I’ve been to Hong Kong quite often of late and as always I’m looking for something interesting to do. I’ve heard of people going to see Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, but had never ventured there myself, so this was my ideal opportunity. Octopus card in hand I head to the MTR station and wend my way to Tung Chung Station.
It’s a short walk to the ticket office for the Ngong Ping Cable Car; this is where you will need some patience. I had to queue for an hour to get a ticket for the cable car. As this will probably be a ‘one off’ for me, I opt for the Crystal Cabin Car as I wanted to be able to see all around me and through the glass floor. The scenery is quite something on this twenty five minute journey. You’re taken up and across the water initially where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of Hong Kong International Airport on Chek Lap Kok Island and then you’re back over land once more. I then see loads of trails and realise that I could’ve walked up to see this amazing sight. I’ll save that for another day.
On arrival at the top you step into the village of Ngong Ping with local tourist shops and even a Starbucks coffee shop; not quite what I had expected but I persevere and am so glad that I did. It’s quite a steep climb up 268 steps to reach The Big Buddha and the Six Devas. The six devas are praising and making offerings to the Tian Tan Buddha. The offerings symbolise charity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation and wisdom.
Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronze statue of Buddha Amoghasiddhi, situated on Lantau Island, it was completed in 1993. It is one of five large Buddha statues in China and is unique as it faces north looking over the Chinese people. The others all face south. After spending quite a bit of time wandering around the circumference I head back down the steps and head over to visit Po Lin Monastery. As you approach there’s an area where incense sticks are burning, nothing like the ones we burn in our houses.
Tourists are not allowed inside the main Monastery so I spent my time admiring the incredible exterior, with its intricately decorated walls.
This area is popular with both locals and tourists as it is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong. It was quite busy but never so much that you couldn’t find your own peace and quiet time. As I made my way back the queues had dissipated and the sun was getting low in the sky. I couldn’t resist a final photo from the cable car looking back up towards the home of Tian Tan Buddha.