The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery situated in the hills above Sha Tin is worth a look if you want to see one of the more unusual sights of Hong Kong. It was built in the 1950’s and has a large selection of life-sized Buddha statues (possibly a few hundred), along with the aforementioned 10,000 miniature Buddhas in the main temple.
To get to the monastery, leave Sha Tin MTR by exit B and turn left along the side of the bus terminal. You will walk down a ramp and along a road past the traditional houses of Pai Tau village. After a couple of minutes, you reach a turning and on the opposite side of the road is a large mall called HomeSquare. Turn left down the turning (Pai Tau Street) and then take the first right (Sheung Wo Che Road). At the end of this short road is the unassuming entrance to the monastery complex. Don’t worry, there is a sign! Just turn left and start walking uphill.
The first time I came here I was approached by a monk trying to sell me a bracelet. I just shook my head and he let me past. As I was climbing up to the monastery, I saw several signs telling me not to give money to these ‘monks’ as real monks aren’t allowed to beg, they are supposed to live on what they have. So if you ever see a Buddhist monk begging or trying to sell you something, I would suggest that you don’t give them any money.
The ascent up to the main temple complex looks a little like this:
At the top there are more collections of the life-size gold Buddhas…
…and a complex of temples and associated buildings
The building with the red roof in the photo above houses the 10,000 miniature Buddhas. There were signs saying not to take photos inside the temple so I’m afraid I can’t show you any more detail.
Spread throughout the complex, the life-size Buddhas are the real highlight. They are all different and some are very unusual! Here are some of my favourites:
I know very little about Buddhism so I cannot tell you why there are these different types of Buddhas, or what the different features mean. Maybe you could let me know if you find out!
Thanks for reading!