Checking out a mid-20th century Buddhist monastery, located on the mountain behind Satin Pa Tau Village, near the Sha Tin railway station.
- Using the beautiful 430 steps for a workout; at the top you’re rewarded with an awesome view!
- Flexing your savvy tourist muscles by ignoring the fake monks & not feeding the monkeys
- Checking out culture without breaking the bank. Free admission!
When I first saw a picture of the Ten Thousand Buddha Monastery, I knew I HAD to go! After working in the morning I had a free day ahead and decided to give it a go.
From central, it takes about one hour and a few train changes to get to Sha Tin railway station. After doing some research, I knew getting to the station was the easy part . . . figuring out where this trail was located was the hard part. After much research using YouTube and Google, I am proud to say I didn’t get lost finding the trail. Spoiler alert – I did get lost trying to find the museum.
A little about this trail
The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery was founded in 1949 by Yuei Kai. It was completed in 1957, making it less than 100 years old. Every Buddha on this path has a different face and a different pose. Not one of them are the same. It’s nice that you can take your time going up to check out each one’s facial expressions, taking pictures of some and can do the same going back down the trail. It is 430+ (I think it was 431 or 432 but don’t quote me) stairs going up, so if you’re trying to rush up you will get tired; Unless you’re a superwoman in training, in which case we need to talk!
If you do get tired along the path there are a few benches to sit on, you can read through the warnings and catch your breath.
Every once in a while, turn around and check out the view. It was a beautifully clear and sunny day when I was there, so the views were awesome. It was hot though!
I loved finding similarities between the Buddha’s and people I know. If I were to pick a Buddha that reminds me of my husband, I’d pick this one. The one that shows up on a fish!
Once you get up to the yellow gate, you might feel like you’re done. Keep going because you’ll see more steps with GODDESSES.
Just like the Buddha’s, none of the goddesses are in the same position.
This is the most thoughtful baby I have ever seen.
There’s a little temple at the top of the goddess stairs and I really recommend going up to take a little peek. No pictures are allowed there, so you’ll have to go to actually see what it’s like and then go down to the actual monastery.
The monastery is beautiful inside! It has ten thousand small Buddha’s all the way up to the ceiling and then a few larger ones in between. The inside is absolutely beautiful and seeing it is one moment I will never forget. No pictures are allowed on the inside and they didn’t sell any postcards of the monastery, so I don’t have anything I can share here.
PS: if anyone has any photos that were taken with permission and are happy to allow me use them, please contact me!
I read there’s a vegetarian restaurant and tea house, but it has turned into a souvenir and drink spot. I was seriously sad, as this was my plan for lunch! I guess selling souvenirs makes more money with minimal effort, so I can see why they made the switch in their business model. No tea house and restaurant left me sad, disappointed and hungry. So I bought a can of soda.
Tips for you before you go:
- Have a hat and wear sunscreen. The day I went there was a nice breeze, so it wasn’t that bad but it was hot and humid. (33`C and 66% humidity. At least it wasn’t 100% humidity!)
- Have water
- Wear comfy walking shoes
- Do not feed the moneys
- Do not pay the fake monks
- Go slow and observe each Buddha, no need to hurry. There weren’t a whole lot of people, so you can take your time.
- Recommended for kids who have tons of energy, or super small ones that will be strapped in a baby carrier (a work out for you).
- NOT recommended for strollers. Going up AND coming down is very steep and I’d be very scared to do it with anything on wheels. If your little one can’t do 432 steps up and down, I recommend the big Buddha – a cable car that goes up and down.
- Figure out HOW to find this place! It’s a tricky one for sure. I wrote the directions on how to get there below to help you out!
Here’s how to find the trail:
1) When you get to Sha Tin station, get out of exit B and make a left turn.
2) Go down the pedestrians ramp. If you see this white sign, you’re going the right way.
3) Walk down the ramp, and make a left towards the street with the shops.
4) Once you go down the ramp, on the left side you’ll see an area with a few stores and a big open space. Keep going straight past this area.
5) Yep, this street! Go all the way until you see a mall.
6) Across the street is the shopping mall; cross the road to the side of the street the mall is on and make a left to head towards the Government building.
7) You’ll see this building. Go across the street to the building, and make a right.
8) At the end of the building you’re going to see these fences and a path that continues. Follow the path.
9) You’ll start to see some signs warning you about fake monks asking for donations
10) Do not give them money. I did not meet any. but I have read elsewhere that they try to tie a bracelet or something onto your wrist and ask for money. Don’t let any monk looking people touch you!
11) You’ll know you’re at the beginning of your 430+ stair journey when you see THIS
12) Start walking!
13) Enjoy the journey.
I hope this post was very helpful to you and inspired you to check out this monastery on your next visit to Hong Kong. It definitely was a memorable trip, and I keep talking about it to everyone who asks me about what to do in Hong Kong.