Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hong Kong Day 3 - Finding inner peace at the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Today, we set out to the parts of Hong Kong not frequented by many tourists – the northern part of the New Territories.  Our destination is quite a unique one as it is quite hidden. Not in the sense that it is inaccessible but rather because it will take a keen eye to spot its location. So, the destination is actually the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.


Located in Sha Tin, this place has been gaining the attention of travellers recently since many are intrigued by its name. What’s not to be curious about finding ten thousand Buddhas all situated in one place?

To my surprise, it was very easy to get here by train. Just hop on the East Rail line - the light blue line - and get off at Sha Tin station. That easy!

Upon getting off at the station, you can immediately spot a large mall at the exit called New Town Plaza. We actually did a bit of exploring here after the visit from the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. It’s a really nice mall with lots of designer brands inside. Not so sure if it was fortunate of us to come here during the End of Season Sale period. There were just so many people inside that the mall was packed like a can of sardines! Most of the people coming from the mainland to buy these designer brands like there was no tomorrow! Everyone was on a shopping spree here that it was hard to enjoy what this mall had to offer.

New Town Plaza Mall
courtesy of

Anyway, after eating lunch at a Grand Central Plaza – the one with an IKEA in it – we proceeded to locate our destination.

The entrance to the monastery is behind the Shatin government offices. You need to follow Sheung Wo Che Road to reach it at the foot of a hill. Since there are no signs leading to it, it took us quite some time to actually find it.

signage at the entrance

At the entrance, you’d find a long winding path that leads you uphill. Here starts the long climb up to reach the temple area. There are 431 steps on the steep incline that you need to conquer.

the long way up... climb some more

Never mind that number, you can take your time going up since you’ll be so distracted looking at the many Buddha figures that line these steps. It’s so interesting because each one has a unique facial expression. It’s worthwhile taking a look at most of them – even posing along with them at times.

fascinating sculptures to see while climbing up

If you do get tired, we found some rest stops along the way where you can sit. They actually look like waiting sheds at bus stations.

at one of the rest stops

When you reach the top, you’ll be greeted with a nice courtyard where the main temple is situated. There are still many Buddhas here in the area along with other sculptures of divine creatures that are really nice to look at.

the centerpiece at the courtyard

Before we continue exploring, some history about this place. Founded in 1949 by Yuet Kai, this place was completed in 1957. Yuet Kai, a preacher of Buddhism from China, came to Hong Kong in 1933 and soon gained many followers. With that, he decided to build this grand monastery and even helped in its construction despite his old age. It was unfortunate to know that this place was severely damaged in 1997 due to a landslide. As such, you can still see some reconstruction going on to repair the structures and buildings until today.

larger than life Buddha at the main temple

If you’re not tired enough, there’s also a pagoda here which you can climb for nice panoramic views of the Sha Tin area. Take note that it’s 9 stories high.

the pagoda with great views

We proceeded to check out more of this place by climbing another series of steps. Apparently, there are other smaller temples and shrines up here. Images of Arhats, Kwun Yam, Luohans can be seen here along with other Buddha figures.

Goddess of Mercy, Kwun Yam

The terrace provides a scenic view of the hill and the city below as well.

at the terrace veranda with nice view of Sha Tin

We stayed here for quite some time to enjoy its peaceful environment by strolling around. We paid our respects while getting some advice at the main temple too. Oh yeah, the walls of the main temple are lined up with more than 12,000 miniature Buddhas which looks really amazing. You can purchase some souvenirs at the shop here too if you like – some lucky charms, iconic Buddhist symbols, and blessed trinkets among others.

going down refreshed in mind and spirit

Visiting this place proved to be very nice as it provided an escape from all things stressful in life. A great way to clear the mind and heal the spirit! I highly recommend people to go here just to meditate and relax the mind. Who knows, you might even find some enlightenment and spiritual healing during your visit.

meditation and serenity

Opening Hours: 9:00 am – 5:30 pm 

How to get here:
Take the East Rail Line (light blue) until Sha Tin Station and proceed to Exit B.
Walk towards the street where the building with Home Square / IKEA is located.
Find Sheung Wo Che Road behind the Sha Tin Government Office building and follow its path.

What are your thoughts on Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery? Did this post make you want to go and visit it too? Tell me about it by commenting below or using the Contact button on the right.

If you have some questions, feel free to ask. I’ll try my best to help you out.

Up next, Appreciating nature at Nan Lian Garden.

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