Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008

Mount Putu

During the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, religion was a no-no. Today, if members of Shanghai's growing Buddhist population want a respite from the city's turbo-charged pace, they head to Mount Putuo, a mist-swathed island that's a four-hour bus-and-boat ride from Shanghai. One of the four holy mountains of Chinese Buddhism, Mount Putuo boasts monasteries and nunneries galore, as well as temple restaurants with tasty vegetarian fare. There's not much to do except wander the temples and find your inner peace — if the battalions of domestic tourists don't distract you. If worldly discomfort does intrude in the form of tired feet, you can always take the cable car up to Huiji, one of island's most famous monasteries.