Hong Kong Botanical & Zoological Park + 10,000 Buddhas Monastery

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Hey,

How has your week been?

I’ve had many requests to share more photos of my life in Hong Kong.

Luckily I plan to improve my photography skills and explore my creativity this year.

So the ‘Week in Pictures’ series has been born!

I hope you enjoy my snaps!

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The start of my first week back in Hong Kong was quiet due to the (horrible) weather.

It rained, the sky was grey and dreary and it was ridiculously cold.

Yes, it does get cold in Hong Kong during the winter months!

But midweek the rain seemed to spring clean the sky and a sharp blue emerged over the city. It was magnificent!

So with my camera in hand I ventured out to explore the Hong Kong Zoological & Botanic Gardens in the city and the 10,000 Buddha’s Monastery up in the New Territories.

 

Hong Kong Botanic Gardens

When the sun greeted us on Wednesday I caught the MTR (fast train) into Central and I headed in the general direction of UP to the gardens.

After walking up and up and then catching the famous Mid-Level escalators I found the gardens perched on the northern slope of Victoria Peak, offering a lush green escape in the heart of the heaving city.

I quickly discovered that the ‘zoo’ isn’t much of a zoo.

There are a few birds, monkeys and reptiles but their enclosures were depressing and didn’t provide great photo opportunities.

But on the bright side, the Gardens have an amazing Green House.

So I wandered over to the freshly watered glass house to admire the most stunning orchids pictured below.

starting-with-a-hong-kong-orchid-2starting-with-a-hong-kong-orchid-3starting-with-a-hong-kong-orchid-4starting-with-a-hong-kong-orchid-5starting-with-a-orchid-hong-kongI’m currently doing an online photography course and our assignment was to practice shooting in soft and hard light – hence all the really ‘tight’ pictures of flowers and other plants!

starting-with-a-hong-kong-flower-2 starting-with-a-hong-kong-flower starting-with-a-hong-kong-lilystarting-with-a-bulbs-hong-kongThe Gardens were a welcome find and I will definitely head back there for a reprieve from the hustle that is Hong Kong!

starting-with-a-hong-kong-citystarting-with-a-hong-kong-botanic-gardens starting-with-a-hong-kong-botanical-gardens-fountain

Where: Hong Kong Botanical & Zoological Park

Location: Albany Road, Central

How to get there: Bus 3B, 12, 13 from Central or it’s about 10 minute walk from Central.

Admission: Free

Opening Hours: Fountain Terrace Garden 5am – 10pm, Green House/Education and Exhibition Centre 9am-4:30pm

10,000 Buddha’s Monastery

Imagine this.

Cutting flesh from your fingers, setting fire to this flesh to light 48 oil lamps to show your commitment to the Buddhism faith.

At the age of 19 this is exactly what Reverend Yuet Kai did, and in 1933 he moved to Hong Kong to spread his newfound faith.

After finding a multitude of devout Buddhist followers, Yuet Kai decided to build his monastery across two levels of a bamboo forest hillside, overlooking Sha Tin.

To learn more about this famous attraction, my Irish friend Carla and I ventured out to Sha Tin in the New Territories.

We nearly ended up in China as we talked so much we went 5 stops past Sha Tin!

Arriving at the nondescript entry, we slowly made our way up the 413 steps, admiring the 500 life size gilded Arhan statues that lined the path.

We were amazed at how unique each statue was.

Their facial expressions, costumes and ‘accessories’ were all so different and evolved the higher we went up the hillside. (Meaning they started wearing robes and their facial expressions became scarier!).

starting-with-a-buddha-1-hong-kong starting-with-a-buddha-2-hong-kongstarting-with-a-hand-hong-kongstarting-with-a-lady-buddha-hong-kongstarting-with-a-buddha-3-hong-kongstarting-with-a-statue-beard-hong-kong

There are actually more than 10,000 Buddha’s within the Monastery.

The number is closer to 13,000 (not that we counted them all!).

But in Cantonese the term ‘ten thousand’ means an extremely large number.

Thousands of miniature gold Buddha statues are lined up perfectly from floor to ceiling in the main temple.

Even smaller statues are encased in conical shaped displays throughout the temple, adding to the awe of this sacred place.

Each statue adopts a different expression and pose, as well as the inscription bearing the name of its donor.

starting-with-a-buddhas-temple-hong-kong starting-with-a-wall-buddha-hong-kongstarting-with-a-flowers-hong-kong-temple

The red-hued pagoda sits across from the main temple in the centre of the expansive terrace.

A random fact for you – this specific pagoda is the featured symbol on the Hong Kong $100 note!

If you take another 67 steps up from the pagoda’s terrace you will be led to the Upper Terrace where you can view panoramic views of Sha Tin and see even more gold buddha statues!

starting-with-a-temple-hong-kongstarting-with-a-statue-hong-kong starting-with-a-flame-hong-kongstarting-with-a-buddhas-down-hong-kongstarting-with-a-last-buddhaI just had to finish with this last image.

It literally made me laugh out loud!

A caretaker in his yellow raincoat, who remarkably looks like a Buddha, lovingly cleans the Buddha statue by water blasting it!

GOLD!

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Where: 10,000 Buddha’s Monastery, Hong Kong

Location: 221 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin, New Territories

How to get there: Take MTR East Rail line to Sha Tin. Take Exit B

Admission: Free

Opening Hours: 9am-5:30pm daily

 

That’s it for Week One back in Hong Kong.

I hope to find more interesting experiences to share with you!

Let me know what you think (good or bad) in the comment section below!

And if you want to see more random pictures of my travels make sure you like my Facebook page and follow my instagram account. I would love to follow you back!

Love,