Hong Kong Outings: Big Buddha Hong Kong

big buddha hong kongBig Buddha Hong Kong, also known as Tian Tan Buddha (天壇大佛), is a large bronze statue in Hong Kong. It is located near Po Lin Monastery and Ngong Ping village in Lantau Island. The statue symbolizes the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion. The Buddha is 34 meters high and it weighs 250 ton. While completed in 1993, monks from around the world were invited to the opening ceremony .The public was first allowed to visit this Giant Buddha in December 1993.

 

Visiting and access of Big Buddha Hong Kong

When to visit

Big Buddha Hong Kong is a major center of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a popular tourist attraction especially during weekends. If you don’t like crowd too much, you can try early morning on weekdays. One of the best days to see the monastery is on Buddha’s birthday, when crowds gather to watch the monks bathe the feet of Buddha statues.

Po Lin Monastery and Lantau Buddha are open to the public between 10:00 and 17:45. Access to the outside of the Buddha is free of charge, but there is an admission fee to go inside the Buddha.

What to visit

Once you pass the Twelve Divine Generals you will see the Staircase that leads to the Buddha atop the hill. There are 260 steps and several areas in between where you can stop for a rest, take pictures, and just enjoy the views.

Each aspect of the bronze figure has a symbolic meaning. The right hand is raised signifying compassion. The left hand resting on the lap signifies that the Buddha can grant happiness to all. The lotus position of the sitting Buddha indicates   purity and peace. The kind face of the statue symbolizes wisdom, virtue and joy.

How to get to Tian Tan Buddha via Public transport (Google Map Directions)

  • Ferry: The easiest way to the statue is to take a ferry to Mui Wo (from Central pier No. 6). Then, Bus No. 2 | Mui Wo ↔ Ngong Ping
  • MTR: Go to Tung Chung station via the MTR, or cable car.
    • Then, Bus No. 23 | Tung Chung ↔ Ngong Ping
    • Or Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car gondola lift (25 minutes). Since its opening in 2006, the NP360 Cable Car gives visitors to Lantau Island a different and scenic way to arrive at the Big Buddha. The cable cars offer 360 degree views from the large all glass cabins. There is an option to purchase a slightly more expensive ticket in a Crystal Cabin. This adds an extra dimension to the viewing space as the floor is a full width single piece of glass.

 

Buddhism at a glance

Buddhism is a spiritual tradition that focuses on personal spiritual development and the attainment of a deep insight into the true nature of life. There is no belief in a personal god. Buddhists believe that nothing is fixed or permanent and that change is always possible. The path to Enlightenment is through the practice and development of morality, meditation and wisdom. Buddhists believe that life is both endless and subject to impermanence, suffering and uncertainty. These states are called the tilakhana, or the three signs of existence. Existence is endless because individuals are reincarnated over and over again, experiencing suffering throughout many lives.

Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born into a royal family in present-day Nepal over 2500 years ago. He lived a life of privilege and luxury until one day he left the royal enclosure and encountered for the first time, an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. Disturbed by this he became a monk before adopting the harsh poverty of Indian asceticism. Neither path satisfied him and he decided to pursue the ‘Middle Way’ – a life without luxury but also without poverty.

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