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Visiting Tian Tan: The Big Buddha of Hong Kong

The Big Buddha, with its 200 tons, crowns the landscape of Lantau as its main touristic attraction.

BIG BUDDHA OF LANTAU ISLAND IN HONG KONG

The Big Buddha or Buddha Tian Tan is, without doubt, one of the greatest attractions in Hong Kong.

HOW TO GET TO THE GIANT BUDDHA IN HONG KONG

Nestled at the top of Lantau Island, the megalithic statue awaits the visitors who arrive by boat o cable car. Meanwhile, pedaling in the opposite direction, most of the inhabitants of the island descend the hill and park their bikes at the port before boarding the boat that will take them to the city of Hong Kong, where they usually work.

From afar and up close, the Big Buddha is truly astonishing. Actually, on clear days, you can spot it in the distance from Macao Island.

VISIT PO LIN MONASTERY

Once in situ you’ll find, in the first place, a Buddhist monastery. There, both tourists and religious people can buy incense and light it as part of a ritual that is usually followed by a prayer although it can be simply carried out as an act of gratefulness for all the good that has been received. Afterwards, an elaborate trail will lead to the feet of the Tian Tan Buddha. In order to reach the statue you’ll have to climb 240 steps! But trust us, it’s worth the effort.

Once at the hilltop, you’ll find a base adorned by six small statues of Buddhist deities, which are shown presenting offerings to the Big Buddha including fruit, music, incense, flowers and ointments. In addition, walking around this base you’ll have a formidable view of the island that will make you feel as if you were in paradise.

TIAN TAN BUDDHA WEIGHT AND HEIGHT

Then, as you raise your eyes to the 34 meters (112 feet) tall bronze sculpture that crowns the landscape, you’ll be taken aback by its 200 tons and imposing presence. At its feet, there’s a door that leads to a small museum where you can learn a little bit about the construction of the monument, the life and work of its author, and the patrons who contributed with its erection. Also, you’ll learn about the life of the man who became Buddha and you’ll even find a box that contains a splinter of his skeleton and that is now considered a relic.

TIPS TO VISIT THE BIG BUDDHA OF LANTAU ISLAND

In order to complement your visit and infuse yourself with the spirit of that place, there’s a cafeteria in the Buddhist monastery where you can have a vegetarian meal similar to that accustomed by the monks.

On the other hand, the best you can do is get to Lantau by boat but take the cable car on your way back. Once on the island you can take cab that will drive you to the Buddha Tian Tan or, if you so desire, ask the driver to drop you off at the museum’s entrance so that you avoid the fatigue of climbing the stairway.