A few Saturdays ago, we went on a casual Saturday meander to the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorstspruit, east of Pretoria. After hearing so much about this place, we thought it would a tragedy not to have seen it before we leave for Germany in a few months’ time. Nan Hua is just over an hour from Joburg – a very comfortable distance for an afternoon excursion.
Unfortunately, our photos don’t fully showcase the beauty of the complex as no cameras were allowed within the actual temples. Go wild outside, though. Also, as you enter the main temple, on your left are desks where you can try your hand at writing Chinese proverbs. Not many people seemed to see it – but it was probably our favourite part of the whole trip. So make sure you do it!
Some quick facts before you take a look at the photos:
- Nan Hua is the largest Buddhist temple in Africa
- Despite seeming like it has been there for aeons, construction of the complex only began in 1992
- The main temple was officially opened ten years ago in 2005
- For those wanting to stay a bit longer, Nan Hua hosts a number of weekend retreats throughout the year.
- Guests are taught about relaxation exercises and the principles of meditation
- All food at the complex is strictly vegetarian
The restaurant building at the complex only accepts cash, so unfortunately we weren’t able to eat there. Instead, we decided that some Chinese takeaways on the way home would be an acceptable substitute.
Thanks to Zomato, we found a decently-rated place right en route. Phat Panda is located at the Glenfair Boulevard shopping centre on Lynnwood, and is far from the tacky Chinese outlets that most of us know. We had some delicious chicken spring rolls to start, followed by the Famous General Tso’s for me and something with chicken and cashew nuts for Alex. Both were so good! And to wash it all down: some tried-and-trusted green aloe juice (the stuff with those amazing gloopy bits in it).
Just as we were about to get up and go, we felt something still in the bag. How awesome is this? They’d thrown in some complimentary banana and chocolate spring rolls (which were amazing).
We rolled back to the car, full and content. It had been a very good day.