Category: Hong Kong Tourist Attractions

Apr 10

Hong Kong Photography Tips

From best Hong Kong photography spots for sunrise and Victoria Harbour, to Instagram-worthy places and sights, here’s our brief guide on getting the most out of your Hong Kong Photography trip. To top it off, we have expert advice from acclaimed photographer, Andrew J Loiterton!

Hong Kong Photography Tip #1: Classic Hong Kong atmosphere

hong kong photography tips cheung chau

man mo temple hong kong photography tips

Hong Kong’s many temples lend themselves to getting a great shot. As the incense burns, set your exposure for a few seconds to capture the movement in the smoke. We recommend visiting Man Mo Temple, one of Hong Kong’s oldest temples. The fishing villages of Hong Kong’s outlying islands also serve as a reminder that Hong Kong is more than just skyscrapers. Take the time to check out Cheung Chau, where the maritime traditions of the area are still alive and well, or Tai O, where the stilt houses of the Tanka people make for some very satisfying shots.

Andrew’s Advice

For me, the Star Ferry and the Trams are two classic Hong Kong icons that any photographer coming to Hong Kong can’t miss. Take a trip on the Star Ferry and make sure you sit on the lower deck and at the front (or back). It is a brilliant opportunity to catch great shots of the ferry stevedores.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #2: Get up High

hong kong sunset hong kong photography tips

Hong Kong’s skyline looks great from the water, but for an alternative angle, head up one of its skyscrapers. Some of the city’s rooftop bars offer great vantage points for photography. For the best shots, you’ll need to set up your tripod outside, rather than through glass. Try the bar area on the 27th floor of the Park Lane Hong Kong. The terrace of Eyebar, high above Nathan Road, will also secure you an unobstructed view of Victoria Harbour. The best indoor observation deck is Sky100 at the International Commerce Centre in Kowloon. You’ll be shooting through glass, so you’ll need to work hard to avoid reflections. Find a spot where people aren’t walking behind you, keep the flash off and push your lens right up to the glass.

Andrew’s Advice 

One of my favourite Hong Kong city view is from the balcony of Sevva restaurant. Here, Hong Kong in the evening looks like something out of Blade Runner…a little fog in Spring also helps. No tripods here and the drinks are expensive!

Hong Kong Photography Tip #3: Grab a Close Up

hong kong photography tips jade market

Markets are fascinating destinations for Hong Kong photography and you are spoilt for choice in Hong Kong. Don’t try to fit everything into one picture, though. Instead, stop and take in your surroundings for a minute. Would the colours and patterns be more artistic if you allow them to take centre stage? Wait before you squeeze that shutter. Which faces are the most interesting? Be patient and try to blend in; some of the best shots are the most candid! This is one occasion when handheld is better than using a tripod.

Andrew’s Advice

Try Yau Ma Tai fruit market on Reclamation street, especially early in the morning. A few words of Cantonese will go a long way. Don’t forget these people are trying to make a living, so I always try to engage in a bit of banter before bringing the camera up to my eye. A few dollars spent at the stall also helps!

Hong Kong Photography Tip #4: Sunrise

hong kong photography tips hong kong sunrise

Without a doubt, some of our most treasured Hong Kong photographs are those which feature a rising sun. Hong Kong’s mountainous setting causes headaches for photographers hoping to capture those first rays. Unless you get up high, the hill blocks the view. If you were thinking of heading up to the viewing platform on The Peak, you’ll be thwarted. On Mondays to Fridays, Sky Terrace doesn’t open until 10am. On Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays, it opens at 8am. This means that the sun will have long woken up! Instead, travel up the hill to our Victoria Peak’s Secret Spot. There, you’ll see the city laid out before you and be able to secure that iconic Hong Kong photography shot.

Andrew’s Advice

For both great panoramic sunrise and sunset shots (in fact it’s spectacular at any time on a clear day!), head along the Peak Walk. About 10 mins in from the Peak Lookout, you will be rewarded with the most expansive view of Hong Kong Harbour. It gets busy at sunset, so get there early with your tripod to claim your spot.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #5: Sunset

tsing-ma-bridge hong kong photography tips

The best sunset shot requires a bit of effort, though on a clear day, you’ll be amply rewarded. Summer is the best season to come, as the smog that plagues winter is largely absent. Take the Number 25 bus from Central Pier 5 and ride it until the final stop. Thereafter, you’ll have to hike up Braemar Hill. It’s worth the climb, however, as you’ll find out when you reach the top. It’s no secret that the view over Victoria Harbour towards the setting sun is one of the best in the area!

The Tsing Ma Bridge is also a favourite for Hong Kong photography aficionados during the golden hour. The sun sets behind the bridge, framing it perfectly. This iconic sight is also a beauty when lit at night. The waters beneath create picturesque reflections, adding a wow-factor to your shot. Time your visit for when there are enough clouds in the sky to add interest, yet few enough not to block the sun as it slumps into the water. Make your way to Lantau Link View Point and Visitors Centre for the best views. If you’re looking to capture the bridge from an unusual angle, try heading to Lido Beach.

Andrew’s Advice

If you’re feeling adventurous, head up Tsing Yi Nature trail which has a fantastic view of the bridge and Lantau Island.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #6: Victoria Harbour

hong kong photography tips victoria peak

Hong Kong’s iconic harbour is the money shot for most photographers, never more so than after dark, when the city’s illuminated. At 428 metres above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 is the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong. It’s no surprise therefore that so many people are keen to get up there and avail themselves of the 360° panoramas. Sky Terrace 428 is open until 11pm, giving you plenty of time to frame the perfect shot and snap endless selfies. There’s even free WiFi, meaning you can share your favourite snaps while you’re there!

Andrew’s Advice

Don’t forget the view towards Hong Kong island from Kowloon side! This iconic view of the Hong Kong Island skyline is best shot at magic hour in the summer. Best location is the upper deck of the Kowloon Public Pier, just near the Star Ferry. But again, be there early as it gets a big crowd nightly. Bring a tripod and shoot the magic hour sky overlaid with the night lights.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #7: Neon Signs

hong kong photography tips neon signs

Neon signs are a dying breed in Hong Kong. As LED lights replace more and more of the old fashioned signs, those that remain are a prize worth seeking out. Making neon signs was an art form. Highly skilled craftsmen worked as apprentices for many years until they learnt how to mould glass into shapes and letters. Gas fills the tubes: different gases create different colours. The chemical element neon creates an orange glow, yellow comes from helium and mercury results in blue. Hong Kong’s neon signs are being torn down at an alarmingly fast rate, so for the latest situation, check out Neon Signs HK.

Andrew’s Advice:

Go to Sham Shui Po (Lai Chi Kok Rd) or Mong Kok (Argyle St) for the best views of the last of the neon signs. Alternatively take a tram ride on Hong Kong Island in the evening. Front seat on the upper deck is perfect for shooting.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #8: Traffic

hong kong photography tips hong kong rush hour

One of the joys of visiting Hong Kong is to feel the buzz of this energetic city. If you’re hoping to catch the essence of the city in a still image, then you’ll need to lengthen the shutter speed to add some movement to your shot. This will create trails of white and red from the lights, adding a sense of motion. Try out your long exposures where you can safely position a tripod near traffic. We suggest the footbridge on Connaught Road Central or Mong Kok’s Nathan Road. Time your visit for just after sunset when there’s still plenty of blue light to create an ambient shot.

Andrew’s Advice:

You can also go to the Causeway Bay crossing at Henessy Road / Yee Wo Street – its Hong Kong’s equivalent of NYC’s Time Square.

Hong Kong Photography Tip #9: Something a Little Different

yuen po street bird market hong kong photography tips

Don’t forget to look for the unusual during your Hong Kong Photography trip! Light and textures can also be used to create appealing and unforgettable shots. This photograph was taken at the Yuen Po Street Bird Market. It’s common to see closely cropped images of the cages, but the clever use of the shadow makes this picture unique. Play around and be creative when you’re exploring Hong Kong with your camera. Look for reflections in your travelling companion’s sunglasses, experiment with depth of field to give prominence to interesting aspects of the street scene or seek out humorous signage that makes you laugh. If you can take anything away from this article, it’s to have fun!

Andrew’s Advice

To really see and photograph the real Hong Kong, you need to get away from the tourist haunts. Get out to places like Sham Shui Po and Shau Kei Wan and just wander around for a while…you will be amazed at what you find… and don’t forget to look up! Hong Kong is a vertical city and a lot happens above you.


Biography: Andrew J Loiterton

AJL Photography Limited was set up in 1999 by Andrew J Loiterton and provides professional high-quality photographic services on location and in-studio, to both local and international clients. Andrew has been working as a professional photographer for over 17 years and is based in Hong Kong. His assignments have taken him throughout the Asia Pacific & Greater China Regions, Europe and Australia, shooting a range of subjects from hotels, interiors and architecture to portraiture, fashion and travel features.


Join us on a Big Foot Tour today! From old walled villages to natural landscapes to colourful streets and lively markets, take advantage of our local knowledge and have the best Hong Kong photography day!

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Mar 28

Hong Kong Markets: Top Tips for Bargaining

Hong Kong markets are justifiably famous for retail bargains. From Ladies market, Temple Street night market, Stanley market, Jade market to Cat Street market, these street markets are a mecca for those seeking a deal. Here are some tips for getting the best price!

hong kong markets night

Do your homework

It’s a good idea to know roughly what an item might be worth before you start to haggle at one of our Hong Kong markets. Before setting out, visit fixed price stores and check online. You’ll be able to see the range of prices set for the items you have your sights on. Once you’ve got a ballpark figure to play with, head to your favourite Hong Kong markets and browse. You’ll soon get a feel of the going rate for that item you just can’t do without!

Give yourself time to settle in before visiting any Hong Kong markets

If it’s your first time in Hong Kong, then you’re going to be unfamiliar with the currency. You might also be unsure about the exchange rate. Give yourself time to get used to what the banknotes look like and what they’re worth in your own currency. If you really can’t wait to shop, then take a calculator with you. That way, you can be absolutely sure of what the price translates to back home. Always pay in the local currency, so that you don’t risk getting a poor exchange rate from the vendors!

Bear in mind what the item is worth

It’s tempting to think that the lower the price, the better the deal. In reality, you’ll want to take something home that isn’t going to fall apart straightaway. Think carefully about what you’re prepared to pay for that precious souvenir. Compare that to what it’s actually worth. Don’t expect to get huge discounts on authentic jewellery items and real gemstones at Hong Kong markets. If it’s cheap, it’s likely to be a fake. Don’t be fooled into thinking something’s valuable or an antique – it’s probably not.

Think about guarantees and warranties

It seems like a good idea to buy the latest electronic offerings in a big trendy city like Hong Kong. Remember, bargaining for such items in the city’s markets means that you’re not only leaving yourself vulnerable to poor quality, you’re also very likely to forgo any international warranty. Test your goods and ensure they function perfectly before buying. If the shops offer a guarantee, find out the conditions as well as the validity period. In such cases, don’t forget to ask for a copy for the original sales invoice as a proof of purchase.

Go in low at the Hong Kong Markets

Ask a merchant what an item’s worth. At Hong Kong markets, bargaining is the norm. You will be quoted a figure way in excess of what the seller actually expects to get. So, how low should you go? As a rule, try somewhere between a third and a half of the asking price. Offer with a smile and prepare to counter-offer until you reach a price that is mutually acceptable.

Be nice, but not over-friendly

There’s a trick to this. If you’re abrupt or rude, the seller isn’t going to like you enough to do a deal. If you offer a price that is unreasonably low, it may be regarded as an insult to the vendor and you risk getting yelled at in public. It helps to learn a few Cantonese phrases, such as “Hello (neih hou)?” or “Thank you (mh goi)” to show your interest in Hong Kong’s culture. But if you’re too matey-matey, drinking tea and sharing life histories, then it’s going to be harder for you to refuse a price that you know is too high. Balance is key at the Hong Kong markets.

Never promise to buy something you don’t want

It’s easy to get sucked into agreeing to buy something for a price that’s really too high. Never, ever make a promise that you don’t intend to keep. If you offer to pay a certain price at one of Hong Kong markets, think of that as a verbal contract. If the seller’s price is too high, buy some time by saying you’ll think about it or come back later. It’s also alright to walk away. If you can give the impression that you’ll give up completely, you may convince the seller that your final offer is better than nothing. But once you do that, you’re committed: if the vendor doesn’t call you back, that sale is dead in the water.

Don’t flash the cash

Looking like you’re worth a million dollars, dripping with jewellery and clad in designer gear, is only going to achieve one thing – the vendor is going to think you’re loaded. Keep it simple and don’t let on how much of a budget you’ve got. Pay with good old fashioned Hong Kong dollars too. Even if you do find someone who’ll accept credit cards (read: transaction costs which will be ultimately borne by you), you’re not going to get a great deal.

Choose the right time to shop

Early in the morning, vendors are likely to accept your offer as they consider it bad luck to refuse the first few businesses. The locals believe that quick sales in the morning implies a smooth and prosperous day thereafter. Hence you can always get a great discount at this time! As the day progresses, these vendors know that they have a steady stream of customers, so they’re not going to sell stuff for a steal. However, by the end of the day, they’ll be rushing to pack up. This means that they will be trying to close any deals in the shortest time possible. If you’re thinking of making a cheeky offer, this may be a good time to try your luck!

Where to find the best Hong Kong Markets

Here’s a list of some of the must-see Hong Kong markets and their nearest MTR station:

Cat Street Market 

hong kong markets antique-market-cat-street

Market Highlight: For treasure hunters seeking curios and antiques

Address: Hollywood Road and Upper Lascar Road, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island

Nearest MTR Station: Sheung Wan Station, Exit A2


Dried Seafood Street and Tonic Street

hong kong markets dried-seafood-street-market

Market Highlight: For traditional tonics such as abalone and ginseng

Address: Wing Lok Street,  Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island

Nearest MTR Station: Sheung Wan Station, Exit A2


Jade Market

hong kong markets best-shopping-market

Market Highlight: For lucky charms and jade accessories, including rings, bangles, pendants and earrings

Address: Junction of Kansu Street and Battery Street. Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Nearest MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C


Temple Street Night Market

temple-street-night-market hong kong markets

Market Highlight: Fascinating street night bazaar, from opera singers to fortune tellers to trinkets and Claypot Rice

Address: Temple Street, Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon

Nearest MTR Station: Yau Ma Tei Station, Exit C


Bird Garden Market

hong kong markets yuen-po-street-bird-market

Market Highlight: For songbird enthusiasts or simply to witness the age-old Chinese hobby in action

Address: Yuen Po Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon

Nearest MTR Station: Prince Edward Station, Exit B1


Stanley Market

Market Highlight: Historic lanes packed with Chinese arts and crafts, furniture and souvenirs

Address: Stanley New Street and Stanley Market Road, Stanley, Hong Kong Island

Directions: Take Bus 260 from Central Bus Terminus, alighting at Stanley Village, Stanley Village Road.

Stanley Bus 260 Central Bus Terminus Big Foot Tour


Article by Big Foot Tour. For more tips and tricks to maximize your time in Hong Kong, join us on our top-rated Hong Kong Private Tour today. We highlight local cultures, introduce you to food that locals adore (read: no tourist traps) and share with you interesting stories of Hong Kong!

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Feb 27

Step-by-Step Guide to Hong Kong Victoria Peak

A journey to Hong Kong is incomplete without a trip to Victoria Peak, one of the most popular tourist attraction in Hong Kong. Standing at 552 metres above sea level, Victoria Peak is the highest mountain on Hong Kong island, offering a breathtaking awe-inspiring view of Hong Kong. In this travel guide, we share with you some interesting stories on Victoria Peak, how to get there, as well as our step-by-step guide for the best (and free) view from the top! 

History of Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

Did you know that Victoria Peak has a few Chinese names? They are Tai Ping Shan, which refers to the Mountain of Great Peace, and Tse Ki Shan, which stands for the Mountain of the Hoisted Flag.

Before the Opium War, Hong Kong was haunted by pirates. These pirates would raise their flag of skull and skeleton on the Victoria Peak and demand merchant ships to surrender large amount of treasure. Hence, the locals refer to Victoria Peak as the Mountain of the Hoisted Flag, Tse Ki Shan. The most famous pirate was known as Cheung Po Tsai. Eventually, Cheung Po Tsai worked hand-in-hand with the Qing Dynasty and brought peace to the area. As a result, gone were the days when pirate flags were hoisted on Victoria Peak. The official Chinese name of Victoria Peak became the Mountain of Great Peace, Tai Ping Shan.

Victoria Peak is also known as Mount Austin. Today, we named it after Queen Victoria. This goes back to Hong Kong’s history, when the First Opium War started in 1840. The war finally ended in August 1842, with the signing of China’s first unequal treaty, the Treaty of Nanking. In essence, the Qing government ceded Hong Kong island to the British, which was under reign of Queen Victoria.

Back then, British colonies developed hill-stations, wherever possible, as a refuge from the lowland heat and the tropical diseases that claimed so many lives. In spite of its small size, Hong Kong was no exception. Victoria Peak used to be a natural signalling post for incoming cargo ships in the 19th Century. In time, the more privileged early residents, such as our governors, found the Peak District to be the perfect retreat from Hong Kong summer heat.

How to Get to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

Today, Victoria Peak is world-famous for offering fabulous panoramic views of Hong Kong. There are many ways to get to Victoria Peak.

By the Peak Tram: The most popular option is to catch the Peak Tram from the Lower Terminus. The Peak Tram operates from 7am to 12 midnight and it takes only seven minutes to get to the top. Provided that the waiting line is short, this is the quickest way to get to Victoria Peak.

More often than not, the queue for Peak Tram at the Lower Terminus is terribly long, sometimes up to 2 hours! This is partially because travel agents with big tour groups typically have priority access to the Peak Tram. Consequently, the wait becomes frustrating. Our tip is to give the upward tram ride a miss and use the Peak Tram for the return trip instead. The waiting line for Peak Tram at the Upper Terminus is usually shorter, as most of these big tour groups would head back to the city by coach buses.

Alternatively, try taking a taxi or a bus to Victoria Peak!

By Taxi: Taxi drivers should go strictly by the meter in Hong Kong. A taxi ride from Central to Victoria Peak takes around 20 minutes and the taxi fare is around HK$100.

By Bus 15 from Central Bus Terminus: If you are up for an adventure, we suggest taking Bus 15 from Central Bus Terminus. Many locals adore this option in part due to the scenic and thrilling bus ride. Here are the details:

To begin, take the MTR to Central Station. Once you get to Central Station, head for Exit A. Next, look across and you’ll find a bus interchange on street level. That’s where you’ll find Bus 15!

Central Bus Terminus - Victoria Peak Hong Kong

Right outside Central Station – Exit A, take the upward escalator and cross the foot bridge. Thereafter, keep a lookout for the Central Bus Terminus sign.

Central Station - Exit A - Hong-Kong - Victoria Peak

In due time, you’ll find yourself at the junction shown below. Turn right straightaway and you will find an escalator that leads to the Central Bus Terminus. Don’t miss it!

Central Bus Terminus - Victoria Peak Hong Kong 2

At this instance, make your way down to Central Bus Terminus.

Central Bus Terminus - Victoria Peak Hong Kong 3

Now, look for Bus 15. On average, there are buses every 10-15 minutes. At the moment, the fare is HK$9.80 for Adults and HK$4.90 for Child or Senior. You can pay with your Octopus card by simply scanning the card as you board the bus. Otherwise, please prepare exact fare because no change will be given. For the purpose of having the best view during the bus ride, we suggest heading up to the Upper Deck and grab the front row seat on the left side. Another key point to remember, please buckle up your seat belts. The bus moves crazily fast!

Bus 15 Victoria Peak - Hong Kong

Generally speaking and depending on the traffic, the bus ride takes around 40 minutes. Don’t worry about missing a stop because Victoria Peak is the terminus station. As such, once the bus driver switches off the engine, you have arrived at Victoria Peak. Time to alight!

Step-by-Step Guide to the Best (and Free) Viewing Spot at Victoria Peak

At Victoria Peak, you’ll notice a gigantic structure, which looks like a bowl and a pair of chopsticks to most Chinese. That is the Peak Tower, where you will find Madame Tussaud’s Museum, Upper Terminus of Peak Tram (where you can buy tickets for the Peak Tram ride back to the Lower Terminus, or simply use your Octopus card!) and Sky Terrace 428.

Standing at 428 metres above sea level, Sky Terrace 428 is the highest 360 degrees viewing terrace in town. You’ll need to purchase a ticket to enter Sky Terrace 428. For more information on ticket prices, please refer to The Peak.

Alternatively, we say, take a short 15-minutes walk and head straight to our SECRET SPOT! In our opinion, this spot offers a much more magnificent view of Hong Kong’s charming skyline and the best part? It’s free of charge!

Ready?

Firstly, head left to find this tiny path, Lugard Road.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Sky Terrace 428
Victoria Peak Hong Kong Hong Kong Trail Lugard Road
Lugard Road. You are on the right track!

Victoria Peak - Hong Kong Trail - Lugard

The tracks are well-paved and perfect for an easy stroll. For this reason, this scenic path is a popular trail for joggers who love a quick getaway from the buzz of the city.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road

From here on, follow the path. There’s no need for any deviation.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road 2

Continue to stay on the right lane. Keep going!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road 3

Similarly, keep right. At this point, you are only a few minutes away!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road Peak Circle

In due time, you’ll arrive at this spot where it seems to be THE place. Well… Not yet! Remember, we want you to have the best view from Victoria Peak. With this in mind, walk further up!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Lugard Road Peak Circle 2

Here we are! There is no obstruction, but just a sight to behold!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Skyline Lugard Road Peak Circle

An awesome view of Western Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. Take as much pictures as you wish!

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Skyline Lugard Road Peak Circle 2

Our charming Victoria Harbour.

Victoria Peak Hong Kong Skyline Lugard Road Peak Circle 3

How about a Panorama shot?

Victoria Peak Hong Kong

We hope you have enjoyed this step-by-step guide to Victoria Peak. For more local insights or tips and tricks to maximise your time in Hong Kong, book a Big Foot Tour with us today. We offer 3 kinds of private tours (Real Hong Kong Tour, Hong Kong Food Tour, Hong Kong Private Tour), each of which comes with many great opportunities to explore the city like a local. Check us out now!

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Feb 14

Travel Guide to Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, Hong Kong

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a little off the beaten tourist trail as it is located on a steep hillside. When you make your way uphill, thank your lucky stars that you weren’t part of the construction team. Work began on the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery project in 1949. The monastery was the brainchild of the venerable Reverend Yuet Kai. Together with his disciples, they carried all the building materials up to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery personally by hand!

There are about 12,800 statues of Buddhas at the monastery and each has a different posture. If you’re wondering about the discrepancy between the number of Buddhas and the monastery’s name, there’s a simple explanation. In Cantonese, the phrase for ten thousand really means “a large number”. So, the name is not a mistake. We’d suggest you count them, but only after you catch your breath post climbing all those steps!

10000 Buddha Monastery Hong Kong

History of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

Reverend Yuet Kai’s story is unusual, to say the least. Born into a wealthy family, he studied philosophy at a well-known university in China. At age 19, Reverend Yuet Kai converted to Buddhism. His religious zeal knew no bounds. To demonstrate the depth of his faith, he cut off two fingers on his left hand as well as a piece of flesh – which was the size of his palm – from his chest! Thereafter, he burnt them in order to light 48 lanterns as an offering to the Buddha. By the time the idea for the monastery was conceived, Reverend Yuet Kai was an old man. Nonetheless, he joined his disciples in carrying those materials up the hillside!

Eight long years later, the exterior building work was finished. Subsequently, it took another decade before the rest was done. Reverend Yuet Kai died, aged 87, in 1965. Following his wishes, eight months on, his disciples removed his body from the coffin. Reverend Yuet Kai’s body was in almost perfect condition, just as he had predicted! The disciples then embalmed the body with Chinese lacquer and gold leaves. To this day, the immortal body of Reverend Yuet Kai occupies a prominent position in the main hall of the monastery where devotees can come to pay their respects.

Step-by-Step Guide to Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery

There’s no dispute that the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is worth a visit, but it can be tricky to find. For this reason, follow our step-by-step photo guide and you won’t get lost. Be prepared for quite a climb though. There are a lot of steps! However everything has a silver lining and the climb is going to put some tourists off – meaning there’ll be less of a crowd to share it with. Here’s where you need to go.

Firstly, take the MTR to Sha Tin Station. You need to take the East Rail Line. Don’t confuse this station with Sha Tin Wai Station on the Ma On Shan Line! When you arrive at Sha Tin Station, take Exit B, labelled Grand Central Plaza.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 1

Secondly, make a left and aim for the ramp. Alternatively, you can follow the signage for taxis and pedestrians.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 2

Thirdly, follow the pedestrian path for a short distance. At this point, you are still heading in the general direction of Grand Central Plaza.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 3

Next, bear left and cut through these village houses.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 4

Afterward, you’ll walk past these stalls selling paper offerings, incense sticks and fruits for worshiping.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 5

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 7

Shortly after, you’ll notice this pathway on the left marked with a cluster of signs. Follow the path and you’ll find a white sign for Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. This means you are on the right track!

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 8

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 9

This is a close-up of that same sign.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 10

From here on, keep heading straight. The path is lined with a metal fence – the hillside to your left and the village to your right.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 11

Continue straight on. At this point, you’ll pass more buildings and a few turn offs, but don’t deviate.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 12

Similarly, keep right; you don’t need to go up the steps.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 13

Thereafter, head straight and you’ll find yourself walking past the public toilets. You’re steadily making your way uphill towards the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery. Keep going!

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 14

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 16

Walk past this small red gate. Keep right.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 17

Keep climbing and go past this culvert.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 18

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 19

Remember to keep heading in the general direction of the trees.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 20

The path’s long but well maintained. Here, bear right and follow the path, aiming for the yellow sign in the background.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 21

Keep following that yellow sign!

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 22

Soon you’ll arrive at the monastery. You’ll know you’re almost there when you see a huge golden Buddha statue to the left of a series of steps.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 23

Go up these steps, which as you ascend, are lined with more golden Arhat statues.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 24

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 25

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 26

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 27

Hurray! Finally, you have arrived at Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery; it’s red with golden adornment. This is the main area, where you’ll find those 12,800 Buddha statues on the walls, each with different posture. But we’re not done yet – there’s more!

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 28

Head right, skirting around the building where you will find the brown sign. It leads to other sections of the monastery, such as the Amitabha Hall, Jade Emperor Hall and Tai Sui Gallery.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 29

There are now three routes to choose from. First and foremost, take the lane on the far left to visit the Jade Emperor Hall, Amitabha Hall, Avalokitesvara House, Cundi House, Ksitigarbha House, Sprinkler Guanyin, YueXi Pavilion and Naga-puspa Court. The middle lane brings you to Tai Sui Gallery while the far right lane will bring you back to the city.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 30

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 31

This is the path to look for when you make your way back to the Tai Sui Gallery – the middle lane of the three.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 32

When you arrive at this junction, you are at the end of the Tai Sui Gallery. Follow the lane where the people are in the photo and you’ll find yourself in the right direction to get back to the city.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 33

Ready to head back to the city? More life size Arhat statues await on your journey home!

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 34

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 35

Finally, you can see the city. Watch out for that Sheung Wo Che Road sign. The Sha Tin MTR station is just north east of this picture.

Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Hong Kong Walking Tour Guide Step 36

We hope you will have fun exploring the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery! The opening hours are from 9am to 5pm everyday (except on days with heavy rain, or with typhoon signal 8 or above).

For an in-depth tour of Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery or if you are interested in one of our private walking tours of Hong Kong, visit our Big Foot Tour website today!

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Jan 17

Cheung Chau: Past and Present

Known for its bun festival, Cheung Chau Island is the oldest continually inhabited part of Hong Kong. Its long and fascinating history deserves a closer look.

Cheung Chau Hong Kong Big Foot Tour

The islanders of Cheung Chau maintain a very close relationship with the sea. Many have earned a living from the sea for generations, residing on junks rather than on land. There may have been human life here thousands of years ago as people have found rock carvings that seem to bear this out.

The Tanka, or egg people, came here from China. Hoklos – fishermen from eastern Guangdong and Fujian – joined them. Later, Punti, Hakka and Chiu Chau followed. These distinct groups kept themselves separate. Inter-marriage was rare, preserving traditions. By the time the Europeans arrived, the area was a thriving commercial hub.

Cheung Chau Temples

One of the area’s most well-known landmarks, Pak Tai Temple, honours the Supreme Emperor of the northern Heaven, Pak Tai. The structure is about 200 years old. Eagle-eyed visitors might spot an iron sword from the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279) as well as the gold-plated wood features from the Qing Dynasty.

Cheung Chau Pak Tai Temple Big Foot Tour Hong Kong

Pak Tai Temple Cheung Chau

This temple is the focus for one of the island’s most important events: the Bun Festival. Falling on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, islanders construct a bamboo tower and get to work baking buns. At midnight, men race up the tower to grab the buns. They have just three minutes to gather as many as they can – the higher they reach, the better the fortune to befall their family. Fishermen believed their catches would be abundant and that the pirates that bedevilled the seas would leave them alone.

 

However, the origin of the festival was rooted in tragedy. Over a century ago, disease spread through Cheung Chau. In desperation, the islanders built an altar in front of Pak Tai Temple. They hoped to appease the malevolent spirits that wreaked such havoc. A parade of papier-mâché effigies passed through the streets. People beat ceremonial gongs and drums to drive away forces of evil. Since then, these rituals are repeated yearly and the plague has never returned. The pirates, too, are a thing of the past.

Another temple important to the fishing community on Cheung Chau is the Tin Hau temple, dedicated to the Goddess of the Sea. Inside visitors will find a beautiful bell cast in bronze which dates back to the Qianlong era (1736 to 1796). The views from the rear of the temple that overlook the sea are well worth a peek.

Cheung Chau’s Pirate Heritage: Cheung Po Tsai Caves

If you have time, check out Cheung Po Tsai caves. Cheung Po Tsai was an infamous pirate who plagued the South China Sea at the end of the 18th century. He was very skillful, securing a fleet of 600 ships and commanding an estimated 50,000 men. Eventually, he decided to work for good rather than evil. This led to his appointment as an officer in the Chinese Navy. As a pirate, though, he needed somewhere to store his ill-gotten gains. One of his favourite hiding places is now known as the Cheung Po Tsai caves. You’ll need a torch to explore in the dark, but don’t come expecting to find treasure – this is a well-trodden path and the loot is long gone. For a scenic route to the Cheung Po Tsai Caves, we recommend taking the sampan ferry service from the public pier which will cost you just 5HKD each way.

Cheung Po Tsai Cave Cheung Chau Big Foot Tour Hong Kong

Nearby, you’ll find Reclining Rock, its distinctive shape and photogenic beauty are a major draw for those on the Cheung Chau Family walk, an easy two-hour trail. Alternatively, walk the part of the path known as the Mini Great Wall. Lined with granite railings, it takes hikers past iconic landforms such as Human Head Rock and Vase Rock. Of course, if you don’t want to walk at all, the island has many beautiful beaches to laze on. Surfers will appreciate the swell that characterizes Kwun Yam Beach, perhaps hoping to emulate Lee Lai-Shan, Hong Kong’s first Olympic gold medallist who won big in Atlanta in 1996. Nearby, another favourite is Tung Wan Beach, popular for its turquoise hue and views across to Aberdeen and to Lamma Island.

Cheung Chau Map Big Foot Tour Hong Kong

Cheung Chau: Getting there

If you’re looking to add a day trip to Cheung Chau to your Hong Kong itinerary, make sure to catch the Fast Ferry from Central Pier 5 rather than the Ordinary Ferry, as to give you more time to explore the island. Our final recommendation is that you plan your visit during a weekday to avoid the hectic weekend crowds. Enjoy and have a safe trip!

Cheung Chau Ferry Big Foot Tour Hong Kong

 


Looking for a tailor-made Hong Kong tour experience? Our Hong Kong Private Tour offers high flexibility and autonomy as we create an itinerary entirely around your tour interests. We welcome changes at any time, even during the tour. Contact Big Foot Tour for an unique touring experience of Hong Kong!

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