Ten Thousand Buddhas, Hong Kong

One of my very favorite places we ventured to in Hong Kong was the Ten Thousand Buddhas monastery.  And although every guide book will tell you to visit this temple in Sha Tin, it felt rather undiscovered and unencumbered from tourists.

The trek to the first level was a bit lengthy, but I was moving quickly and doing everything I could to beat my classmates up the mountain… I couldn’t let humans taint my scenic photos. I’m a bit neurotic in terms of traveling and photography. And when you put the two together… it’s a fatal combination and I probably wouldn’t like me either.
 I did, however, pause just long enough to notice that each buddha lining the 468 stairs up the mountain–yes, 468–held a pose unique from the rest.
Perspiring and slightly bummed I had yet to see a monkey (Asian wildlife just wasn’t doing me any favors), I finally arrived at the first level of the monastery. I thought this level was cool… but it only got better the further I ventured.
I wound up on sensory overload inside this temple, which has nearly 12,800 unique buddhas lining the walls. 
Still in enraptured by the sea of red and gold, I wandered over to the Ten Thousand Buddha Pagoda and climbed to the ninth floor for a nice panorama. 
The second level offered a new perspective of the city, and just when I thought I couldn’t be more in awe of the buddhas, they got shinier and somehow managed to come up with even more poses to strike.
At last, I had reached the summit of the monastery, where there was–you guessed it–even more buddhas.
This place really lives up to its name… and much, much more. 

The monastery is open every day from 9 am to 5:30 pm, and the adventure is free of charge.

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