This past week, as part of my Visitor Information Counsellor training with Tourism Vancouver, I had the chance to visit one of the Vancouver region’s lesser known attractions. The International Buddhist Temple (or Guan-Yin Temple) is located just outside of Vancouver, in Richmond, and is a beautiful temple located on farmland off the Steveston Highway. As a Vancouver resident, I was surprised to learn about the existence of this temple – a pleasant surprise indeed!
The temple is operated by a registered charity, The International Buddhist Society, and has been opening its doors to the general public since 1983. This cultural organization has been dedicated to bringing Buddhist philosophy and Chinese culture to the west coast of Canada, through a mix of educational programs and special events.
I really enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about the Buddhist religion and the Temple as an operation. Cultural tourism is such an important part of Vancouver’s tourism industry, offering visitors a chance to explore the rich heritage and traditions of the city’s many different residents. I found the temple and the grounds to be inspiring and calm, and the guided tour by one of the society’s volunteers was excellent.
The detail and colours in the temple were incredibly breath-taking. As I was visiting the temple on a familiarization (“fam”) tour, I did not have unlimited time to explore the gardens and take in all of the rich and compelling artwork. I certainly saw enough to convince me that this is a can’t miss stop on any traveller’s itinerary, particularly if they are interested in learning about one of the world’s most fascinating religions.