Besides Disneyland on Lantau Island 大嶼山, you find Po Lin Monastery and the 34m tall big buddha residing on the largest island in Hong Kong. Those who have a keen interest in nature can hike along the 70km trail in the mountains. Or take the cable car or other means of transport.
Luck wasn’t with us, as the cable car to Ngong ping village was closed for maintenance. Instead, we had to take a coach to go up the mountains to Ngong Ping Village. This was great because my first visit in 2008 we didn’t know about the Po Lin Monastery and missed out visiting the area. Since the coach stops nearer to the monastery we explore that area last.
The Big Buddha was our first stop, to get up to the bronze Buddha you have work up a sweat the only way up is to climb the stairs. After 268 steps, we made it to the viewing platform and stared at the Tian Tan Buddha statue for ages. Growing up with watching TVB dramas I’ve seen this image of the Buddha portrayed in 3D animated renders. In real life it seems like it reaches the sky, you see the lotus top the Buddha sits on. The Tian Buddha symbolise harmony between man and nature. You will see another six statues outside facing Tian Tan called The Offering of the Six Devas. Positioned facing the Buddha with an offering hand.
Next, we headed to Po Lin Monastery, architectural features of the monastery include gates, shrines, the grand hall of a thousand buddhas was a spectacular sight. Blinging gold that hurts your eyes from staring, every corner is filled with rows of rows of shiny gold Buddha statues. Monks roam their environment in comfort even with tourists lurking around. Pots filled with the largest incense sticks burn away with the distinct smell. Wild cows roam casually with the people and dogs are seen in the open.
The only thing I didn’t see on offer was to the luncheon lunch voucher to eat up at the statues halls. So, stay in Ngong Ping village for food and snacks.