Hong Kong Attractions: Po Lin Monastery & Tian Tan Buddha Statue
Po Lin 寶蓮禪寺 & Tian Tan Buddha Statue
The huge Buddhist temple complex of Po Lin on Lantau Island dates from 1906 when it was founded by three monks, Da Yue, Dun Xiu and Yue Ming, from Jiangsu. Originally known as the "Big Hut," the temple grew from humble beginnings and became known as Po Lin (lit. 'Precious Lotus Zen Temple') in the 1920s.
The Big Buddha statue at the monastery was completed in 1993. The bronze statue is 26 metres high including the lotus petal throne and weighs 202 tons - it is one of the largest, outdoor, seated images of the Buddha in the world.
The statue faces towards Beijing and takes its name Tian Tan from the Temple of Heaven in the Chinese capital, after which its base is modeled.
Visitors climb 268 steps to reach the Buddha, which is a representation of Amitabha - the Buddha of the "Pure Land" with the right hand raised in a gesture of peace, bestowing calm. Beneath the statue are three subterranean floors, the lowest one containing a relic supposedly from the funeral pyre of the historical Buddha - Siddhartha Gautama.
Big Buddha Statue at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau, Hong Kong
Ngong Ping 360 & Ngong Ping Village
The MTR-owned Ngong Ping 360 is a spectacular new cable car that links Tung Chung with the Po Lin Monastery at Ngong Ping. The 5.7km, 25 minute ride offers some spectacular views on a clear day including the sea, the Big Buddha statue and Hong Kong International Airport.
As you alight in Ngong Ping there are a number of attractions at Ngong Ping Village. Walking with Buddha is a modern, multimedia recreation of the Buddha's path to enlightenment. The Monkey's Tale Theatre is a computer generated animation of a Buddhist Jakata story of three monkeys. Ngong Ping Tea House demonstrates the art and history of Chinese tea ceremonies. The Ngong Ping Garden Restaurant serves Guangdong and Chiu Chow cuisine.
A single trip on the cable car is priced at HK$63 with a return at HK$96. Single entry to the Walking with Buddha and Monkey's Tale Theatre attractions is HK$36 each or purchase a package to see both attractions with a round-trip gondola ride included for HK$159.
Po Lin Monastery Access
Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha are open daily 9am-6pm and 10am-6pm respectively. The excellent vegetarian restaurant at the temple is open from 11am-5pm.
To reach the temple complex there are a number of options:
Finally, you may wish to arrive in style on the Ngong Ping Skyrail, a gondola between Tung Chung and Ngong Ping (see above).
Po Lin Monastery
Ngong Ping 360
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