on June 3, 2006
Take a train out of the main station in Kowloon for about 30 minutes outside of Hong Hong and you will arrive at Sha Tin. A short walk from the train station (head to the left out of the main exit) the following small signs and will arrive at a small dirt path down the side of the large commercial building. At first I was convinced this was the wrong way, but a small yellow plastic sign proved me wrong. Following the sign you arrive at over 500 twisting steps that snake up the side of the mountain out of Sha Tin flanked by hundreds of gold colored statues leading to the temple and monastery of 10,000 Buddhas. You emerge from this hike to find a sight that is nothing short of breathtaking. The grounds are made up of pagoda, a pavilion with statues of Vitasoka and Kwun Yam, a vegetarian restaurant and the main temple building.The main temple building is astounding as it houses the embalmed body of the monk that founded the temple and over 13,000 unique gold Buddha statues. The statues cover all four walls of the main temple building from the floor to up the wall well over 30 feet. You can take photography on the grounds but be courteous and thoughtful of the people who are there praying. Some Chinese people will get very mad as they feel that the camera could effect the spirits of their departed family members.Take the time to wander around the grounds and learn about all the statues and customs. Many locals are very happy to explain the the different statues and traditions.I would pass on the vegetarian restaurant as it is simple and fairly bland food but it is great for a cold drink if you are there in warm weather.Of our entire 2 weeks in Hong Hong this was my favorite excursion. We did not see another western face the entire time we were there. We had some wonderful conversations with some of the kindest local people and learned a lot.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009