half has put a max. daily limit amount on holiday). They are just so beautiful, serene and often are superb examples of local craftsmanship. Win!

    1. Hahah! A max daily limit. I would totally go with you to visit churches/temples above the maximum limit!