Today’s main event was the Ten thousand buddha monastery in Sha Tin, but of course for this family, food comes first. We popped into Mong kok mall for lunch, which turned out to be a huge mall and physically attached to the train station, on one of the 6 floors was the food court with a stall for every asian food style, I ended up having a japanese katsu curry, though we all shared a bit of each other’s food so we could try as much as we could. (So much yummy food, excuse the pictures)
Arrived at Sha Tin to hunt around for the 10000 buddhas, you’d think they would be easy to spot but the mountain path basically cuts through a forest, and is behind all of the buildings on the main roads and side roads. We actually ended up visiting a cemetery first by accident, of which i wish I had taken a few more pictures as there were some peculiar chinese things going on – old fashioned chinese people believe that burning items can send them to the afterlife for your relatives, so the outside of the main cemetery area was littered with paper models of familiar objects, we saw a bed, a small car, people (servants presumedly?), and lots of ‘money for the dead’ being burnt. Rather annoyingly, there were escalators going up, but only stairs leading down, meaning we were already working up a sweat before catching a glimpse of a single buddha.
Back down at street level, we eventually spied a sign for the monastery entrance, better late than never I guess.
Then the stairs started.
A long, steep stone staircase which curves back and forth as far as you can see, surrounded by trees and life sized golden statues – each individual and unique. The sun at this point was going for some sort of world record, really beating down on us as we climbed. There was a small shop looking area to one side, with some drinks fridges, a sign basically stating it was an honesty box system – we grabbed two cold water bottles and continued. By the time we made it to the first set of temples we were on the verge of quitting, sweaty as fuck and exhausted, took some pictures and then had to stand around a while to consider whether we wanted to keep going.
We pushed on, and after some more steep staircases, we were eventually at the end of the path, there were more temples along the way but they ask for no photos, which is a shame as they look really impressive inside, adorned with literally thousands of small buddhas (each dedicated to a deceased and treated as a tombstone). Some nice views at the top, as well as more statues and a large white guanyin at the top most point.
Slow walk back down, and then back to the metro station to meet the up with family, we’d walk around the huge mall for a while, their department stores are quite impressive in that they have demonstrations and promoters for a lot of the items, so you can often snag things to eat or find out how stuff works while you walk around.
Eventually it was back to Sheung Shui for our farewell dinner, which was also apparently being dedicated to fathers day (even though that’s technically next week), this meant I was expected to foot some of the bill… It was at a fancy place with chandeliers, fish tanks and a massive queue outside the door, but we had prebooked so we just waltzed right in. We were going for the 3000HKD course, which included a feast of suckling pig, lobster with noodles, octopus, fish, sharks fin soup, chinese roast chicken, and lotus buns too. Lobster noodles in particular were incredible, tasting like they were basically boiled in liquid butter (noodles included). Then the bill came, and I had to literally empty my wallet to pay (and still didn’t have enough to pay my share), for comparison sake, it was around £50, and I only had around £45 on me.
Said our final farewells, and headed back to our accommodation to blog and eat grass jelly, and then start packing for the next leg of our trip… for tomorrow, we would fly to Seoul, South Korea.