ATTITUDE: The most important consideration for your trip to the temple is your attitude. Humility
and adaptability are among the most essential qualities you can bring with you to the temple.
Being thoughtful and courteous to the Abbot as well as the translators and your fellow colleagues is
valuable beyond measure. The temple is isolated on top of a mountain, however within the temple
we live as a community. You will share a room with one or two other students, we eat meals together, study together and practice together. To contribute to the collective harmony, it is always helpful to put others first and oneself second, and to have the capacity to consider one’s own wrongs
when disharmonious situations arise. That way we will be able to generate a strong collective field
of light and positive power.
You will be confronted with philosophies and perspectives which are new and alien to you, whether
spiritual or cultural. Rather than trying to fit these ideas into your worldview, do your best to consider what your worldview might be if these perspectives were your own. This difference can become a foundation for empathy, compassion and appreciation and is a powerfully transformative
force and opportunity which the experience at the temple will offer you.
PACKING: The most common mistake people make in planning for their trip is bringing more things
with them than necessary. There are several facets to this. First, the more luggage you have the
more difficult transportation becomes, which is doubly true for cramped and hurried public transportation in rural China. Secondly, you will have to walk up a mountain, which takes a person in
normal condition anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour without any baggage. If you have so
much luggage that you can’t carry it all up the mountain yourself then someone will have to be sent
down to assist you and you will arrive at the temple looking like you own more than most rural Chinese families and decided to bring all of it with you. Thirdly, you’re coming to stay at an ancient
Taoist temple, which is founded on monastic and ascetic principles. The temple’s prerogative is
inner cultivation, part of which is non attachment to material possessions. Less is always more in
this arena. The struggle we face when we are without the objects we desire rewards and transforms the spirit beyond the comforts of having those possessions readily at hand.
On a more practical note, here is a list of items we do recommend.
– Some kind of insulated thermos or hot water bottle. The available drinking water has been boiled,
so it’s nice to have something you can carry hot water in without burning your hands.
– Pen and paper for note taking and journaling if it’s your thing.
– A Chinese dictionary or some other tool for the study of Chinese language (if you own a smartphone, one app which is especially useful: PLECO)
– Comfortable training clothes and shoes. This pertains especially to martial arts courses. For
people with large feet it is really important to have some footwear which can stand up to training
and is reliable and comfortable. You don’t want to have to go on a day long excursion trying to find
a pair of shoes that fits you in the city. You don’t need to have beautiful flowing robes to practice
martial arts. Anything which meets the training dress code and is comfortable to practice martial
arts in is acceptable. You will have the chance to have some kind of outfit tailored during your stay
at the temple.
– A rain jacket or warm sweater if you’ll be at the temple in the colder months.
– Basic toiletries including tissues, but nothing excessive. Makeup is not necessary.
– Sleeping bags are not necessary, although some students find them to be beneficial, especially
early spring and in autumn.
Students are constantly arriving with more things than are necessary for their stay at the temple
and by the time they leave they’ve realized this, so they leave those unnecessary things at the
temple. This is inconvenient, wasteful and ultimately disrespectful. Try not to be that person! We
live in times of enormous excess so let’s try to keep a historical perspective and be cavalier about
how little we can get by on. If you’re not certain you’ll need something, you probably won’t.
WEATHER: Hubei province is located in the mountains of central China. Shiyan is a northern city
close to the border with Henan province. The climate is temperate and parallels generally many
central or northern European countries and much of the USA. As anywhere, some years are rainier
and some years are drier. It should be noted that the temple can be an especially challenging environment during extended periods of rain, though it has gotten considerably more comfortable over
the years. During the latter half of the summer there is often mold which grows everywhere, the
severity of which is usually dependent on the humidity. It can be anywhere from mild to extreme.
Summer temperatures can reach the 40 degrees Celsius and snow is often present in the winter
with temperatures several degrees below freezing. The weather tends to feel a bit colder than most
foreigners are used to in the early spring (especially at night) because of the humidity and the fact
that the buildings are not insulated and there is no heat. The mountain is often times in or above
the clouds so it can be difficult to hang clothes out to dry during the day if it’s especially foggy.
INTERNET: There is a firewall on Internet in China, so you will not be able to access Google (including Gmail), Facebook and Youtube, unless you have a VPN up-to-date. 
TRAVEL: The most convenient location to fly into is Shiyan Wudangshan Airport, in Hubei province, though it may not be the most affordable depending on your departure location. There is
also an airport in Wuhan, Wuhan Tianhe International Airport, in the capital of Hubei province.
Once you arrive at an airport you’ll want to get a taxi (or public transportation if you can figure it
out) to the train station. Be prepared with a travel guide, a printout in large Chinese characters, or some way to communicate with the taxi
driver that you want to go to the train station. Often times in major cities there is a shuttle which
runs from the Airport direct to the train station. You can probably find someone who speaks English
at the information desk who can help you with that.
What should I do in order to prepare for entering China?
Anyone intending to enter The People’s Republic of China must obtain a valid passport and visa. We will help you with claiming your visa by issuing a letter of invitation which shall be later attached to your visa application form.
What’s the best way for me to get to Wudang?
Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have international airports. From your arrival city you should take a train or bus to Hubei Province, Shi Yan City, about 21 hours from all three major cities mentioned. Or you can take a domestic flight to Wu han, Hubei Province. Then 5 hour bus/train to Shi Yan. There are online schedules to help you plan your travel. For example at  A Lonely Planet guide may be helpful for the first trips to China. Make sure you do not get tickets to Xi’an in Shaanxi Province (pronunciation sounds similar to Shi Yan).
What is the weather on the mountain?
The weather on the mountain in April, May, September and October is very temperate, warm sun in the days and colder in evenings. You may need sweater and fleece or light jacket to stay warm in the evenings. The summer months – June, July, and August – are relatively hot in the 25-30 degree Celsius and do not require any additional warm clothing. The rest of the year might get a little chili, especially in November, December, January and February. In these months, temperature on the mountain is around 5 to -5 degrees, so extra jumpers, jackets, leg warmers, gloves, hat etc. are necessary in order to keep the body warm. Regardless of the season, rain gear of some sort may be desired.
What is the food like in the Temple?
Three meals are provided everyday; Chinese style all vegetarian dishes cooked over a wood fired wok. If a student needs to eat meat they can purchase it and/or cook it in one of the kitchens outside of the temple.
Can I extend my Visa once I’m in the Temple?
If a student is planning to stay longer than the visa was issued for, there is a possibility to extend it in the nearby city. All foreigners residing in China are obliged to leave the country borders after the period of one year in order to get a new visa.
Should I study Chinese before entering China?
The most crucial task you have in preparation for this opportunity is developing a basic foundation in Mandarin Chinese. Do what you can through formal classes or self-study in the time before your trip. Although translations will be offered for all teachings, it does not compare to a direct transmission of thought between speaker and listener. Language will help you understand and connect with the culture and people, and you may find that culture will lend insight to the meaning of the arts you are studying.
Will I be living and training inside the temple?
 Yes, this is the only place in Wudang where foreigners can legally lodge and study in a temple.
Which way should I pay my tuition?
To pay for a course deposit you can either make a paypal transfer or a wireless transfer to a Chinese bank account. Upon arrival at the temple you may pay the rest in cash ren min bi via the donation box and ceremony. Or if it is more convenient you may make the full course payment through transfer.
What about using internet and phone calls?
There is no permanent internet connection on the mountain but there is a possibility to connect to the internet in an emergency situation, otherwise on the rest days students often go into town to communicate with their homes and take care of their online needs. If you may want to purchase a Chinese SIM card to make cheaper long distance calls home, or to have a phone while in China, you may consider bringing an unlocked phone, or be prepared to buy a Chinese phone. Some students have found 3gsolutions to be helpful in order to have an operating phone line with internet for the first days of arrival before being able to perhaps find better arrangements. 
What’s the best way of handling money while in China?
ATM cards are the most convenient and machines can be accessed in the nearest city (check with your bank if you can make withdrawals in China)
Should I be preparing myself physically in any form?
It will be helpful for you to be in relative physical fitness upon arriving at the temple. Work on general strength and flexibility especially for the Gong Fu programs. All else we will begin together on the mountain.
What else should I bring with me and what else shall I be prepared for?
– Notebook, pens for Chinese and Theory Class
– Journal for scribing the scripture or personal journal
– Chinese/English(+other) Dictionary
– Gifts from your country to offer temple altar, masters, or people you may meet.
– Personal First Aid Kit
– Tampons, deodorant, and floss are hard to find in China
– Flashlight
– Hot water thermos
– Some may need to bring protein and vitamin supplements
– Consider the moist environment on the mountain
– Consider your baggage and the one hour hike up the mountain.
– Training shoes and clothing will be bought in Wudang area within the 1st month, however you should bring some workout clothes of your own or buy some in China as you travel towards the temple. Loose pants and T-shirts/sweatshirts are fine, flexible slipper-like shoes are best. But anything will do in the beginning. If your shoe size is over 45 you should bring your own training shoes otherwise buying them in China might be troublesome.
Wudang FAQ

Wudang FAQ