Directions: Take the “E-da” purple bus number 8501 from platform 5 exit 1 from Zuoying HSR station. It will bring you to the Buddha Memorial Centre (BMC) in about 40min.
BMC is HUGE (and new, opened in Dec 2011). You should spent a minimum of 5 hours if you want to really cover every bit of the centre. When you first enter the premises, you will enter a building that houses the shops and restaurants. On the 2nd level of this building, you can have buffet lunch for TWD100. There is a Starbucks, nice chocolatr bar, coffeehouse and even 7-Eleven store! Then, walk along one side of the 4 pagodas. Each pagoda has something to view/shop. Admire and learn from the murals along the long corridor. Once you reach the main pyramid-like building, head for the hall on the “birth of the Buddha” to get the tickets for the 4D movie. There is a fixed timing so it’s good to get the tickets first. Then, walk around the other halls. I would recommend that you walk the first level, then the 2nd level and lastly, the third level. The 4 stupas at the corners of the 3rd level are really good places where there are less people. Spend sometime there meditating. From the 3rd level, you can also catch a bird’s eye view of the surrounding area and of the large gold Buddha statue. The buffer vegetarian lunch was really good.
I would recommend that you set out early. When I reached around 930am, there were easily 20-30 large coach buses. There were many tourists. Ideally, you could take the 820am E-da bus and arrive at BMC by 9am. You would be ahead of the groups of tourists then.
There is no entrance fee. Everything is free including the 4D movie but it will be good to make a donation on your own. There are many donation boxes around. Just drop some donations in. Have fun!
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