Finally, my post on the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. As usual, this post is photo-heavy!
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery was established by Reverend Yuet Kai between 1949 to 1957. It is not the typical monastery where you will see Buddhist monks. If you see some, they’re most likely fake and are to be ignored should they beg.
The monastery has two levels with temples, pavilions, and a pagoda with mostly gold Buddha statues. The main temple has currently about 13,000 Buddha figures which were continued to be built for eight years after the construction of the monastery. Reverend Yuet Kai’s preserved and painted in gold body can be found in lotus position in the main temple. I didn’t see the body though.
The monastery can be reached with a 20- to 30-minute walk uphill through a steep concrete pathway. It gets steeper halfway up. Along the path are many Buddha statues in various poses and different expressions. Most I found peculiar, yet they had me entertained and curious. They made the walk less wearing.
The steeper path made me think I was already near the temples, but I was wrong. Going up felt forever. But the sweat and pain in my right ankle was worth it upon getting to the monastery.
I kind of understand why they put up such sign. When we went there, there were many Filipinos and they’re mostly female. At the foot of the hill, they was a group of Filipinas and they ate as they sat on the grass. From there and up to the monastery — Some were only hanging out or being tourist-y and they were noisy and took selfies with the Buddhas as their background (but because their face covered the whole shot, the Buddha can’t be seen anymore). They can’t stay quiet even inside the temple. There were three ladies inside the main temple looking through Buddha beads being sold. They chatted like there were many meters apart from each other. Hindi pa sila makuha sa tingin.
I felt sad to read such a sign that seems discriminating, but also angry because it can’t be helped when the Filipinos there are disrespectful. I wish I’m a little nicer and more patient that I can deal with such people without killing them a lot of times in my head.
These monkeys are wild, so they are to look out for. Some of them would stay away, but some might not. I tried getting near to a couple of monkeys and they rushed off, but there was another group of monkeys that wouldn’t budge.
Here’s another reminder:
There is a vegetarian restaurant right before you enter the courtyard — the first level of the monastery — and they’re open daily except Thursdays. I didn’t try their food anymore because the restaurant looked nearly empty and it seemed very warm inside. Don’t expect any air-conditioning around the monastery if you think you can chill after the long walk.
This is what you see when you enter the courtyard:
The courtyard is beautiful with more gold statues and deities. They almost hurt my eyes on such a bright afternoon.
I am astounded with the deities. So much that I tried to read the history of some. Yet, grasping knowledge about them is somewhat difficult that, aside from they’re too many, I can’t even pronounce their names.
At the back of the main hall, there are more statues. More monkeys as well.
The main temple (see picture below; red building behind the pavilion) is the abode of the mini ten thousand Buddha figures and Reverent Yuet Kai’s body. As it is a temple, one may pay their respects there. Trinkets, beads, fans, and other souvenir items are also available in the main temple. Pictures aren’t allowed inside the temple, so I got none to show. That would be a good reason to make the monastery one of your tour spots when you visit Hong Kong because it is a must-see.
I would definitely return because I wasn’t able to see the upper level. It was already closing time when I was done looking around and taking pictures at the first level.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is located in Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin, Hong Kong. It is not far off from Sha Tin MTR Station and must not be confused with the nearby cemetery. The monastery is open daily from 9AM to 5PM. They close when there’s heavy rain or typhoon. Admission is free.
Further details on directions will be posted asap in Tulugan.com.