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Hong Kong: the extraordinary monastery of the 10,000 Buddhas

by Sabine
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Never before have I seen so many Buddhas. Seas of golden statues run up through the green forest to red temples. Where there are even more Buddhas. Hong Kong has dozens of temples, many of which I have seen. However, none of these magnificent structures was as special as this Buddhist monastery, north of Kowloon in the New Territories. The bizarre amount of golden Buddhas is mesmerizing. I just want to see more. Are there really 10,000 Buddhas in this impressive Hong Kong monastery? Walk with me along this breathtaking golden path, and discover the actual number of Buddhas!

10,000 Buddhas: isn’t that a bit excessive?

You would think so, but there are even more than that! Arriving at the path, I was immediately amazed at the many golden Buddhas, more than I ever imagined. The path along the statues has over 400 steps that lead me to the monastery on top of the mountain. All Buddhas on this path are male and all are unique. In the heat, I climb step by step and admire each Buddha. So special! I kept looking at these beautiful statues in the Hong Kong forest. There were so many, it’s almost impossible to imagine. When I got to the top, however, it turned out that this was just the beginning….


The monastery of the 10,000 Buddhas

Construction of this gigantic Buddhist monastery began in the early 1949s. Only eight years later the buildings were completed, after which it took another ten years to finish all the more than ten thousand Buddha statues. The monastery covers eight acres and includes a pagoda, a large temple and two pavilions. To see the entire monastery you need to walk even higher, where you will find more temples, elegant female Buddhas and beautiful views of Sha Tin. The most impressive temple at the complex, however, is the main temple that you encounter first. The complex’s name, 10,000 Buddhas, turns out to be meant only figuratively: in reality, no less than 12,800 miniature Buddhas stand against the walls of this main temple alone. A pretty impressive picture I can tell you.


Female beauty

Further up the mountain we find more temples and Buddhas. Along this path, however, there are only female Buddhas. Very different from the hundreds of male statues, the women are tall and slender, covered in jewelry, long dresses and some even have babies in their arms. These elegant golden apparitions are beautiful to look at, especially with the green mountains in the background.


Practical: How do you get to the Monastery of the 10,000 Buddhas?

In Sha Tin, there are no signs to show you the way. Fortunately, the monastery is easy to find: take the subway to Sha Tin station and take exit B. Walk immediately to the left with the road down and stay left on Pai Tau Street. Immediately after the mall, cross over to the right and continue on Sheung Wo Che Street. At the end, keep left and you will see the first golden Buddhas among the trees. From the subway to the trail, it is no more than a 5-minute walk. The entire visit to the monastery is free, but sometimes fake monks walk around asking for money. Do not address this and just walk on. Want some food after your visit? In the adjacent shopping center, you will find an Ikea with delicious Swedish meatballs and even a vegetarian meal. Since the Ikea does not exist in Colombia, this was a pleasant surprise for us after this breathtaking hike!

The Monastery of the 10,000 Buddhas: a must-see in Hong Kong!


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