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.

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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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