Tsz Shan Monastery Visit Review

Guest post from Olivia C.

Date of Visit:- 15th November 2016

Few would make their way over to Tai Po or the eastern part unless you’re a local or fancy grabbing a bite to eat in Tai Mei Tuk after a long bike ride.  Tsz Shan Monastery a Chinese Buddhist monastery based in the hills opened to the public last year after taking 12 years to build costing HKD1.7 billion funded by the richest man in HK, Li Ka-shing. I have family in the area and on my yearly visits have past the construction often wondering what is going on and when it’ll open.

tsz-shan-monastery-statue-close

Getting there

The easiest way to get to Tsz Shan Monastery is from taking the 20B green bus from Tai Po MTR station to Tong Tsz.  Fare as of November 2016 is HKD6.9. Tell the bus driver that you’re going to Tsz Shan and you’ll get dropped off the intersection between Tong Tsz and Universal Gate road. Total journey time is about 15 minutes. The monastery is well sign posted and it is about a 10 min walk up a slight incline.

Admission

Admission is free but is time restricted and limited to 400 each day.  Booking is necessary and you need to book about a month in advance. We had a booking of 2pm but they are quite flexible as we arrived at 1.45pm and were allowed to enter straight away. Upon arrival you will need to present your booking number and i.d of the person who booked.

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Places of Interest

The 76 metre statue of Guan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) awaits you as you pass through the main entrance.

Visitors were keen to snap away as soon they arrived but it’s best to wait until you are closer else you’ll end up with plenty of images of the same item but from different angles.  As visitor numbers are restricted it was never crowded which meant that you can take unobstructed photos.

The statue is coated with white fluorocarbon self-cleaning paint. Completed in 2013, it faces Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island.

Maitreya Hall

Maitreya Hall

Universal Gate Hall

Universal Gate Hall

 

Grand Courtyard

Grand Courtyard

Visitors are invited to take part in various activities such as tea meditation and zen calligraphy.

Verdict

Tsz Shan Monastery is off the beaten track for most HK visitors but is well worth the visit if you would like to learn more about Buddhism, Tang Dynasty architecture and marvel at one of the  world’s largest statue of Guan Yin.

Things to note

●            No meat or alcohol is permitted inside

●            Photo taking is not permitted inside the halls

●            There are no storage facilities

●            It’s advisable to bring a bottle of water on hot days but there is plenty of shared areas with seating

Guest Author Bio

Olivia was born in London, raised in the Midlands and has spent the last 15 years back in London where she is still trying to eat her way around the world in the crazy city. Her love of travelling has taken her to some beautiful places and she’s not afraid to try anything new.  She is aiming to experience a new city and/or country every year.

 

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