Nestled in the Western Hills, the slopes of Badachu Park host an array of Buddhist temples, nunneries and shrines. Centred around the Temple of Divine Light and its ‘Buddha Tooth’ relic, the park offers a real sense of spirituality.
If you think the handful of monks at the Lama Temple make it a spiritual hub, think again. At Badachu, monks, nuns and Buddhists far outnumber tourists; the quiet shrines are active places of worship where locals come to pray for guidance, health and luck in the lottery. They may also come for the exhilarating toboggan slide (60RMB) from the top of the hill back down to the entrance of the park.
The final courtyard of the Temple of the Fragrant World is a shady haven thick with incense. Sit beneath the trees and have a refreshing slice of watermelon (which you can buy from a nearby vendor) before continuing your pilgrimage uphill.
Getting there Take the subway to Pingguoyuan station (Line 1); leave via the north exit and take bus 972 (first bus 6am; last bus 8pm) to the entrance of the park.
Travel time Two hours.