A Spiritual Hike – Castle Peak & Tsing Shan Monastery (Part 2)

By August 18, 2015Outdoor

Excessive amounts of statues and incense!

Arriving at the main hall, sound of a Buddhism chants gradually became louder and louder as I approached the doorstep. My sight was drawn into the interior where there stood a golden censer with a dragon sculpture as a background. A stronger scent of incense now creeping up to my nostril, all senses combined was quite an experience. I can’t help but to stand and appreciate for a while with the old Chinese architecture and the decor of Buddhist which incorporated the elements of Fung Shui.

I walked up to the sculpture of Pui Tou and bowed 3 times as a matter of respect and tradition then as I looked around there were hundreds of small sculptures which was really fascinating as each has a different expression and characteristics who represented different meaning for worshipers which I won’t go into too much details about.

The incense, the vast and curled incense dangled from the ceiling and created a site where it was rather artistic. The sun was reaching in from the roof, smoke drifting around, tried to escape to one direction altogether, the bamboo stick of the roof created shadows between sun rays. Creating this picture perfect frame shot where the sun rays were highlighted with smoke yet narrow beams of shadow shot and cut through the light. It was beautiful.

The entrance to the main hall

The entrance to the main hall

the sky roof

the sky roof

The golden censer

The golden censer

Dragon sculpture

Dragon sculpture

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Light and shawdow

Light and shawdow

Smoky painting

Smoky painting

Bring on the Peak and the missionaries

Leaving the monastery, I asked a lady which way is the peak she pointed me the right direction and I headed on. Completing my ultimate mission of the day. It seemed promising, there is still well-paved steps with fences on the side. This must be pretty easy I thought in my head and it was, I was still shaded from the sun I was so happy thinking what a nice walk this is all the way to the peak. Effortless!

I stopped at a cross point and had no idea which way to go, on my left, there was this trail leading on a rather flat path. On my right, there was this uphill trail with a few wild dogs grunting at me. Not exaggerating, but they looked like they were going to jump me and chase me back down to the monastery. Then this group of westerners started to approach and they were quite young looking, around 19-20. They had no idea where to go as well so we thought “Okay, there are wild dogs over there and they don’t look happy but there’s 9 of us we can take them. Or that way? (pointed to the left)”  So we all agreed to the left, only because we didn’t want to get rabies from wild dogs attacks.

The turn point with wild dogs on the right

The turn point with wild dogs on the right

still shaded

still shaded

Under the power grid

Under the power grid

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here we go

here we go

So they turned out to be missionaries from Arizona, all of them! I was pretty surprised because none of them tried to convert me and it must be a pretty interesting experience for them to visit the monastery earlier on. They were all very nice, but not very wise because some of them were hiking in jeans!!! I was amazed, because I would be dead by now and one of them ate a big mac, never drink water. I was really baffled by this missionary.

What was funny though, they all had name plates on their shirts and as I was introducing myself to them. The old habit of mine is to look at the first name of the nameplate I mean who doesn’t right? So the first person I shook hand with is called “Elder”, the second – “Elder”, the third – “Elder”. Ohhhh right I thought in my head, and I can’t help but to giggle and played it on and just greeted the others by saying “Hi” in the end.

Who made this trail?!!

Okay, the sweet and easy time was over, I started to have a de ja vu of the Sunset Peak hike. The trail transformed, I guess I didn’t read the sign properly which stated the difficulty of the trail ahead. The yellow railings and smooth and even steps disappeared and in exchange, we had to climb the uneven and massive rocks for the next 1 hour and 15 minutes. but we were still shaded every now and then with rocks for us to sit down and relax with few glimpse of the scenery.

destination

destination

spider and city

spider and city

to this! is this even a trail?

to this! is this even a trail?

Yes the peak!!!

After our struggles, we have arrived and I sat down at the pavilion and ate my orange. It wasn’t hot up here at all, a strong breeze of wind arrived to cool us down every now and then. I shared my stories with the missionaries as they did with theirs. We talked as we kept exploring the area where there was a telecom signal point on one side and a rocky mountain on the other. So we went up to the telecom building to check it out and it was so windy up there, much like what it would feel like if there was a typhoon.

This place was cool, but certainly didn’t make me feel safe with all these warning signs which said Danger, electric shock risk all around the premises. We went to the other side of the hill to explore the rocky area, from there you can see China, it was a hazy day but you can still see Shenzhen in the distance. I could even see IFC in Central from here, it was quite a nice viewpoint which has an 180 view of the city centers of Hong Kong.

The telecom tower

The telecom tower

creepy place

creepy place

its China in the distance

its China in the distance

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over looking Tuen Mun and Kowloon and Central in the distance

over looking Tuen Mun and Kowloon and Central in the distance

Lantau in the distance

Lantau in the distance

Coming to an End

I stayed up there for an hour to enjoy the view and solitude. But I discovered that there was a small area where it is for working out, some weights made of concrete and pull up bars. Who comes up for a workout I thought, It is quite extreme. So here I sat, looking over the city I hate and love at the same time. Thinking about the day and most importantly where is next.

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China in the distance!

China in the distance!

This is not as heavy as it looks

This is not as heavy as it looks

beautiful

beautiful

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Hong Kong

Hong Kong

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Jack Law

Author Jack Law

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