Hong Kong’s Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
I have never seen so many Buddha statues in my life! Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Sze, 萬佛寺) is located in Sha Tin and is a very popular tourist attraction internationally, probably because it is a well-preserved temple and it appears frequently on tourist brochures. However, less local people have visited the place, some said they that hesitate to go due to the cemetery nearby. Therefore, when you visited Man Fat Sze, chances are that you will see more foreigners than locals which I find quite interesting to experience in Hong Kong, a bit like Central Station on weekends, but more on that in another article.
After getting off at MTR Sha Tin Station, we directly headed toward our destination. Although Man Fat Sze is translated to Monastery in English, there are no monks in this temple. Even the street signs will inform you of fake monks that are begging for alms, as there shouldn’t be any official ones. On our way to the temple, there are around 400 staircases and 500 gold-painted Buddha statues surrounding us. Somehow, I felt very tranquil when I walked on the staircases. All kinds of Buddhas with different looks and poses, despite fascinating to see, are actually, at the same time, bringing solemnity to this religious place. You can find the place where I took my picture a perfect spot for picture taking, as so many blogs have similar pictures with the same angle lolll.
The interesting legend about those 500 Buddha statues (羅漢像) (photo 1) are that they are different from the deities we pray to in temples. They are all Gautama Buddha’s (釋迦摩尼佛) (photo 2) former students. As they were still in their practicing phase (basically still humans), their postures were captured by artists and sculpturers to have a more vivid image and look. What’s more, even when they finished their soul practices, they remained in the human world to continue their dedication to bring happiness to humans and teach their soul practices to future generations. Man Fat Sze was then built to thank them of their hard work and educate people about this religious history. No matter people believe in Buddhism or not, Man Fat Sze is definitely worth a visit. After climbing up 400 staircases, we got to see the view of Sha Tin, the temple, as well as a Nine-story pagoda.