The Hong Kong Big Buddha
You probably seen in brochures tucked somewhere in the airport, magazines or TV shows. The Hong Kong Big Buddha is a must visit attraction. The actual name of it is Tian Tan Buddha and it is located in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. You can go to the island via ferry, car or train. The best way to travel there by train and then taking a cable car to go up to the mountain (Ngong Ping) to visit the Tian TanBuddha.
If you are planning to visit Tian Tan Buddha, prepare for to spend a day. Taking public transportation to there will take some time you might want to spend some time on Ngong Ping (and its surrounding area) or at Citygate, Hong Kong Famous Brand Outlets.
(Citygate Outlets / Tung Chung MTR Station)
Firstly, you need to go to Tung Chung on Lantau Island. You can take bus or train (MTR). The easiest way is by MTR and exit at Tung Chung station. The Tung Chun station is located at the basement of Citygate Outlets Complex. The Tung Chung line is the same MTR line to Disneyland.
(Ngong Ping Cable Car Station)
After exiting Citygate complex, you walk across the road and there are directions that guide you to the Ngong Ping Cable Car. There are three cable car options, the normal cabin, crystal cabin (comes with see thru glass flooring) and private cabin. Prices differ depending on cabins.
(Ngong Ping Cable Car, can you spot the Big Buddha?)
Ngong Ping Cable Car Opening Hours:
Weekdays: 10:00am – 6:00pm
(Ngong Ping Tourist Village)
You will reach Ngong Ping tourist village. They have activities there or you continue your journey up to the mountain. You can see the big Buddha at this point and as you walk up, you will pass by Ngong Ping famous mountain water “tau fu far” (beancurd dessert) stalls.
(Ngong Ping Tau Fu Far Stalls)
I’m not sure which is the best stalls but there is no harm trying. The tau fu far was good and refreshing.
With a brisk walk, you will reach the foot of the Tian Tan Buddha. At this point, it is just a couple of hundred of steps in between you and Tian Tan Buddha. To be exact, there are 240 steps. If you don’t believe me, you can count them.
(240 steps to the top? No problem!)
The statue is named Tian Tan Buddha due to its base that is a model of the Altar of Heaven or Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, the Temple of Heaven in Beijing. It is one of the five large Buddha statues in China.
When you called it big, it is big. The Buddha is 34 metres tall and weighs 250 metric tons and it is the world’s tallest outdoor bronze seat Buddha prior to 2007. It is said that it can be seen as far as Macau on a clear day.
Beneath the Buddha statue, there are three halls. They are named as The Hall of Universe, The Hall of Benevolent Merit, and The Hall of Remembrance. Within the halls, there is a relic of Gautama Buddha (alleged some his cremated remains).
However, I didn’t manage to go into the halls as I went there late. The view from the top is breathtaking and it is hard to believe that there are still so much green left in this part of Hong Kong. If you have not visited the Big Tian Tan Buddha, you should allocate a day away from the bustling city of Hong Kong.