Saturday 5th June we went to Lantau Island to visit the ‘Big Buddha’. To reach this we took the MRT from Kowloon Station to Tung Chung Station and then we took bus number 23 to Po Lin Monastery (costing us 17 HK each-about £1.50) The other option is to take a cable car from Tung Chung Station to the foothill of the giant Buddha. This is a more expensive option but it is meant to be very scenic.
The bus journey took us on a steep, windy hill-the view was beautiful, looking over to the many little islands of Lantau Island. We could see lot’s of little beaches on the many islands and a backdrop of mountains all around. The journey took around 30 minutes, then we arrived at the at the village where the Giant Buddha is.
Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Buddha, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is located near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a popular tourist attraction. (Wiki)
The Buddha is 34 metres (112 ft) tall, weighs 250 metric tons (280 short tons), and was the world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha prior to 2007.
We had to climb 268 steps in order to reach the Buddha.
When at the top we were able to walk around the Buddha and see the view all around. In the distance you can see Lantau peak, which is the 2nd tallest peak in Hong Kong, 934 m above sea level. We wished we had got there earlier to climb to the top-but the sun was already starting to set by this time! A lot of people climb up the peak early morning, to watch the sunrise from the top.
After taking lots of photos and enjoying the view from the top, we started to walk back down the 268 steps. Then we took a walk on the ‘Path of Wisdom’. I’m sorry to say that we don’t feel any wiser after this, as all the words of wisdom were written in Chinese on tree trunks!
You could easily spend a whole day here as there are lots of things to do including seeing the Giant Buddha, taking lots of walks, including climbing Lantau Peak and there is also a small village with lots of shops to look around.
Will write more soon. We are going to pick up our China Visa today-it takes 4 days to receive. Hopefully everything has gone ok with it-if so we will leave Hong Kong on Thursday. We have decided to go to Beijing next. We have a booked a train from Hong Kong to Beijing, costing us 517 HKD each (£45), the journey will take us 24 hours.
Speak to you all soon,
Paul and Ruth