The shrine of a thousand abandoned Buddhas (PHOTO ESSAY)

When Hong Kong people move or accidentally damage a statue of Buddha (or other gods), it’s against their beliefs to throw it away. So they leave it on the side of the road, where passersby can worship it or take it home if they wish.

One old man would collect all of the statues he came across and fix those that were broken, and eventually people started giving him their effigies directly. He ended up with a collection of thousands of statues, and he needed a home for them.

It is believed that the old man chose this spot in a park near the waterfront in Wah Fu, near Aberdeen, as this place already had a statue of Tin Hau, the patron goddess of fishermen, and he thought it’d make it easier for people to come and see both the Buddhas and the goddess of the sea at the same time. 

This area, in particular Aberdeen, has been home to fishermen hundreds of years. Legend has it that the old man wanted the Buddhas to protect the fishermen. We were unable to find out whether the man was still alive. 

How to get there: From Central, take the 30x Citybus from Pottinger Street to Wah Chiu Street and walk eight minutes to Waterfall Bay Park. From Causeway Bay, take the 42 Citybus from Hysan Place to Wah Fu Commercial Complex and walk four minutes to Waterfall Bay Park. Once you’re at the park, walk to the far end and go down the stairs. (Google Maps)

Words/Photos: Kei Tam

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