Hong Kong is one of those countries which fascinated me. This small country offers plenty of things to do and it caters for all kinds of travelers. Be it spiritual travelers or for travelers who love shopping, Hong Kong has it all. I was there for three days and I made good use of my time in the country. As I love visiting religious and spiritual places, I visited this huge Buddha called the Tian Tan Buddha.
For an itinerary on what to do if you have just 72 hours in Hong Kong, refer 72 hours in Hong Kong.
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About Tian Tan Buddha..
Tian Tan Buddha also called the Big Buddha is a statue of Buddha Shakyamuni in Ngong Ping Village in Lantau Island in Hong Kong. It was completed in the year 1993. The statue is so big that it is visible from all over Lantau Island.
The Buddha Shakyamuni is a common name used in the Mahayana literature and the Buddha was called by this name because he belonged to the Sahkya clan and was born in the Gautama family.Quora
According to the Sublime China, the Tian Tan Buddha symbolises relationship between the faith and people, man and nature. It is a major tourist attraction in Hong Kong.
The Tian Tan Buddha is situated in Po Lin Monastery. The statue can be reached by climbing a flight of stairs.
- Address: Ngong Ping Road, Lantau Island, Hong Kong.
How to get there?
There are two ways to get to the monastery. One is by a ferry and a bus and the other by taking a cable car.
Ferry and Bus (Easiest)
The easiest way to get to the monastery is by taking a ferry from Central to Mui Wo and then taking a bus (Bus number 2) from Mui Wo Ferry Pier to the monastery. The ticket can be purchased at the ferry pier and on the bus.
Gandola or Cable Car
The Gandola lift operates between Tung Chung MTR station and Ngong Ping cable car station. The distance between the stations is around 5.7 kilometres and it takes 25 minutes. The views from the gondola are breathtaking and spectacular. The return ticket on the Gandola costs HK$235. The tickets can be purchased at the MTR station.
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Entrance cost & Visiting Information
The last 268 steps leading to the base of the Big Buddha statue can be climbed for FREE. There is an entrance fee to go inside the Buddha.
The statue is open throughout the year between 10 AM and 5:30 PM. However, I would avoid winters as you can see from my pictures that the statue was covered in fog during my visit, which was during winters. If you can visit the monastery on Buddha’s birthday.
Carry a shawl as one needs to be dressed appropriately and respect the Buddha.
The top of the mountain also provides breathtaking views of sea and the mountain.
Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes. There is a lot of climbing and walking around, so be prepared.
Interesting facts about the Tian Tan Buddha
The Tian Tan Buddha has some interesting facts and some of them are:
- The altar that the Buddha sits on is made in the shape of a lotus and is made of three platforms. There are floors beneath the statue that are known as the halls of Universe, of Benevolent Merit, and of Remembrance.
- The Buddha is surrounded by six statues called the ‘The Offering of the Six Devas’.
- The Offering of the Six Devas symbolise the six perfections which are necessary for enlightenment. The six perfections are generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom.
- The status is 34 metres high and weighs more than 250 metric tons. The statue was constructed using about 200 bronze pieces.
- The statue faces north and is the only statue in China’s great Buddha statue to do so.
- There is a relic of the Gautama Buddha that is said to have his cremated remains.
- According to Wikipedia, there is a huge bell in the showroom that rings every seven minutes and 108 times a day. This symbolises the release of 108 kinds of human vexations.
Stay in Hong Kong
Review | Oi Suen Guesthouse, Kowloon
You would understand the meaning of a pigeon hole if you stayed at Oi Suen Guesthouse. It is a very small place but it has everything – two beds and a bathroom. My friend Akshata and I were in awe to see how this tiny room was built. It was just crazy!
The good thing about Oi Suen Guesthouse is that it is in the middle of a busy shopping place in Hong Kong. It is close to everything, shopping centre, and the metro train station. It is about 3 minutes walk from the Metro station Mong Kok MTR. Also, it is close to the evening markets.
The cost of this small tiny double bedroom was around HK$ 450 per night and we booked the stay through AsiaRooms website. It did include the 24 hours access to Wifi and we had to pay extra for the Wifi.
I do not recommend this stay unless you are on your crunch and want to stay in the middle of a shopping district.
But do note that Hong Kong is very expensive and the stay in a good hotel costs a lot of money. So for a budgeted traveler like me, this stay was the only option.
Is it safe for solo female travelers?
Yes, absolutely. Hong Kong and visiting Tian Tan Buddha are both extremely safe for solo female travelers. We faced no issues and I would definitely recommend this destination for solo female travelers.
However, like any other place, it is advisable to be cautious, especially at nights and trust your instinct.
I would definitely recommend visiting the Big Buddha while in Hong Kong. It is amazing to see this cultural and spiritual place. Also, I suggest taking the Gondola ride and definitely experiencing the ride.