In Kaohsiung, Taiwan, there stands a massive Buddhist complex set up by the half-century-old sect Fo Guang Shan. It is a sprawling 30 hectares (74 acres) and contains the nation’s largest monastery, a 36-meter (132 foot) tall Buddha statue, as well as an enormous Buddha Memorial Center in the shape of a pyramid.

However, for our correspondent Kowloon Kurosawa the real action could be found in the Pure Land Cave. It’s an attraction rumored to have been patterned after Disney’s It’s a Small World ride. However, as we’ll soon see, Buddhism is not so much a “small” world as it is a creepy and psychedelic one.

After spotting the cave on a map he had been handed at the Fo Guang Shang information center, our reporter Kurosawa hopped on a 10-minute shuttle bus across the complex to the Pure Land Cave. He was feeling a little light-headed after walking through the massive yet impressive Buddha Memorial Center, so the promises of a Disney-inspired exhibit seemed like just the relaxing break his weary soul needed.

At his arrival, Kurosawa put a coin in the box at the gate and walked into the circular entrance descending into the Pure Land Cave.

The place had a really mystical vibe to it and much to his surprise it was full of tourists. Even more to his surprise, there wasn’t a human tourist in sight.

▼ Won’t you come

▼ And wash away the rain

▼ Black hole sun

▼ Won’t you come, won’t you co-ome

It only got weirder as he went deeper. The lights were dimmed extra low and everything around him looked handmade. The place started to feel like a spooky ride in an old amusement park.

▼ Don’t mind us. We’re just paintings that are really slowly coming to life.

▼ “Hey, Paulie! Do that thing you always do. You know, the one where ya–BWAHAHA! Gets me every time!”


All looking like they were made by hand, the figures had a chaotic silhouette as if their cement forms might come to life and crush him in the name of Buddha. And there were so many of them.

▼ Caution: Wet floor. The damn ceiling’s melting into it again.

▼ You might have to look really closely to see the disco ball hanging in the center.

This was no It’s a Small World after all. The Pure Land Cave eclipsed that baby ride in every aspect, from size to character count, even in creepiness. It seemed to just go on forever as if the only way out were to reach enlightenment or madness, which ever came first.

“Maybe they’re one in the same,” thought Kurosawa feeling his sanity unravel. “Is that what this place is meant to teac–” when suddenly…

▼ “Oh never mind, there’s the exit.”

After all was said and done, Kurosawa highly recommends the Pure Land Cave as a real learning experience. Also, since Fo Guang Shang seems to be doing pretty well in terms of revenue, this attraction may get upgrades in the future. So it’s best to visit as soon as possible before they go all commercial and replace the leering monks with animatronic ones.

Fo Guang Shan: Official Website
Original Article by Kowloon Kurosawa
Photos © RocketNews24
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