China Town, Amsterdam
He Hua Temple or with it's full name Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple is located in Amsterdam's Chinatown.
The temple is the largest Buddhist temple in Europe built/designed by Dutch architect Fred Greven.
The temple is open Tuesday to Saturday from 12:00-17:00 and on Sundays from 10.00-17.00
Very close to Nieuwmarkt there is a hidden gem , not to much touristic , ChinaTown , which is one of the oldest "chinatowns" in Europe beside london (from 1911).
You can see street names in Chinese and even find a big Buddhist temple.
Amsterdam's China Town is just a few mins walk east of the Red Light District.The main street is 'Zeedijk' and over the years it has grown into the neighbouring 'Nieumarkt' area.Despite being rather a new China Town that evolved around the 1980's it is the largest in the netherlands and still growing.There are many shops,deli's and restaurants here and not only Chinese but other Asian cultures are represented here such as Malaysian,Indonesian and Thai.There are also supermarkets offering traditional Chinese food stuffs,spices and even Chinese Travel Agents.
The main attraction is the 'He Hua Temple',the largest Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monastary in Europe.The Temple is a favorite amoungst locals and tourists and offers a free tour of the inside.A lot of Chinese and Dutch locals attend meditation classes here.Photos of the temple are permitted but no recording.
With the size of China and its population, it's juz reasonable to spill over worldwide and Chinatown is a result of that phenomenon. So almost every big cities in the world have their Chinatown...and share to everyone that great chinese culinary art, you know I mean food, right? and culture...and herbal...and chinese tea... and tai chi...and..stop! am running out of lists.
We got here by accident. We got lost and found our way here. It seems that every big city has its own Chinatown. Amsterdams Chinatown is small but this is where we found the best food so far. I was never a big Chinese food person. I like it but its not top of my list. On top of that I didnt seem to have much luck in Amsterdam for food choices. Everywhere I went I ended up not caring toomuch for their food. By the time we got to Chinatown we were lost for a little while and we were hungry. We found ourselves in a temple and talking to the man there. He recommended a place and we went there. The food was good.
I also found a few places with good souveniers here. It was small but an interesting place.
Walking the streets of Amsterdam brought us this surprise, the Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple, on a small side street, sandwiched between some modern buildings...it was impossible to get a good photo, not enough space on the street. But in typical asian architectural style with the sloped roofs and arched corners it made a bright addition to this street.
Forget the ladies in the Red Light District. If you want a really sensual experience, one you can tell the folks about back home, then stop in at one of the reflexology and foot-massage spas on the Zeedijk in Chinatown. There are at least three such spas, all located about where Zeedijk curves around toward the RLD if you're walking south.
For about 35Euros you get an hour of heaven. The foot massage is especially wonderful if you've been walking around Amsterdam for two or three days and your "dogs are barking."
I recommend the establishment that's the furtherest north on the street. They take you upstairs to a room filled with big, comfy easy chairs. They stick your feet in a tub of steaming, scented water. While your feet soak they massage your temples and forearms and hands. Then, after 20 minutes or so, they take your feet out of the water and wrap them in warm towels, then unwrap one at a time for a 20-minute massage of each foot.
I don't know how, considering all the reading up I did before coming to A'dam, but I had no idea there was a Chinatown in Amsterdam!!
Even the street signs are either in Chinese or bilingual Chinese-Dutch, which is cool.
Basically, if you want to eat Asian food or eat on a budget, get yourself over here.
However, do be careful with your safety, as it is cheek-by-jowl with the Red Light District and the general area does attract some shady characters. I had no problems there myself, but then again, I was accompanied by a local.
The Buddhist Temple in the heart of China Town in central Amsterdam is worth a visit. Spend a few minutes of tranquility in this colourful shrine – it is both interesting and thought provoking.
You can light an incense stick and offer the fruit that is in a basket by the doorway to Buddha. There is a collection box for voluntary donations too.
While wandering the side streets near our hotel, we explored Amsterdam without a map. I discovered we had wandered into Chinatown by seeing this particular display in the window ;)
It was early in the day, and not many shops were open, but we had fun just wandering down more streets and windowshopping ... a few minutes later we were in De Waleen ...
As most of the big cities, Amsterdam has its China town too.
Along the Zeedijk you will find lots of Chinese restaurants, takeaways, oriental shops and even a Buddhist temple, open for the public. The Fo Guang Shan He Hua temple is the biggest Buddhist temple in Europe that is built in the traditional style.
Amsterdam has one of the oldest China Towns in Europe, but this Buddhist temple is a relatively new addition. Apparently, it is open to the public, and the Buddhists who work there are happy to talk to you about their faith, but each time we passed it was closed.
There are dozens of inexpensive restaurants and takeaways in this part of town or, if you prefer to cook for yourself, there are also lots of Chinese supermarkets.
The Fo Guang Shan He Hwa Temple is the biggest Chinese temple of the I.B.P.S. (International Buddhist Progress Society) in Europe that is built in a tradional style.It is part of a world-wide Chinese Buddhist organisation, the I.B.P.S, which was founded by Venarable Master Hsing Yun.
The function of the temple is expressed through its four aims:
- to spread Buddhism, partly through cultural activities.
- to help develop the talents of people.
-to help further positive developments in society by means of chairty programmes.
-to purify the hearts and minds of all people by giving them the opportunity to learn how to practise Buddhism.
every sunday, from 10.30 am onwards, there is a Sutra recitation in the trational Chinese way.
every year in may the birth of the Budda is celebrated at the Nieuwmarkt.
the temple was opened by queen Beatrix at 15 september 2000.
i asked from the dooropening if it was aloud to come inside. the nun said yes. from the entrance up i saw here at the doorentrance on the right. at the desk you have some flyers
and you can get some info about guided tours. i asked premission to take the pictures inside.
if you want you can give an donation.
becoz it has lots of nice restaurants in it........ plus, if u like to cook, also lots of nice oriental shops.... u can also buy small Chinese souvenirs....
don't be fooled by the EUR 7.50 all u can eat... usually d food isn't that good. well, if u wanna save money on food, it's ok, but don't expect yummy food
u should also check d temple out. it's not authentic though.... very different from d one in China...
It is the biggest Buddha temple in Europe in the traditional Chinese palace-style (508 m2). Our Queen Beatrix opened the temple, on September 15th, 2000. Globally this has been a unique event for Buddhism, because she has been the first statesman ever, who supported Buddhism in public.