Alternative title for this post: “The Day I Spent Lost in a Cemetery”
While Ian has had to start work this week, I still get to spend my days exploring Hong Kong. Since knowing I’d be visiting here, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monestary in the New Territories area of Hong Kong has been on the top of my to do list. While I knew that the site had little official signage in the village where it is located, I figured that a huge temple with thousands of gilded Buddhas couldn’t be that hard to find. After the final metro stop however I realized this was easier said than done. I followed a few what I assumed were tourists for a while and was so thankful when I ended up at an impressive looking gate and temple.
The guard didn’t seem to object my entering so my excitement grew as I approached what felt like thousands of steps to the gigantic fortress. (Side Note: I’ve found that the act first ask questions later method works well here. I’ve certainly been yelled at more than on other trips, but the photos have been worth it. However I’m still mad that the largest Muji I’ve ever been to wouldn’t let me document its splendor!) As I climbed the many many steps however I didn’t notice many Buddhas. Finally at the top I realized (due to seeing my actual objective over a hill) that I had just spent the last hour in a cemetery – walking around with what I thought were other tourists visitng their dead relatives ashes… Finally myself and two French women in the same predicament found out we had to walk all the way back down and up an entirely different set of steps to reach our ultimate goal.
It was worth the the extra trek.
The hike up was lined with life size Buddhas of every kind. In my overly heated exhausted state of mind they received amusing names: overly excited Buddha (above), high Buddha, suave Buddha, etc. I’ll post the full gamut on Flickr after I have time to edit them. The one below is a favorite.
All along the trail there were signs strongly encouraging tourists not to feed the monkeys. While some folks may have been excited by the idea of monkeys, I am not. I’ve heard and had too many horror stories of run ins with evil drink stealing monkeys in India. I was therefore so excited when upon my walk back down I realized that I had not run into a single one. Until…
It’s like the wicked witch released them! I trotted down the rest of the trail to safety – surely looking like a foolish girl afraid of monkeys.
Despite this is was a day well spent and one followed up with a much deserved bubble tea!