For our last full day in Hong Kong we returned to Coffee Academics for breakfast and then ventured over to Kowloon to see the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery. We figured because it’s only 36 C today, why not climb 400 steps then go hiking in the woods? The monastery is also known as Man Fat Sze. It is quite new by cultural standards as it was built in 1951. It really should not be called a monastery, as there are no monks residing at the complex, but that is the name on the signs…
We were warned about fake monks too, but didn’t see any.
There are hundreds of Buddha statues lining the path up the hill, each are unique. There was a lot of interesting variation in face shape, pose and age of the statues. Some were painted with black and red, others just gold.
The monastery is said to contain as many as 13,000 statues of Buddha. I believe them.
After a while we started naming them. Like this one. “You want me to put this where???” Buddha
Smurf Hat Buddha
Greasy Hair Buddha
Evil Genius Buddha (or Blofeldt, or Dr. Evil)
Papa Smurf Buddha
I’m with Stupid Buddha
Wrinkle Face Buddha
Jedi Knight Buddha
The area is very beautiful and the temple has rows upon rows stacked to the ceiling with lighted Buddhas. If you can’t be the biggest temple why not have the most Buddhas? The area around the temple was very picturesque.
We retreated to the local mall that has an IKEA in it for a air conditioned lunch. We didn’t actually eat at IKEA, I wasn’t in the mood for Swedish meatballs or cheap cinnamon buns. We did find a crazy in bloom Flamboyant Tree. Beautiful orange blossoms, more flowers than leaves it seemed.
From there we planned to take a local bus to Kam Shan Country Park. It looked easy on the map but between raised roads (called flyovers here), overhead walkways, footbridges and general construction it took a lot longer than either of us wanted. Eventually we found the right bus going in the right direction and a short time later we were there.
The park is also known as “Monkey Hill” as it has two kinds of macaques, which is the real reason we wanted to go there. The Rhesus Macaques are native to China, but the others are thought to be descendants of released pets.
We timed it so were there later in the day so the monkeys would be awake. Animals are smart and snooze during the heat of the day, so we wanted to be there later in the afternoon but not at dusk when the mosquitos show up. We had read that if the monkeys aren’t right there, head inland a bit as they may be hiding. So we did a couple km of very pretty trails but saw squat. Well, lots of pretty butterflies and a few turtles in the reservoir. But no monkeys.
Feeling a bit hot and miffed that the monkeys weren’t coming out to play with us we headed back to the bus stop. When lo and behold one was coming across the dam railings right toward us.
A local was leaving peanuts despite numerous signs not to.
And not 500 feet later, we saw another one in a tree.
Just after leaving the park while waiting for the bus a few more showed up just to let us know they’re here. Right at the bus stop no less. They were going through the garbage can and pulling out juice boxes and bottles.
After the bus dropped us at Mong Kok MTR area we found some more lemon iced tea and headed back into the Ladies Market for a last look. Kris wanted a Kate Spade purse but nobody has here has heard of that brand. We got a lot of strange looks and no purse. Her other one will have to suffice. Giving up it was back to the hotel for a cold shower and then some dinner.
We happened to arrive back just in time to check in for our return flight home. Timing did work out well that way. A nice pizza and wine dinner and were are ready for bed!
Tomorrow is some more sight seeing around Hong Kong, and then off to the airport for home.