Hong Kong: Ten Thousand Buddhas (and infinite embarrassment)

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June 29, 2012, Sha Tin

You know how easy it is to get around Hong Kong via the MTR? Well, it is. The problem was when we exit the stations and try to find our way to our destination by foot. Asking the locals was a task that was as frustrating as it was fruitless (sometimes “straight” really means “there’s a huge building blocking your way so you might have to go right then left then under then over a bridge then right and then do the hokey pokey”).

Our last destination as tourists was the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, which was a grand Buddhist temple up a mountain peppered with statues of not ten, but thirteen thousand buddha statues.

We decided to walk down Pai Tau street from the Sha Tin station of the MTR, passing by an Ikea along the way (Sorry, this is the only landmark I remember!). And found this place…

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“Hmmm… looks temple-y,” said Janina and Jerome. (Note to self: Learn Chinese)

So we climbed up, scratching our heads because we could only spot one or two buddha statues here and there. There was a nice koi pond though and some turtles. What a nice place, we thought. But it sure didn’t look anything like the pictures online…

Taking a break and wondering where the thousands of buddhas were.

Taking a break and wondering where the thousands of buddhas were.

And then we realized– belatedly, as we’ve already taken quite a few (probably disrespectful, in retrospect) photos of the place– this isn’t the Ten Thousand Buddhas! It’s a *whispers* crematorium.

It's like the fish is saying "Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow..."

It’s like the fish is saying “Dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow…”

Red-faced, we ran back down to whence we came and asked a guard where the monastery was and he pointed us to a nondescript looking way next to the entrance of the crematorium. And there it was, the first of the many buddha statues.

There you are, Perry.

There you are, Perry.

The stairs were quite a climb and I’ve had to rest in between flights, using ‘taking photos’ as an excuse to stop and take a breather.

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Look at that climb.

Easy to forget you're in a city when in a place like this.

Easy to forget you’re in a city when in a place like this.

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But never mind the pain in my thighs and the tiredness and the heat… because when we got to the temple part, it just took my breath away.

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There was still a higher level with more buddha statues but we opted not to climb anymore. We had to catch the Arsenal game at the Hong Kong stadium that afternoon. And I don’t think my feet can handle any more stairs.

So I just flew down.

So I just flew down.

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One thought on “Hong Kong: Ten Thousand Buddhas (and infinite embarrassment)

  1. visit homepage August 2, 2013 at 8:10 AM Reply

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