Hong Kong’s Giant Buddha!

Hong Kong is a pretty cool place. It was also the place I first heard about COVID. I remember waking up in my hotel room, reading the article and thinking, “huh, that’s weird” HA. Had. I. Known.

Anyway, to happier reading.

The statue stands tall at 34m high and was cast with 250 tonnes of bronze over 12 years.

Standing tall at the top of Lantau Island is the Tian Tan Buddha, a large bronze statue that is massively impressive. Wanting to see its grandeur in person, we decided to spend one foggy morning in Hong Kong exploring the village of Ngong Ping.

Most easily accessible by cable car from Tung Chung, this scenic smallish village is best known for its giant Buddha, beautiful monastery and hiking paths. Connecting the cable car to the far side of the village, visitors will walk through a kind of outdoor hallway; one long pedestrian road lined with restaurants, shops and attractions.

The road itself, though home to many businesses (including specially advertised entertainment – think themed films and chocolate factories) felt very commercialized. It seemed to me that the village became a bit of a tourist trap once it was discovered how popular the Buddha and monastery had become.

All the same, I recommend a visit for three reasons.

ONE – Whether you ride the cable car or hike all the way up, the VIEWS at the top are impressive and very telling of the natural beauty that is Hong Kong.

TWO – The PO LIN MONASTERY stands facing the big Buddha with grandeur. During my year in Asia, I visited A LOT of temples and monasteries and was always struck with the same feeling. There is a sense of calm and serenity that courses through these buildings, an energy that seems to tame even the unruliest of tourists. The Po Lin Monastery carries that energy in spades.

As we walked beneath the San Men (or Mountain Gate), I was awed by the orange yellow tiled roof adorned with animals of all kinds; phoenixes and dragons to name a few. The monastery itself has many different halls but it was the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas that took my breath away. Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. Ten thousand Buddhas, all in various shades of golds. Small Buddhas. Medium Buddhas. Big Buddhas. All together in one place lining the walls, the ceiling, the tables. So much so that even the least spiritual person could still appreciate its grandness and architectural value. Amazing.

THREE – The TIAN TAN BUDDHA, the biggest (in every sense of the word) attraction in the village. According to the Ngong Ping website, the statue stands tall at 34m high and was cast with 250 tonnes of bronze over 12 years. It sits facing North towards Beijing with its right hand in the air and its left hand resting on its lap, “implying compassion to save all sentient beings from their sufferings” and “the vow to grant blessing and happiness to all”.

Wanting a much closer look, we took the 268 stairs up to the base, where we were met with the Buddha’s imposing shadow as well as the most beautiful view of the South China Sea.

Definitely worth the climb.

One thought on “Hong Kong’s Giant Buddha!

  1. Yolande Rheaume says:

    Magnificient site. Budhism is a peaceful religion. I can imagine the peaceful arnosphere in this area. You are so lucky to visit wonderful countries you are visiting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *