A morning on the Island of Lantau, visiting the Giant Buddha
Join me as I explore the island of Lantau, about 50km from Hong Kong and exactly in front of the airport.
The Buddha statue, also known as “Tian Tan Buddha”, is entirely made of bronze and represents an Amoghasiddhi Buddha, one of the Buddha’s five impersonations. The statue, 34 meters high and weighing 250 tons, was completed in 1993 after 12 years of work and symbolizes the harmonious relationship between nature and people.
The Buddha is depicted in the act of raising his right hand to the sky with his eyes turned downwards and his head tilted downward, a gesture that represents the removal of man’s affliction. One of the peculiarities of the Great Buddha is that, contrary to the usual representations, he has his face turned north instead of south.
HOW TO GET TO THE GIANT BUDDHA FROM HONG KONG
If you haven’t watched yet my vlog on my day at the Giant Buddha in Lantau, you totally should!
How to get to the Great Buddha on Lantau Island?
- METRO -> regardless of the area where you’re staying in Hong Kong, you will need to reach the LAI KING metro station (red line) and then go to TUNG CHUNG (orange line), take EXIT B and then the bus number 23. The fare should be HKD 17.50 each way or about € 2.11, bring with you the exact change as drivers don’t carry money. The bus trip takes about 30 minutes to reach the Monastery of the Giant Buddha.
- FERRY + BUS -> if you prefer to get away from the chaos of the city, you can take the ferry from CENTRAL PIER 6 to MUI WO and then take the number 2 bus.
- IN TAXI
- CABLECAR ‘NGONG PING 360’ (service resumes on June 2017) -> a 5.7 km-long route that allows you to enjoy a beautiful panorama while passing over the sea, the hills and valleys. With an addition to the normal ticket price, it will also be possible to ride on the gondolas with a transparent floor rather than having a private cabin. You need to get to THUNG CHUNG (read the “metro” section above) to be able to board the cable car.
THINGS TO DO IN LANTAU
Whether you arrive by metro, the ferry or cable car, you will have to walk through the small and picturesque Ngong Ping Village, with many souvenir shops, restaurants where you can taste typical dishes and many other small attractions for tourists.
At the end of the walk (8-10 minutes max) you will begin to see the big hill with the majestic Buddha. But what is there to do once you get there?
- Walk the long pedestrian avenues and manicured gardens.
- Take photos of the cows grazing amidst the crowd. Remember that the cow is a sacred animal in India and also in some areas of China.
- Go up the hill of the Giant Buddha or Tian Tan. There are 268 steps and access to this area is free. Don’t get discouraged by the long staircase, once on top, you’ll admire one of the most beautiful panoramas you have ever seen. Don’t let a few raindrops prevent you from going there either, it’s still beautiful, I can assure you.
- Visit the famous Po Lin Monastery: you’ll feel a sensation of sacredness as soon as you step in and smell the incense. I visited the monastery during a commemoration and it was really exciting to witness this event.
- Follow the signs for the Wisdom Path which ends with a monument made of 38 wooden planks depicting the symbol of infinity.
THINKING OF VISITING LANTAU BEFORE HEADING TO THE AIRPORT
Since the Hong Kong airport is located right in front of the island of Lantau, many tourists choose to spend time on the island before their return flight. In this case, don’t carry your luggage around but leave it at the TUNG CHUNG metro station. Take exit EXIT B and go to the bus square, you’ll find there a luggage storage facility.
For any other info, get in touch!