Results 1-6of 6 Reviews
Moscow, Moskva, Russia
February 28, 2011
From journal Hong Kong is a slice of West
August 24, 2006
From journal Enticing Kowloon
June 3, 2006
From journal Hong Kong - A Vacation Like No Other
May 8, 2005
As we reach the entrance, a magnificent pagoda has pride of place in the square, which is surrounded by more 6-foot Buddhas – some sporting black eyelids, and others, bright-red lips. They really are fun to look, and their distorted features confirm a real quirkiness in the creator of the figures. The view from the terrace is far-reaching; it’s just a shame for us that a heavy mist and light drizzle has descended. Still, we can get a reasonable sense of the view with the Sha Tin Race course at the bottom surrounded by the urban sprawl that is Hong Kong.
I can’t resist a quick ring on the bells before we make to climb the pagoda. It’s a climb that seems to go on and on, and in all honesty the view from the top is not brilliant. But there are more Buddhas on each window ledge and a view across the complex showing another lane of Buddhas – we’ll make that climb after lunch. A cheap lunch can be obtained from the small makeshift restaurant on site – it has basic fare, but there’s plenty of it and the quality was better than average.
Next to the café is a temple with thousands of Buddhas arranged in individual niches. Traditional music was being played in this amazing building. At the time we were there, the temple was being decorated and painters were balanced on bamboo scaffolding and Buddhas were being removed from their spots, lowered into wicker baskets in order that the wall could be re-painted.
Take a left out of this temple and then the left fork to climb to the next part of the monastery. Again, the route is lined with large Buddhas, and as we saw the summit, the statues changed. Now they were garishly painted and all female in form. Much more regal in appearance and no comedic value here! At the summit, there were a couple more very small temples, much in need of some TLC, and a much more commanding view of the surrounding area.
We took the route straight down from here, bypassing the main temple site. This was a gradual gradient, but somewhat treacherous in the rain. The Buddhas oversaw our stroll through a woodland area, and we enjoyed spotting the old monastery buildings and some more secluded houses in the distant hills.
Despite its closeness to a large population, this was a very tranquil and idyllic spot.
From journal The Sights of Hong Kong
by Re Carroll
Abbotsford, British Columbia
November 5, 2001
When I got off the train, there were a number of signs for the monastery and it took about 15 minutes to reach by foot. It's perched on a hillside and looks out over Sha Tin. It's a very pretty and peaceful site BUT there are lots of stairs to climb to reach the top. One travel guide said there were over 400 and I would agree, although I didn't have the breath left to count them.
Although it is called The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, there are now over 13,000 of the clay statues of Buddha because people keep adding to them. Although similar in size and shape, a closer look reveals differences in poses. They are reverently stacked on shelves filling the walls of the temple.
In front of the Temple are large colorful statues of some of Buddha's followers as well as a 9 story pagoda filled with more statues.
There weren't a lot of other visitors about and it almost felt like I had the place to myself. The Temple has a number of terraces and from them you can see across the valley to the Amah Rock, a famous landmark. Legend says this rock was once a woman who climbed the hill to watch and wait for her husband's return. He never returned and the gods eventually took pity on her and turned her to stone as a reward for her patience.
Behind the main Temple, a smaller one houses the body of Yeut Kai, the monk who founded the monastery. The whole area feels very peaceful and serene and is a perfect place to relax and unwind.
The monastery is part of an organized day trip that you can book through your hotel or a travel agency but I enjoyed doing it on my own since I had more time to wander around.
Trains run regularly to Sha Tin from the Kowloon station and my first class, return ticket was under $10.00. A word of caution - the restrooms at stations outside can be very basic - just a hole in the floor - so be prepared.
Sha Tin is quite a large city with many hotels. As well as the monastery, it is also well known for its horse racing track, one of the largest in the country.
From journal Hong Kong Highlights