Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

The extraordinary Big Buddha, formally known as the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, has made popular the remote Ngong Ping Village, which is hidden away by lush mountains, making it one of the most interesting places to visit in Hong Kong. Sitting 34 meters high, facing north to look over the people of China, this majestic bronze Buddha has been drawing pilgrims not only from Asia but also from all over the world.

The combination of its lips, eyes, the incline of its head and its right hand (raised to deliver a blessing to all) seem to bring a humbling depth of dignity and character to the massive Buddha, which took 12 years to build.

What to Expect from Your Trip to the Giant Buddha

Getting to Ngong Ping Village to see the Big Buddha via the 360 Cable Car is already an attraction in itself, so it is definitely the recommended means of getting there. As you explore the village, the paths beyond are well-marked, though it would not be necessary as you can always look up and see the Giant Buddha sitting atop the hill, which means that you just have to head in its direction.

Leaving the village, the way to the path to the Buddha is flanked by the statues of the Twelve Divine Generals armed with particular weapons on both sides, guarding the giant statue and symbolizing different animals from the Chinese Zodiac. Once you pass the divine generals, you will see the stairs leading to the Giant Buddha. There will be 260 steps and some stop areas in between, so you can rest from time to time, enjoy the views and take pictures.

The Giant Buddha rests on a 3-tier podium at the end of the stairs, with the first level containing 6 statues of Bodhisattvas, 3 on each side of the staircase. These Bodhisattvas are Buddhist deities that are venerated for helping mortals with reaching enlightenment. As for the second level, it is where a small museum with various articles and paintings depicting the life and teachings of Buddha is found.

In finally reaching Tian Tan, you will see that it seats on a wreath of Lotus leaves, which have special significance in Buddhism—particularly, it signifies purity. Another symbol of Buddhism on the statue is the reverse swastika, which is carved into its chest.

While the climb can be tiring, it will be well-rewarded with the magnificent views from the statue’s podium. Here, you will be able to enjoy Lantau Island’s beauty, with views of the valleys, mountains, sea and the islands beyond.

The Po Lin Monastery

Opposite the Giant Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery, which is one of the most important Buddhist sanctums and attractions in Hong Kong. This monastery is home to many devout monks and is rich with colorful manifestations of Buddhist iconography. It also has a pleasant garden that is alive with flowery scents and birdsongs.

Visit the Giant Buddha

A visit to Giant Buddha on Lantau Island will certainly be fun and memorable if you get to experience all the great things that come with it. To ensure this, book a Hong Kong holiday package here at La Vacanza Travel.

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