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Friday, January 03, 2014

Hong Kong: 10,000 Golden Buddhas of Sha Tin

Sha Tin is not as popular of a tourist destination as compared to The Peak, TST, Ocean Park, and Disneyland. I guess one of the reasons is because of its location as Sha Tin is located in New Territories Area of Hong Kong and 2 stations away from Kowloon Tong MTR Interchange.

Sha Tin Thousand Golden Buddha Hong Kong

The 10,000 Golden Buddhas Monastery was only suggested by one of my accompanying friends during the trip, and it has been more than 4 years since she visited the place. She still seem to remember going there so might as well check out the place and see what it now has to offer.

Tower at Sha Tin Golden Buddha

TRAVEL TIP: From Kowloon Tong Station, you may ride the light blue MTR line going to either Lo Fu or Lok Ma Chau, either way, both routes pass by Sha Tin station. It's just a quick train ride, took us probably 5 minutes or so, and you won't notice the time because of the suburb scenes you see outside. Check out Hong Kong MTR's website for you to get the updated fare table from your pick-up point.

Alighting Sha Tin, the challenge for us to know where the place is begins. What's good with Hong Kong MTR though is that they post all the necessary information one needs through their signboards displaying what tourist destinations you can find in every train station exit. Daring to ask no one, we just followed our gut feels and trusted our travel instincts by following the signboards.

Ahoy! At last we found the entrance gate going to the 10,000 Golden Buddhas Monastery! Well, actually there are a lot of entrance gates going up the Monastery so it won't be that hard for a newbie traveler looking for it. Landmarks around the area are the mall with IKEA sign outside, the old house with food stalls outside, and the cemetery beside the mall.

Sha Tin Golden Buddha Entrance
Entrance to the Thousand Buddhas Monastery

TRAVEL TIP: When in doubt, ask. I deeply understand that time is of the essence especially for backpacking travelers. Though language may be a barrier when communicating with the locals, it's still good because they will just show you which direction you will go if ever they're too shy speaking English. It pays to ask sometimes :)

Behold because the way up the Thousand Buddhas will strike a battle for all visiting tourists. Prepare your feet and legs for an uphill exercise and be sure bringing water and towel with you as the weather may sometimes get warmer. As a welcoming treat, you will be greeted by Golden Buddhas along the way the moment you start your uphill trek. The Golden Buddhas are just awesome and you'll just appreciate how rich Hong Kong's culture is.

10000 Golden Buddhas in trek Hong Kong
Golden Buddhas Lining Up

Arriving at the top, you can find a temple which houses the 10,000 "small" and golden Buddhas. Too bad for travel photographers as cameras are strictly prohibited inside the temple. Also utmost peace and silence is being observed inside. As I was roaming around the temple, appreciating the Buddhas in front of me, I somehow felt a positive aura enveloping me and I guess that was a good sign.

View at 10000 Buddha Hong Kong
View at the top

Outside the temple, a lot of big sculptures are found which are very fascinating. Also, I'm not sure what it's called, you can find the Buddha with many hands. We almost had consumed all our time looking and taking some photos of it.  How I wished that we had the luxury of time and stayed longer, but the trek is still quite a long journey ahead.

10000 Buddhas Hong Kong

Thousand Buddha Monastery Sha Tin Hong Kong

TRAVEL TIP: Entrance to the Golden Buddha Monastery is FREE so why hesitate visiting this place when all you need is just a bit of time and appreciation for the beauty of this place. I picture myself in a Chinese movie meditating and finding my inner peace when I reached the temple filled with miniature Buddhas.

Big Buddha of Sha Tin Hong Kong

Unfortunately, we don't have enough time and energy left to further trek up and see what's in store. I believe however there are still more to see going up the mountainside as Golden Buddhas can still be found from afar, lining up the uphill trek!

Golden Buddhas of Sha Tin Hong Kong
Golden Buddhas Along The Trek

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