Ascend a wind­ing stair­case lined by gold­en, life-sized stat­ues of Bud­dhist men, each a unique char­ac­ter with a unique facial expres­sion. The artist who cre­at­ed them was clear­ly quite cre­ative and as you ascend the 400+ steps to the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery, the gold­en stat­ues seem to get more and more…bizarre. At the top of the stairs is a beau­ti­ful pago­da, more Bud­dhist stat­ues, and 5 tem­ples, includ­ing a “Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Tem­ple” with over 12,800 unique­ly dif­fer­ent, hand-craft­ed Bud­dhist stat­ues.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

(Man Fat Tsz)

The Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz) is actu­al­ly a series of tem­ples and a pago­da and not a monastery at all. It’s a quirky and inter­est­ing place and one that is slight­ly off the main tourist cir­cuit. You’ll def­i­nite­ly find for­eign­ers here but it’s noth­ing like the crowds at some of the more famous sights such as the Tian Tan Bud­dha or The Vic­to­ria Peak Tram.

10000 buddhas Pagoda

Pago­da fea­tured on the HK $100 Bill

Ten Thousand Stairs

It starts with a bit of a climb up some stairs (431 by some counts), but with all of the quirky Bud­dhist stat­ues to check out and bench­es to rest, it’s not all that bad. Just take it slow in the Hong Kong heat and try to avoid the (some­times aggres­sive) mon­keys.

Keep laugh­ing at some­one who can let you laugh.” 

Big bel­ly can con­tain all things that are dif­fi­cult to con­tain” 

Stairs of the 10000 buddhas

Stairs of the 10000 Bud­dhas

One of the Bud­dhist men remind­ed me of Dhal­sim (For any­one that used to play Street Fight­er II). Though I read anoth­er blog refer­ring to him as “Self­ie Stick Bud­dha”. Guess it dates me. What do you think? Let me know in the com­ments below.

I should add that these aren’t rep­re­sen­ta­tions of Bud­dha but rather “Arhats”, or enlight­ened Bud­dhist prac­ti­tion­ers.

 

Laughing Buddha

Laugh­ing Bud­dha

Laugh­ing Bud­dha greets you at the top of the stairs with a par­tic­u­lar­ly applic­a­ble poem to every­thing you just saw com­ing up the stairs. A Chi­nese Poem that trans­lates to (Left side) “Keep laugh­ing at some­one who can let you laugh.” (Right side) “Big bel­ly can con­tain all things that are dif­fi­cult to con­tain”  (Trans­lat­ed by my friend Bon­nie)

10000 buddhas Alden

Resem­blance? Keep Laughing…fuzzball

In the spir­it of Laugh­ing Bud­dha, Bon­nie and I saw some kind of resem­blance. Just the imag­i­na­tion, or some­thing more?

Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple

The low­er por­tion of the grounds is home to the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Tem­ple. Inside the walls are over 12,800 unique­ly carved stat­ues of Bud­dha. The tem­ple was found­ed in 1949 by the Rev­erend Yuet Kai and his body still sits, pre­served, on dis­play at the cen­ter of the tem­ple.

Pagoda and Surrounding Area

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery

Some more inter­est­ing and Beau­ti­ful stat­ues sur­round the plaza where the famous Pago­da stands over­look­ing the city. This is the Pago­da fea­tured on the HK $100 from 1985 to 2002.

 

Buddhist Women Statues

Bud­dhist Women Stat­ues

 

Four More Temples

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery

A bit fur­ther, (up some more stairs) are 4 more tem­ples and more Bud­dhist stat­ues. There are: The Tem­ple of The God of Heav­en, The Can­di Bud­dha Tem­ple, The Kwun Yam Tem­ple and The Tem­ple of the Nei Tor (Ami­ta) Bud­dha. Each tem­ple has a dif­fer­ent stat­ue of Bud­dha to wor­ship.

This is a beau­ti­ful area with a water­fall and some great views. Don’t miss this sec­ond lev­el.

 

The View from 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

It’s a beau­ti­ful area, up in the trees with fan­tas­tic views of the metrop­o­lis below.

Views of Hong Kong

Views of Hong Kong

Pagoda - Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Pago­da — Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery

 

More Information about the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Buddhist Women Statues

Bud­dhist Women Stat­ues

 

History of the Temple

(From the tem­ple brochure) The founder of the tem­ple Rev­erend Yuet Kai arrived in Hong Kong in 1933. At first he preached Bud­dhism in a local monastery and many peo­ple began fol­low­ing him. Some years lat­er, a pious Bud­dhist and rich mer­chant, gave him an estate. Ini­tial­ly he planned to estab­lish a Bud­dhist col­lege, but final­ly, he decid­ed to found a monastery here instead. Con­struc­tion on the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery began in 1949. Around that time, Rev­erend Yuet Kasi, in spite of his old age, joined his dis­ci­ples in car­ry­ing the build­ing mate­ri­als per­son­al­ly from the foot of the moun­tain, to build this monastery. It took eight years to com­plete all the build­ings, and anoth­er ten years to fin­ish the (over 12,000) Bud­dha stat­ues. Since then, the Monastery has become one of the most pop­u­lar monas­ter­ies in Hong Kong. 

Monkeys run across the golden statues

Mon­keys run across the gold­en stat­ues

 

Why is it called 10,000 Buddhas Monastery if there are over 12,000 statues of Buddha?

In Can­tonese “ten thou­sand” is some­times used to mean a very large amount. So I sup­pose you could say “There are ten thou­sand stairs” and in a cer­tain respect, you might be right.
Macaques at the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

Cheeky macaques at the 10,000 Bud­dhas Monastery

Getting to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

Admis­sion: Free
Hours: 9 am — 5 pm dai­ly. Closed for heavy rain or when a typhoon sig­nal 8 or above is issued.

It’s not the eas­i­est place to find but this should help you get there

  1. Take the East Rail Line to the Sha Tin Metro Sta­tion, Exit B
  2. Turn left and walk down the pedes­tri­an ramp.
  3. At the bot­tom of the ramp is a sign for the Gov­ern­ment Build­ing. Fol­low this sign onto Pai Tau Street.
  4. Fol­low Pai Tau Street as it turns left. You’ll see a large Ikea sign on your right.
    Follow Pai Tau Street. Take a left here.

    Fol­low Pai Tau Street. Take a left here.

     

    Looking down Pai Tau Street. Ikea on your right.

    Look­ing down Pai Tau Street. Ikea on your right.

  5. Turn right at the first street, She­ung Wo Che Road.

    Take the first right, onto Sheung Wo Che Road

    Take the first right, onto She­ung Wo Che Road

  6. Walk down She­ung Wo Che Road
    Walk down Sheung Wo Che Road

    Walk down She­ung Wo Che Road

     

  7. At the end of She­ung Wo Che Road on the left-hand side is a cement path lined with old chain link fence. This is the start of the path to the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery. You’ll see a sign and then a bunch of Gold­en Bud­dhist stat­ues.
Sign for 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

Sign for 10,000 Bud­dhas Monastery

If you see a series of esca­la­tors you’re in the wrong place.

Here! You’ve arrived in the right place and have hun­dreds of holy Bud­dhist men to greet you and keep you com­pa­ny for the next 431 steps. Enjoy your walk up!

Path to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

The path to the 10,000 Bud­dhas Monastery

Note
There aren’t any Bud­dhist monks that live here and no Bud­dhist monk is going to ask for mon­ey. So if you see a “Bud­dhist Monk” he’s just an imposter and should not be giv­en any “dona­tion”.

Cheeky Monkeys

Watch out for the cheeky macaques. They won’t pre­tend to be Bud­dhist Monks. Instead, they use their per­fect­ed intim­i­da­tion tac­tics and 5 fin­ger dis­count, snatch­ing up your un-attend­ed bags and food! Look out for these cheeky mon­keys!
Don't be fooled by the cute face. Big Mamma isn't far behind!

Don’t be fooled by the cute face. Big Mam­ma isn’t far behind!

 

Big monkey. 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

There she is. Big cheeky mon­key!

 

Have you vis­it­ed the Ten Thou­sand Bud­dhas Monastery? Which was your favorite Bud­dhist stat­ue and what did he/she remind you of? If you haven’t been, which is your favorite in the pic­tures? Let me know in the com­ments.

 

Where to next? Check out this arti­cle on 10 cheap/free things to do in Hong Kong.

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