Total suspended particles samples inside and outside the South Pu-Tuo Temple (SPT), a traditional Buddhist temple in Xiamen, China were collected and further analyzed for n-alkanes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) during the periods of worship. It was observed that the concentrations of particulate n-alkanes at SPT were abnormally higher compared to the surrounding bus terminus and campus. In addition, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) equivalent concentrations at SPT (7.1-26.3 ng/m3) were significantly higher than those at the bus terminus (5.1-6.9 ng/m3) although the PAH concentrations were comparable. The hazard potential of PAHs in terms of the carcinogenicity of BaP inside SPT is not acceptable because the indoor air quality standard of BaP recommended by the State Environmental Protection Administration of China is 1 ng/m3 (daily mean). Ratios of fluoranthene to fluoranthene plus pyrene, indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene to indeno[1,2,3-cd]pyrene plus benzo[g,h,i]perylene and 1,7-DMP (dimethylphenanthrene) to 2,6-DMP plus 1,7-DMP were further calculated; the values of these three together with the ratio of retene to phenanthrene separated the SPT samples from the bus terminus samples, in that SPT samples showed a strong influence of wood burning (such as bamboo sticks, stick coatings, and joss paper).