The ten thousand Buddha temple in the New Territories, in quantitative terms exceeded expectations. There are in fact over thirteen thousand Buddha statues, of varying sizes, in the temple and it’s grounds. The guide book advised, as there are many steps to climb, that it is best not to undertake this visit during the midday heat. So what did we do? We climbed up to the temple at around 12 noon. To be fair, we had planned to arrive earlier in the day, but the suprising lack of signs, to what is frequently visited as a tourist attraction, left us wondering around in circles for a long time until we eventually asked directions. When we did find someone happy to help us with directions, we then found that English wasn’t going to get us anywhere. Fortunately we had a Mandarin speaker among us, and she seemed to fair much better when conversing with the Cantonese speaking locals. Once we had finally climbed all the steps up the hill (these are lined with Buddha statues) we arrived at the temple, hot, sweaty and looking a mess. Perhaps if you have been following my previous posts, you’ll see a trend emerging there? On the way up, each Buddha is different; each are made to symbolise a different characteristic and some are quite frankly terrifyingly creepy looking (in particular the one with arms coming out of his eye sockets). Once you reach the top, you come to a temple, where the walls are filled, floor to ceiling, with small Buddha statues. Each has been donated and many bear the names of presumably either there donor or the member of the deceased to whom they are dedicated.
While the temple is worth a visit, if you have a fair bit of time in Hong Kong, we were perhaps more interested in the baby monkeys who we crossed paths with on the route back down. Unfortunately they got a bit freaked out by the size of our group, and the extremely unwise decision of one group member to try and touch one of the monkeys. This resulted in one of the monkeys using Dan as a platform to launch itself up into the trees. Basically, Dan got kicked in the balls by a monkey. I don’t think I have anything else to say which can follow that.