The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (also known as Man Fat Tsz), located in Sha Tin, is one of Hong Kong’s most famous Buddhist temples and popular tourist attractions. Technically it is not a monastery as there are no monks residing at the complex, and the temple is managed solely by laypersons. But that aside, it’s a beautiful temple with some extremely unique characteristics. If you’re visiting Hong Kong, a visit to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is highly recommended.
How To Get To The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery
Getting to the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is fairly simple, save for the short climb up Po Fook Hill towards the end.
- Take the East Rail Line to Sha Tin
- Take the exit to Pai Tau Street
- Follow the street till you see Homesquare (the mall with IKEA), and turn left in front of the the mall
- Walk along the right side of the road till the end
- Take a narrow alley before what may look like the entrance to the monastery, but is actually not
- Follow the signs from this point on
09:00 to 17:30 daily. The vegetarian restaurant opens from 10:30 to 16:00 everyday except Thursdays.
Admission to the monastery is free.
However, watch out for fake monks, and monkeys along the way. One will steal your money, and the other will snatch any food that you carry.
What Makes The Ten Thousand Buddhas Popular?
The main journey up to the monastery is an attraction itself. As you approach Po Fook Hill, you’ll be greeted by golden statues of arhats – the Buddhist equivalent of saints who have achieved enlightenment. The path to the monastery consists of 431 steps, and is accompanied by 500 of these golden statues, each with a unique expression.
The monastery is built over eight hectares on two levels on a bamboo forest hillside overlooking Sha Tin. It has five temples, four pavilions, one veranda and a pagoda.
The 1st Level
After climbing the 431 steps, you arrive at the main terrace of the temple. The main temple (Ten Thousand Buddhas Hall), Avalokitesvara (Kwun Yam) Pavilion, Samantabhadra Pavilion, Manjusri Pavilion, 18-Arhat Gallery, Naga-puspa Hall, and the pagoda are located here.
Inside the temple, the walls are lined with almost 13,000 (not ten thousand) miniature gold ceramic Buddha statues on shelves. Each statue here is unique too. Also on display inside the a glass case in the temple is the preserved corpse of the monastery’s founder, Reverend Yuet Kai.
Take some time to admire the beautiful statues outside the temple on this level.
The temple’s vegetarian restaurant is also located on this level. I’ve eaten the restaurant on a couple of occasions, and absolutely love the food. It might be worth your time to grab lunch at the monastery.
The 2nd Level
Once you’re done exploring the first level, an additional 69 steps lead to the upper terrace which contains the Amitabha Hall, Avalotiskesvara (Kwun Yam) House, Cundi House, Ksitigarbha House, Jade Emperor Hall, Sprinkler Guanyin, YueXi Pavilion and Naga-puspa Court. Unfortunately, severe flooding and landslides in 1997 caused major damage to buildings on this level. Reconstruction work, which still continues today, can be seen.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery, I highly suggest that you read this well written article.