More Taiwan Buddhism worshippers take chartered motorboat for pilgrimage tour on Chinese mainland

Xinhuanet, March 12, 2006

XIAMEN, China -- A group of 357 Taiwan Buddhism worshippers taking a chartered motorboat from Changhua in Taiwan arrived at the city of Xiamen, east China's Fujian Province, on Sunday to kick off a week-long pilgrimage tour of China's mainland.

The navigation from Taichung made a stopover in Kinmen, Taiwan and crossed the Taiwan Straits to Xiamen. The jetboat ride took 14 hours.

The pilgrims will go to Buddhist temples in Fujian and Guangdong provinces and go back to Taiwan by the chartered jetboat on March 18.

Over 80 percent of the tourists received by the China National Tourism Agency were seniors aged between 50 and 80. Their goal of travel is mainly go to Buddhist temples and offer incense to Buddha.

The agency said the number of Buddhist tourists from Taiwan to the Chinese mainland is on rise. The agency arranged chartered boat crossings for some 3,000 Taiwanese Buddhist pilgrims last year.