Week 8
Day Off
Full disclosure this post will probably be written poorly and will more than likely drag on. I write these pretty late at night and edit them later on in the week because I’m so busy with work I don’t find a huge amount of time to work on them much less think them out very much. 
Last weekend was pretty hectic for me. I got a message from our CEO asking to get a version of the investors pitch video ready before the weekend was over, which lead to me going to bed around 5am. I didn’t get an ideal finish, but I was happy to have it finished in one form or another. I’m sure there’ll be more changes to make on it very soon. The upside however was that he offered me a day-off this week for working over the weekend! It’s a good thing we had great weather this week. I decided to spend a day in Sha Tin and finally do something I had been meaning to do for a long time now: 10,000 Buddhas. Of course there’s a lot of other things to do in Sha Tin as well (parks, malls, the Heritage museum, the art square, etc) so I was looking for a day with consistent weather where I knew I wouldn’t have too much work to do. 

10,000 Buddhas was absolutely amazing. Being in the middle of the week it was also super quiet which was a nice change for a busy tourist area. The walk up wasn’t as bad as I expected, but I did pass a few people who couldn’t quite handle the amount of stairs there were. For weeks now, every time I talked to someone back home about 10,000 Buddhas they always ask “is there really 10,000?”. The answer: kind of. There are hundreds of life sized statue, all with distinct personalities and different poses (some sit on foo dogs, some meditate, others stare directly into your soul in a way that makes you glad you didn’t go at night). Most photos you see of it will lead you to believe there’s actually 10,000 of these life sized statues, there’s actually just a few hundred. However up in the monastery there are thousands of little statues lining the walls (of course you shouldn’t take photos of the sacred prayer areas out of respect for most religious temples so no photos of them here). 
Things that surprised me: It’s weirdly just in a shady little corner with a bunch of barbed wire fences. Nothing really stood out to tell you it was a tourist area, but that is pretty common with touristy things such as the Choi Hung estate. Also there’s a lot of warnings about fake monks begging for money, similar to the warnings about pickpockets at a lot of other temples and tourist spots. While there I picked up a small golden lotus flower for my brothers girlfriend, I plan to get gifts for everyone back home so I’ll probably have to visit Mong Kok and all the markets again (Stanley market is also on that list). After the monastery I explored around a bit and stumbled upon what I originally thought was small park and temple around the corner. This actually turned out to be Po Fook hill cemetery. Tripadvisor had told me there was a nearby temple that many people mistake for 10,000 Buddhas. Having no idea what it was I was blown away by the architecture. The whole area was very somber; once I realised what the place actually was I tried to be as respectful as possible (as always). It was still an incredible area that blew my mind. Later on I learned that they do tours around there and that to have ashes stored in urns there costs thousands of dollars.

After that it was onto another one of my most anticipated spots in Hong Kong: Sha Tin park. I really enjoy walking around scenery and Sha Tin park has some incredible areas. All of the tropical foliage really blew me away, I really wish we had a to of this back in New Zealand. I’ll let the photos do the talking, but walking next to the river and through the art square was a calming vibe that I really needed after all the hectic-ness happening at work. Although there definitely wasn’t as much art as I had expected in the art square, I think it probably varies and might’ve been a lot busier during art week about a month ago. Crazy that art week was already so long ago! Bikes are also a super common occurrence around there and were very popular to rent! Walking to my next stop in Sha Tin I got a few messages from work wondering where I was. It was funny because I had spoken to almost everyone in the office about when I was going to take my day off and what I was up to. Seemed like a couple of them had forgotten and wanted to make sure I was alright, it was great to know they cared at least!
Finally I went to the Heritage museum. There weren’t a lot of areas were you could take photos inside understandably. Along with the general permanent history exhibitions there they were also showcasing and incredible series of ink illustrations as well as an exhibition all about Bruce Lee. It was really cool how the environment was set out to take you through his life and history in film step by step, there was even a seperate section for the history of all his merchandise. The highlights for me were definitely his clothing. Of course they had his iconic bodysuit from Game of Death, but they also had his Tang suit from Enter the Dragon which was awesome to see. And finally after that it was time for me to go home. Sha Tin was the absolute highlight of my week and I’d love to revisit it if I find the time at some point (that’s if the weather holds out as well). There also seemed to be some sort of protest happening earlier today (Saturday) by Times Square. Not sure what that’s about but maybe my coworkers will know.