In quaint but comprehensible English, the leaflet from the Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery provides a lot of information. The main building, the Ten Thousand Buddhas Temple, contains over 12,800 Buddha statues as well as the lacquered and gold-coated body of the founder, Reverend Yuet Kai. There are several other temples and pavilions.
What it doesn’t say is how many steps you have to climb to get there. No, I didn’t count them, but there were many. Fortunately, we found plenty to look at on the way, and much more when we arrived at the top.
Yuet Kai not only climbed the steps, but between the ages of about 71 and 79, he carried building materials up the mountain together with his disciples.
“Opening hours,” says the leaflet. “9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m everyday (except the heavy raining day or with over typhoon signal No. 8 or above is hanged)”
It rained the day we were there, but fortunately not heavily enough to close the monastery.
After visiting all the fascinating temples, we decided to eat in the small, vegetarian restaurant. We’d read the menu and fancied the spring rolls. I don’t know whether it was because not all the items on the menu were available or because the two women serving didn’t speak a lot of English, but we didn’t get our spring rolls. However the soup, noodles and tea were very tasty. The two women kept filling up our bowls and cups, and stood laughing at us as we ate. It was a little off-putting, but we took it in our stride and smiled back.
We didn’t believe this notice.
We also didn’t believe the young people from eastern Europe who told us to beware of the large monkey. After all, we’d climbed up those very steps and hadn’t seen any monkeys. But on the way down, there they were.
Fortunately they were too busy nit-picking to attack us.