Seeing as my main mode of transport is public I have been able to see the outsides of many a temple via bus. The two that I thought were quite beautiful were the Buddhist Temples in Richmond, BC. I've wanted to visit them for some time now but have never wanted to go by myself. So when my Couchsurfing friend J organized a trip out to one of the temples to celebrate the first full moon of the Year of the Rabbit I was all over it (we went on Feb 17, 2011).
The temple that we went to is a Mahayana Buddhist temple and part of the International Buddhist Society. Although I don't know all that much about Buddhism, J say this is the same type of Buddhism practiced in China. She also told us that this temple was quite lavish compared to many of the ones she visited in Singapore. There is a lot of support for this temple from the Asian community in Richmond.
If you want to visit this temple I would recommend it. Here are the details of when & where:
9160 Steveston Highway (between No. 3 and No. 4 Roads)
Richmond, B.C., Canada
(there is a bus that stops in front of the temple too)
Open daily from 9:30am - 5:30pm
They offered guided tours to groups of 15 or more but otherwise you're free to walk around the temple, as our group of 5 did. They have information areas set up in the main building.
Check out my pics below!!
amazing detail from the buildings
Smiling Buddha (outside the temple) - offerings of incense could be made to him
The main temple itself. No photo taking was allowed inside the temple. Here you could make offerings of fruit & vegetarian foods. They go to the monks who reside at the temple.
My fellow temple visitors (I'm taking the pic). A great day it was!