Tian Tan Buddha - 天壇大佛, Po Lin Monastery - 寶蓮禪寺
01.02.2009 - 10.02.2009
We got up early to go to Lantau Island, which is where the Hong Kong International Airport is located to go see the amazing Tian Tan Buddha. We took the tram as our mode of transportation to see the Buddha. It was a pretty long tram ride to get there but you could see trails, tons of trees and in the distance you could see the Buddha.
There is a little village when you get off the tram on your way to the Buddha. They sell food, novelty gifts and such. They even had a wishing station where people write on tags and hang it up for good luck. It was breathtaking to see all the wishes people had put there. They also had photo stations where you could stick your head in the cutouts or sit on a bench that was clearly for tourists.
The Tian Tan Buddha is made of bronze and according to Wikipedia "symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion". I remember walking up to the staircase and looking up, the sun shining behind the Buddha's head and taking in a deep breath. I felt peaceful and calm. I've never seen a statue that big, that majestic and calming in my life. It stands at a whopping 34 meters and has bronze servants presenting offerings to the Buddha. And yes we climbed all 268 steps and it was worth it. Look how beautiful this was.
We also visited the Po Lin Monastery that was a small walk from the Buddha. The Monastery was adorned with fresh flowers, shrines, statues, incense, mediation room and beautiful decorated. It was really an experience I'd love to have again. I really enjoyed both the Buddha and the monastery.
If you ever get an opportunity to go to Hong Kong, this is one of the things YOU MUST DO. Clear a day for Lantau Island, this was one of my favorite parts of my visit. I also love going to shrines, seeing temples and statues as I love learning about the culture and history of wherever I visit. If you are one of those people, then you will love it there.