Living in HK so far has shown me, that the people here are very open, helpful and happy, if they can show you their culture and learn more about other traditions and habits. Helen from Global Services Office offered to be our tourist guide today. Meeting at Sha Tin, we tried some of the fruits and were introduced to some religious behaviors: We learned that the people,who believe in Taoism buy shoes, books, electronic devices and everything they believe their dead relatives might need or crave and burn it at the temple. Except the flowers. So now we understand, why you can buy clothes and shoes in a package right before entering the temple.
Though there are no more monks in 10.000 Buddha monastery, apparently some people want to use the naiveté of tourists. So be aware, THERE ARE NO MORE MONKS!
If you want to know more about the monastery, please just look it up in Wikipedia. What I can tell you: It is not an exhausting hike, it is more like a walk of 30 minutes. Flanked by golden buddhas you will walk through the Dschungle, seeing many different faces. Each and every buddha has a different meaning and it is common to pray or praise more than one buddha. The Chinese influence can be seen in the color: all of the buddhas are golden. In Japan the buddha statue is normally shown in its natural wooden form.
On top of the red stairs you not only will find a vegetarian restaurants (buddha temple, remember?), but also the temple with over 10.000 little buddhas inside. Yes, thats about right, these big guys here are not the only buddhas…
Just walk around a bit, enjoy the view.
Walking away from the main areal you will find an ‘oven’, where you can burn your purchases for your relatives. There is also a building, where the ashes of your relatives are kept. We saw one family visiting their dead relative, bringen food and drinks and just ate there together.
The only statues that are not golden are the four cardinal directions themselves and their admirals (from left to right):
North: black Turtle-Snake; represents longevity, the winter and the element ‘water’
East: azur/green Dragon; represents power, is the symbol of the emperor and for masculinity (Yang)
South: red Phoenix; represents luck, feminity (Yin)
West: White Tiger; represents courage, autumn and ‘metal’
When you are back at the place right outside of the MTR station have lunch/dinner at the chinese restaurant and order the French Toast! It is filled with peanut butter and syrup and they add butter on top of it – delicious! Do not make the mistake to order one for everyone at the table AND order a main course. After eating the whole thing you will not need a main course or anything else for the whole day. So just share it with your friends and eeeenjoy!
Later that day I met K.K. We had a wonderful afternoon and evening together. She introduced me to Mangostane, which is really yummy. We could also have bought a lot of interesting things to buy – like always. The thing behind us actually is an ice skating place, which you can find inside Festival Walk. The mall ‘Festival Walk’. So even if it is about 34 degrees celsius outside, you can go ice skating inside the mall. And sometimes you can even see people doing figure skating!