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Places in Hong Kong not normally visited by tourists

IMG_2583-1During a holiday in Hong Kong in 2010, I thought it would be good to get out of the densely populated area of Hong Kong Island, where I was staying and travel up to Sha Tin in the New Territories, where there is a small village called Pai Tau.IMG_2617IMG_2584The main reason I wanted to visit there was the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery.  So one morning I caught the train from Causeway Bay up to Sha Tin; a pleasant trip as I left early and therefore got seat.

The Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery is a little bit off the beaten track and I found myself asking several times for direction once I got off the train.  I could see it from the bottom of the mountain but just could not find the entry.IMG_2600And I certainly could not find the beginning of the steps that lead to the monastery containing the 10,000 buddhas – maybe it’s my dreadful sense of direction!!  But since that time, I have searched the internet and found that many people had a lot of trouble finding the monastery.  This is what I would have seen if I had found the entry…tb

(source: internet search)

So…by accident I found the Po Fook Hill Ancestral Halls, Hong Kong’s largest cremetorium and cemetery.  I now know that Po Fook Hill is often mistaken by tourists as the Monastery of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and initially I certainly was mistaken.  The location of the monastery is actually above Po Fook on the hill and accessed via the long Buddha lined path but I didn’t walk that far so missed out.

Who would have thought this is where I would spend a couple of hours but it really is a huge and interesting complex.  The whole development was designed in a traditional Asian architectural style and the last extension was finished in early 2008.IMG_2597-1IMG_2585Because of the temple and buddhas at the entrance and the pagoda in the centre, I really thought I was in the right place. Then it became clear to me I wasn’t and even more obvious that I had missed the entrance to the temple and walked into a big cemetery.IMG_2586IMG_2606 It has large buddhas,  life-size gold painted scary looking warriors on the steps up to the Worship Halls as well as small buddhas engraved into slate.IMG_2610IMG_2607-1IMG_2609An interesting place to visit really and as I was there I thought I might as well take a good look around the grounds which were quite pretty with lots of different structures, buddhas and ornamental gardens.IMG_2615IMG_2605IMG_2592-1As well as cute little turtles in ponds…

IMG_2588All in all an interesting morning but I am still annoyed I never found access to the temple.IMG_2587-1