Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz)
Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery (Man Fat Tsz) is one of the most fascinating temples in Hong Kong. Located high on Po Fook Hill it was founded in 1949 by the Reverend Yuet Kai and completed in 1957. The Reverend, born in 1878 to a wealthy mainland family, was a skilled musician and poet who, at the age of 19, decided to devote his life to Buddhism. Having moved to Hong Kong is 1933 to preach in a local monastery, attracting a large number of followers, Yuet Kai, by now in old age founded the monastery and personally assisted in its construction, carrying materials up the hill. Yuet Kai died in 1965 at the age of 87 and after being buried for 8 months his body was exhumed and, in accordance with his wishes, embalmed, painted with gold leaf and put on display in a glass case in front of the altar in the main temple.
The "ten thousand" Buddhas actually number over 13,000, "ten thousand" in Cantonese tradition being a figurative term simply representing a very large number. The Ten Thousand Buddhas are miniature ceramic Buddhas, lining the walls of the main temple, which took over ten years to complete. Each is about twelve inches high and has a different pose and expression and also bears an inscription with the name of its owner. Also in the main temple are three large gilded Buddha statues and the glass case containing the founder's gilded body. Outside the main temple in the monastery's lower level courtyard are a Kwun Yam Pavilion with a large statue of this Goddess of Mercy and other pavilions with statues of other deities, Vitasoka, Manjusri and Samantabhadra and 18 Arhans Verandah but the courtyard is dominated by a 9-storey pagoda which is open to visitors and can be climbed by internal spiral staircase. There is also a vegetarian restaurant in the courtyard.
Another 69 steps lead to the upper terrace which has undergone reconstruction in recent years and contains four temples with statues of deities, a 2-storey columbarium with large gilded Amitabha Buddha statue and, set in front of a waterfall, a large Kwun Yam Statue and miniature gilded Buddhas statues seated on surrounding rocks.
The monastery is open daily from 9am to 5-30pm but may close in the event of rainstorm or when typhoon signal 8 or above is issued.
The vegetarian restaurant is open from 10-30am to 4pm or 5pm daily except Thursdays, when it is closed.
Admission is free.
After visiting the upper terrace return to the lower level courtyard and, instead of descending from the monastery via the path and steps used on the ascent, look for the steps leading down from the far corner of the courtyard, near the pavilion.