After discovering the stunning Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in my Lomography guidebook, I just knew we had to check it out!
Now, we all know that every good adventure starts with a great lunch, so we popped into the ‘Bangkok Thai Restaurant’ in the local mall.
We shared a lush pork ho-fun…
…and a mediocre prawn pad-thai.
After filling our tummies, we made our way over to the monastery…or so we thought.
We assumed that as it’s one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples and popular tourist attractions; it would be easy to find.
Oh, how wrong we were!
Having just done some research for this post, I found that the Hong Kong Tourism Board does not promote the monastery as a tourist destination due to safety concerns relating to ongoing building works on site i.e. there are NO tourist direction signs for the Monastery.
The entrance is fairly well hidden, so we made the common mistake of entering the first temple-like area that we came across.
Po Fook Hill Ancestral Halls lie at the end of Pai Tau Street, comprising of temples, ponds, statues, a pagoda and terraced buildings stacked with memorial plaques and ashes.
I’m actually kind of glad that we had this misadventure!
SO MANY TERRAPINS!
I’m such a koi-fish charmer 😉
These were the most epic looking koi-fish I’d ever seen; check out all that gold and silver!
I have to do this every time I see one of these archways…
This temple was pretty rad.
The most beautiful meal I’ve ever seen laid out for Buddha, roses n’ all!
So we emerged from the temple, realizing that that gold plaque that you see way in the distance is where we were meant to be…
Making our way down the hill, we accidentally entered a private residents area thinking that we were on the right track (as it had gold statues lingering about), before getting shooed away.
Finally we decided to ask a security guard how to get to the elusive monastery.
If you’re interested in visiting (which you definitely should be), the trick is to follow the signs to the Sha Tin Government Offices. Take the first right after passing Home Square (Sheung Wo Che Street) and follow alongside these offices until you see the path to the monastery! TA DAH!
The long uphill journey to the monastery is an attraction in itself, as the path is lined on both sides with 500 life-sized golden Buddhas, each unique and in different (often hilarious) poses.
NOM NOM NOM!
This guy was dressed up for the occasion 😉
Just chillin’ on my peacock.
The temple is in sight!
When we reached the top, we were absolutely blown away!
Founded in the 1950’s, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery consists of 5 temples, 4 pavilions and a pagoda.
However it is not an actual monastery as it is managed by laypersons rather than resident monks.
It was built by Yuet Kai, a devout Buddhist layman, who dedicated the last years of his life constructing the buildings and Buddha statues (1949-1957).
Join us tomorrow for part 2 🙂