The Outdoors Blog

The Po Lin Monastery: Hong Kong’s Immersive Garden Temple

December 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Phineas Upham

The Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong was once a hidden paradise in the mountains of Hong Kong. The world first caught its glimpse of this incredible place in 1993, when the Tian Tan Buddha statue was erected. The 100 foot tall statue towers over the people of China, watching over and blessing them with a single raised hand.

The statue itself took 12 years to complete, but it’s not the only remarkable thing about this place. If you happen to find yourself in Hong Kong, this beautiful garden temple is definitely worth the detour.

The monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks. The monks were visiting from the neighboring province of Jiangsu, when they decided to create a place for themselves. Initially, the temple was called The Big Hut, a reference to its size and how it was built, but the name that we know today was given in 1924.

The monastery is widely considered to be one of the most important structures in the Buddhist world. It’s home to many devout monks seeking the spiritual path to enlightenment, and the structure itself has a wealth of Buddhist imagery and iconography.

The garden is one of the most popular attractions for tourists. Its fragrance and constant birdsong are easy to feel at peace. The immersive space also features a vegetarian restaurant. If you happen to find yourself there, grab a handmade wooden bracelet as a keepsake. They are only made near the Tian Tan Buddha statue, so you won’t find anything else like them anywhere in the world.

About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Twitter page.

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