03:26Emilija A

There's little out there that compares to the feeling one gets whilst on a mission to explore. Once you've caught that wanderlust wave it's hard to stop. So you don't. Because why would you? You become used to coming back home late and waking up at the god-forsaken hours of the morning. You look forward to it because it's great. Those days are already one hundred percent guaranteed with good times. (Even more so if the night before was spent eating junk food, laughing and dancing to Spanish songs until 2 AM.) So you power through.

Visiting the Tsz Shan Monastery was something my friends and I were really looking forward to because of its location. We've all wanted to visit the more northern parts of HK, and going to Tai Po was perfect. We had a feeling that there would hardly be any tourists because of its remote location (I mean, it took us three hours to get there) and we were right. We had never heard of this place before, you most certainly don't see it listen in your Lonely Planet guide books, and for that, we were glad.

There's something really special about going out to visit the northern parts of HK. I feel that we had stumbled upon a real gem that is called Po Sam Pai village. It was so calm and peaceful there, plus, they had the most incredible statue in their backyards. We wanted to walk around the village first, because... it really was something. We wanted to get a better feel of how people live in the area and the difference was stark, definitely far from what you would normally see in the more urban places.

Eventually, we started making our way to the monastery, our actual destination, even though walking around the little village was just as interesting. The white statue you see in the pictures is a 76 meter tall bronze statue of Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin), which is the tallest of its kind in the world. The colour of it is such a stark contrast between the blue sky and the lush green mountains, that it is simply impossible to ignore. I think we saw the statue from about 5 miles away, to be honest. 

Avalokitesvara in Buddhism is said to be the one who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. The most fascinating part I found was that this statue, geographically speaking, is directly facing the Big Buddha (AKA Tian Tan Buddha) on Lantau Island, wishing Hong Kong a bright future. Isn't that amazing?

We had no luck that day with actually going into the monastery to see it or the statue up close since it was closed due to construction. That part was our fault, we should have checked the official website for information. But hey, we still got to see it a little bit from the gates, so we weren't too disappointed. 


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