Some places are just so whacky they stick with you and my favourite spot in Hong Kong was the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Lying in the north of the islands within the New Territories, it’s so worth visiting if you get the chance to add it to a stop in Hong Kong.
How to get there
The best way to reach the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is by Metro. The site lies just a short walk from the Sha Tin metro station, on the light blue line. You can reach it directly from the Admiralty or Exhibition Centre stops on Hong Kong Island in around 30 minutes.
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
What a place! Although first things first, it’s not actually a monastery as there are no monks. It was founded in 1951 by Yuet Kai who moved to Hong Kong from mainland China to teach Buddhism. He died in 1965 and his intact body is embalmed in the main hall of the monastery.
At the top is the main temple (which you can’t take photos of) and a beautiful open square which we had all to ourselves, housing ornate statues and a pagoda. We absolutely loved it. In total the site actually has 13,000 buddhas at last count, but I’m not sure that’s as catchy a name.
What else to do in the area
We made a day of our trip to north Hong Kong, and chose to explore more in the area than just the ten thousand buddhas monastery. There are lots of interesting things to explore nearby:
A. Hong Kong Heritage Museum
The Museum is a must for any Bruce Lee fan, with an exhibit on his life and works which was super interesting. There are also exhibitions on Hong Kong’s pop culture, art and various other subjects. The Museum also has a good restaurant where we had lunch, and in total we spent 2.5hrs here (it was also a welcome break from the heat/rain)
B. Che Kung Temple
The temples here are dedicated to Che Kung, who was a general during the Song dynasty in the 11-1200s in Imperial China. According to legend, during an epidemic that broke out in Sha Tin in the late Ming Dynasty, local residents found out from historical writings that Che Kung was not only merited for his successful suppression of uprisings, but was also known for clearing epidemics. People therefore built a temple to house Che Kung, and the epidemic subsided on the day the construction of the temple was completed. I wonder if it worked for COVID!
C. Sha Tin Park
A lovely waterfront park is perfect for a rest before getting back on the Metro. We enjoyed sitting here and just watching the world go by with a drink.
D. New Town Plaza Mall
Sha Tin has an amazing mall, New Town Plaza. It’s home to lots of shops, restaurants and bars which we browsed (/got lost in) for over an hour. I bought a new book and dress and my husband went crazy in the sweet store. There’s also a Snoopy World in here, as well as a massive cinema should the mood take you!
So what do you think of the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery and the surrounding area? We had a great day out here, and really felt like we were getting off the main tourist trail in Hong Kong. As always, thanks for reading and stay safe, happy travelling!