Trappist Haven Monastery
Hong Kong is a place where you will always find the unexpected. Tucked away on Lantau Island, cut off from the outside world with just a foot path over the mountain linking it to Discovery Bay, lies the tranquil Trappist Haven Monastery. The official name, as of Jan 15th, 2000, is Our Lady of Joy Abbey. The Monastery is completely isolated from the rest of the island and Hong Kong with just a small footpath leading over the mountain to Discovery Bay. This footpath forms a scenic hiking route from Num Shue Wan in Discovery Bay, south to Mui Wo. The monastery makes a convenient place for a rest on the trail.
The monks who live in the monastery belong to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. This order dates to 1098. The order is also known as Trappist after a reform movement that originated in the French town of La Trappe.
The Trappist Haven Monastery was constructed on 73 hectares of land, donated to them by the government in 1951. The monastery is charged a nominal rent for this land of just $20 per hectare. The construction was done by the monks themselves, hauling all the construction material by hand over the mountains to the monastery site.
The monks ran a dairy from the monastery. The sale of milk from this cattle herd provided them an income. Today the Trappist Dairy is located elsewhere in Hong Kong with the cattle in Guangdong though a proportion of the funds form the sale of this brand of milk still goes to the monks here.