I am living in Hong Kong, but I used the reviews here to get me to the 10,000 Buddhas. The directions were lacking so here are detailed directions to help you on your journey...
Take the East Rail Line to the Sha Tin stop (1st class is only $4 HK more from Hung Hom)
Go out Exit B (you will see buses)
Go left outside the exit and follow everyone down the pedestrian ramp
At the end of the ramp there is an Information Pole with a purplish red sign for the Government Building, which you can follow.
OR better yet do the following...
Follow Pui Tau Street toward the left.
You will see a Mall across the street, currently called Home Square.
Cross the street here and go to the left, which will continue to be Pui Tau Street.
Pass the Sha Tin Government Building on your right (you are still on Pui Tau Street).
You will see a very impressive white cemetery entrance next. (It is a large complex with escalators and stairs, but this is NOT 10,000 Buddhas.)
Before you cross the car park entry in front of you to reach the cemetery entrance, there will be a cement path on the right. You will easily miss it since it is between a building and a cement wall with no sign. Take this cement path behind the building and then to the left. You will start seeing the gold buddhas as you start up the hill.
If you have any questions about where to go, there are attendants in the cemetery parking area just 30 feet up the ramp. I had to ask directions for the 10,000 Buddhas. The man was very nice and walked me down the ramp and pointed me down the cement path. Please, please ask for directions if you have gotten this far. All you need to say is "10,000 Buddhas?" although a lot of people understand English in Hong Kong.
Enjoy the walk!
A few recommendations for your journey...
- Use the first class compartment on the East Rail Line. The small extra cost is worth it.
- There are nice bathrooms on the 1st level in the mall I mentioned above. Pacific Coffee Company is located on the 2nd level...as of January 2010...possibly a good place to stop and relax after your walk.
- There are two routes to go up to the top and then back down again. I recommend using the entrance route I described for going up. Although I believe this route up doesn't not have any handrails, I didn't miss them going up. The other route that you could use to go down has a limited amount of buddhas, but there is a hand rail. I suggest that you determine if using a handrail is important to you while making the walk up. If so, take the other route down, but it isn't as impressive. This route will take you through a village but it didn't show the local flavor.
- There are three levels of the monastery so make sure you see them all. I recommend going all the way up to the silver statue with a tall waterfall in the back. You can enter the small building all the way up to the 2nd floor. It was a nice experience.
- There was a person walking around with a yellow name tag, but the tag did not indicate she worked for the monastery. She didn't tell me her intention, but she was happy to try to give my two year old son and later me a "good fortune" card. I quickly declined because on the streets of Hong Kong this is technique used to get you to give them money. I err on the side of caution because this lady failed to talk or pay attention to my local friend. Also, I didn't appreciate her trying to give something to my son without asking. I was happy to make a donation myself in the donation boxes located everywhere in the monastery.
- A general rule in Hong Kong is that religious organizations do not go soliciting money. The locals I know do not give money to any organization or monks on the street collecting money. They just totally ignore them or just say, "no money". I'm told that all the solitors on the street are fake. I've learned that being rude, or what Westerners consider being rude, is not harsh at all around here.
- If you are looking to do something while you are out in the New Territories, please read on... We made this walk in the morning and ended close to lunch time. A good way to continue your day is to take the East Rail Line back toward Hung Hom, but get off at Kowloon Tong. Switch over to the Green Line and go a couple stops to Diamond Hill. Here you can follow the signs to Nan Lian Garden and Chi Lin Nunnery. (I would do a web search for specific directions because I forget the exact route. The good thing is that the signs are very good to get you there...not like 10,000 Buddhas.) Nan Lian Garden is impressive to take a leisurely walk around. There is a nice restaurant located inside where seating underneath a water fall. This would make a nice relaxing stop for lunch, which can be hard to find in Hong Kong. Continue walking across to the Nunnery.
I hope this information helps you on your travels.