Believe it or not, there are actually more than ten thousand Buddhas at the Ten Thousand Buddhas monastery near Shatin. Moreover, each and every one is unique. This has to be one of the relatively least visited and interesting places to photograph in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has many beautiful temples, monasteries and at least one famous nunnery worth visiting. Everybody knows about the Big Buddha on Lantau island and the colourful Wong Tai Sin temple in Kowloon is usually thronging with people. Incense swathed Man Mo in Central is small but has a constant stream of worshipers and tourists. Peaceful Chi Lin nunnery in Diamond Hill and the impressive Guan Yin statue in Tai Po are less well known, but both are easily accessible.
However, as the Ten Thousand Buddhas monastery is not only out of the way, but poorly signposted and up a steep hill. Therefore, it doesn’t receive its rightful share of footfall. That’s a good thing. If you are prepared to make the effort, you can escape the crowds and be rewarded. Get some cardio, enjoy a birds-eye view over Shatin and take in the peace and quiet of this photogenic spot.
The path upwards is flanked by gold painted Buddha statues, each one entirely unique.Two thirds of the way through your climb you’ll reach a flat area with a picture postcard red pagoda and the hall of the ten thousand Buddhas. Please note that no photographs may be taken inside the hall. If you still have the energy, you can head further up the hill for even better views.
Up in Hong Kong’s Northern Territories, above Shatin the location is a little off the usual tourist track. Additionally, the trail is not well signposted and is notoriously hard to find. So much so that some visitors can’t find it or make an accidental detour to the neighbouring cemetery.
Take the East Rail Line on the MTR to Shatin (also written as Sha Tin). Use exit B and head to the right and down a ramp. You’ll past a rustic village square on your left and straight ahead will see Homesquare (with a big Ikea logo) and to its left a Shatin government building. Go between the two to the very end of the road where you’ll find a chain link fence. From there you should pick up signposts and then it’s very easy. As soon as you get to the foot of the track you’ll see Buddha statues either side and you walk up.
In addition to the Ten Thousand Buddhas monastery, Shatin is home to Hong Kong’s Heritage Museum, the tiny Snoopy’s World theme park and a great place to watch dragon boat races every June. It’s also a great place to start or finish a cycling tour of the New Territories with us with the harbour side bike track or visit Wing Wo Bee Farm.
Book us for a private tour of this amazingly visual, and steep monastery overlooking the town of Shatin.
Our guest in the photograph, Shrivanny, used to live in Hong Kong but never managed to find her way out to the Ten Thousand Buddha’s Monastery.