Fog & Mystery Surround Tian Tan Buddha
One of the largest sitting Buddha’s in the world, Tian Tan Buddha is one of Hong Kong’s most impressive pilgrimmage sites and tourist destinations. The “Big Buddha” sits perched atop Lantau Island in Hong Kong, just outside of Ngong Ping.
The Big Buddha was constructed in 1993 out of 202 pieces of bronze. The statue stands, or rather, sits, at 34 metres tall, on top of a massive platform reaching high above Lantau Island. The Buddha overlooks lush forest, rocky cliffs, and offers sweeping ocean views to all who are willing to climb the stairs to the viewing platform.
Free To See, Small Fee To Enter
Tian Tan Buddha is free to see from the outside, but there is a small fee to enter the Buddha and explore its three tiers: The Hall of Remembrance, The Hall of Universe, and The Hall of Benevolent Merit. A vegetarian meal is provided with the entrance fee. Per typical Buddhist guidelines, no alcohol or meat are allowed on the grounds. A Buddhist pilgrimmage site, Tian Tan Buddha becomes exceptionally busy during Buddha’s birthday, an official holiday in Hong Kong.
Fog & Mystery: A Surreal Experience
Though the statue is visible from miles away, as far away as Macau on a clear day, Lantau Island’s thick fog often cloaks the giant Buddha. On especially foggy days visitors can’t see Tian Tan Buddha until they reached the top of the 268 stairs to the base of the platform.
A trip to the base of the platform tends to awaken a genuine feel of spirituality in first time visitors, whether they are Buddhism or not. The feeling evoked by the dense greenery, and typically foggy backdrop pitted against a towering Buddhist icon makes this day trip well worth a visit.
How Do I Get There?
There are several ways to reach Tian Tan Buddha including ferry, and bus, but the the most direct and scenic way to reach Tian Tan Buddha is to take Ngong Ping 360. The trip from Tung Chung Station takes about 25 minutes, and along the way you’ll have excellent photo opportunities.
If you ride Ngong Ping 360, you’ll be dropped off at Ngong Ping shopping village, an overly commercialized attempt to leverage the popularity of the Big Buddha into an attempt to sell goods and souvenirs to bleary-eyed tourists. Don’t let this market ruin your trip.
Ride Ngong Ping 360 & Don’t Miss Po Lin Monastery
Despite being less than 20 years old, Tian Tan Buddha is Lantau Island’s most infamous landmark, and its most popular tourist attraction. But if you’re making the trip to see Tian Tan Buddha, do make sure to make to ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, and visit nearby Po Lin Monastery. Po Lin Monastery is a historical relic of Hong Kong’s past, having been one of the city’s most popular monasteries for over 100 years.