You climb some 400 steps to reach this temple, but look on the bright side: for each step you get about 32 Buddhas. The uphill path through dense vegetation is lined with 500 life-size golden Buddhas in all kinds of positions. Be sure to bring along water and insect repellent. Prepare to be dazzled inside the main temple, where walls are stacked with gilded ceramic statuettes. There are actually nearly 13,000 here, made by Shanghai artisans and donated by worshippers over
the decades. Kwun Yam, goddess of mercy, is one of several deities honored in the crimson-walled courtyard.
Look southwest on a clear day and you can see nearby Amah Rock, which resembles a woman with a child on her back. Legend has it that this formation was once a faithful fisherman's wife who climbed the mountain every day to wait for her husband's return, not knowing he'd drowned. Tin Hau, goddess of the sea, took pity on her and turned her to stone.
The temple is in the foothills of Sha Tin, in the central New Territories. Take Exit B out of Sha Tin station, walk down the pedestrian ramp, and take the first left onto Pai Tau Street. Keep to the right-hand side of the road and follow it around to the gate where the signposted path starts. Don't be confused by the big white buildings on the left of Pai Tau Road. They are ancestral halls, not the temple.
221 Pai Tau Village, Sha Tin, Hong Kong, Hong Kong–China