Tsz Shan Monastery is a sprawling Buddhist temple complex located on the hills of Tung Tsz, Tai Po District, Hong Kong. The monastery is the brainchild of business magnate Li Ka-Shing, Forbes Magazine's richest man in Asia in 2014.
The complex covers a 500,000 sq ft and features several structures built in Tang Dynasty style. The bucolic and tranquil environment provides visitors an ideal venue for meditation and spiritual purification.
Apart from the simple yet elegantly-designed architecture and awe-inspiring nature views, another highlight of the monastery is the 76-meter tall bronze statue of Guan Yin or Avalokitesvara (Goddess of Mercy), dubbed as the tallest in the world.
Following the principles of Feng Shui, the white-washed Guan Yin statue stands at the foot of Shun Yeung Fung on Pak Sin Leng mountain range and faces southwest towards the sea.
There are several halls such as a Grand Buddha hall, a Universal hall, and a Great Vow hall which houses three 24-carat gold-plated Buddhist statues. There are also dormitories, including some rooms with bulletproof glass windows for VIP guests and top monks.
Other amenities include a lecture hall, a bell tower, and a drum tower. The exquisitely landscaped gardens feature some important plants such as a bodhi tree, a sacred fig tree, and a Buddhist pine. There is also a meditation path and a “brilliance pond”.
Tsz Shan Monastery was officially opened to the public on April 15, 2015. To keep the serenity of the place, visitors are limited to a maximum of 400 people a day. Only guests who made reservations in advance are allowed entrance.
To get there, take MTR to Tai Po Market Station, take Bus 75K, get off at San Tau Kok Station and walk along Tung Tsz Road. Turn right into Universal Gate Road and walk to the Tsz Shan Monastery gate.
Photo credit: www.lksf.org