Hi Hong Kong bushcrafters and outdoors enthusiasts! I am writing yet another post that has nothing to do with bushcraft directly… again! But I went outside, so maybe that counts for something? Anyways, on the first day of the Year of the Monkey (Feb. 8, 2016), my dad and I decided to have a monkey-filled day!
Our first stop was the Monkey King Temple in Sau Mau Ping/秀茂坪 in between Kwun Tong and Lam Tin MTR stations. Take the 71A from Lam Tin Station, as it has buses loading at a 4-9 minute frequency (http://www.16seats.net/eng/gmb/gk_71a.html) <– that link is pretty good for finding green or red mini-buses in HK.
There you will find a whole array of temples. Here is a map by TheTempleTrail.com (http://thetempletrail.com/monkey-god-temple-hong-kong/) Go visit that link, much more information and history there!
Hopefully The Temple Trail won’t mind I stole his/her asset here. He/she did an amazing job drawing out the layout of the 7 different shrines available to worshippers.
Continuing, here is a photo (that I took!) of the awesome decorations outside of the Monkey King Shrine. I didn’t have time to pay respects to the other temples (sorry Guanyin) but if you do, take a moment to appreciate the architecture of this place. Quite marvelous.
Inside the Monkey King Temple, you will see this… unnerving statue of Sun Wukong himself. Quick story time! Sun Wukong was actually not a monkey, but a rock that was animated with supernatural powers (according to folklore). He was living a pretty chill life ruling over the monkeys in the Mountain of Flowers and Fruit but was one day bothered with the prospect of death. He then armed himself with the Riyu Jingu Bang by tricking a sea dragon named Ao Guang, and used it to defeat the other dragons of the four seas to arm himself with a golden chain-mail shirt, a phoenix-feather cap (like Lu Bu from Dynasty Warriors), and cloud-walking boots (OP pls nerf). He then literally became immortal by going down to hell and erasing his name from the Book of Life and Death… wow. But that was a step too far, as the Kings of Hell reported him to the Jade Emperor of Heaven.
Long story short, Sun Wukong continued his rebellious nature in the kingdom of the Jade Emperor, ate a bunch of peaches of immortality (even though he was already effectively immortal), pills of longevity, and drank the Jade Emperor’s wine! AND THEN, he went back to his Mountain of Flowers and Fruit, and single-handedly defeated 100,000 celestial warriors…. what?! Oh man.. this guy is serious stuff! Not even the combined teamwork of Guanyin and Laozi could lock Sun Wukong up in a firey cauldron. Instead, it gave him Golden Firey Eyes, the ability to see evil no matter what disguise it takes. Eventually, it took the OG, Buddha himself, to lock Sun Wukong up under a mountain, sealed with a talisman until he was needed to help XuanZang retrieve some Buddhist sutras from India…. 5 centuries later. Want to know the full story? Wikipedia is a good place to start.
Ok, so where was I? After we lit some incense and bowed to this GOD of a monkey, we went to get lunch and buy fruits for our second part of the day: Monkey Mountain!! We took the MTR from Lam Tin to Sha Tin (so many ‘Tins’) and took the 72 KMB bus from Sha Tin to the intersection of Golden Hill Road and Tai Po Road.
Wow this is a long post. Monkeys!!
Also… wild boar!
So… it’s actually illegal to feed these guys because of concerns of overpopulation and human dependency… but it was New Years, cut me some slack!
Kam Shan is a really, really beautiful place! We arrived at around 5PM, so we got to see the sunset and the beautiful purple dusky skies. The weather was clear too, so it was a great chance for some nature photography as well. (But I’m not a photographer)
Well, this has been far longer than I expected, but that day was surely fun and filled with monkeys of all kinds. I hope you enjoyed this post, and stay tuned for updates for my next one!
Till next time,