Located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, the Tian Tan Big Buddha is well, a gigantic Buddha structure which can be seen from afar across the bay and even from Macau.
While you may not be a fan of pilgrimages, visiting the Tian Tan Buddha is more than just a religious visit. The sheer size and details of the Buddha structure are enough reason to entice most visitors. That, and of course the necessary breather to get away from the condensed concrete jungle of Hong Kong.
While it doesn’t take hours to get to Ngong Ping to visit the Buddha statue, the trip there is still quite a journey albeit a rather therapeutic one as you slowly make your way out of the hustle and bustle of the city’s crowd.
To get to Ngong Ping, you must first take the MTR (or any other transportation) to Tung Chung station. After which, it’s just a short walking distance to the Ngong Ping Cable Car – where each ride is about 25mins. During the ride, you’ll be able to catch a serene and aerial view of Hong Kong and its surrounding islands (on a clear day of course). If you’re feeling a little adventurous, you can also do a hike up or take the good ol’ bus/taxi to Ngong Ping instead.
Before getting to the Big Buddha, you’ll have to walk past the Ngong Ping village first, which is an open-air area where there are shopping and dining options available. In all honesty, the village seems to be built as an effort to attract visitors making their way to the Big Buddha or around Lantau Island and thus come off as rather touristic – what with souvenir stores and whatnot.
The main challenge while getting to the Buddha is actually the 268 steps that visitors have to climb to reach the Buddha. While that may sound challenging, you’ll definitely feel a sense of accomplishment once that’s done. As an added reward, the view up there is even better (again, on a clear day)!
The Tian Tan buddha statue itself is made of bronze, weighing over 250 metric tons and standing at 34 meters tall. Surrounding the statue are six smaller bronze statues appearing to make offerings to the big Buddha. These six “offerings” symbolizes the Six Perfections – the necessary values to attain enlightenment.
If you’re interested in exploring further, the Po Lin Monastery is also located just walking distance away from the Tian Tan Buddha.
Tian Tan (Altar of Heaven) Big Buddha
MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, followed by Ngong Ping Cable Car