Our Pilgrimage to the World’s Second Largest, Outdoor Bronze Buddha

I’ve heard a lot about the rivalry between Hong Kong and Singapore: both are modern cities, both share cultural attributes and both have an affinity towards nature.

Hong Kong definitely has some natural wonders, being located on mountainous terrain. I was pretty excited to see how such a modern city interacted with its natural landscape. So the first activity we did was to take the cable car all the way to Ngong Ping (Lantau Island) to encounter the second largest, outdoor bronze Buddha in the world: Tian Tan. Our excitement was marred by the fact that we waited TWO hours to get onto the cable car, partly because we didn’t pre-book tickets, but also because it takes a while to load 8 people into each arriving cable car. The view was spectacular though, and you could even feel sorry for the poor souls who chose to hike all the way! Kidding, I’d be up for that next time!

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Once we got to Ngong Ping, we were slightly disappointed with how touristic the whole affair was. Tian Tan being so sacred, we would have expected more of a sombre and meditative ambience. Sadly, it felt more like a theme park for us. Nevertheless, Tian Tan stood mightily tall, commanding the landscape with all the patience he could muster.

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Once we were done wading through other tourists like ourselves, we visited the beautiful Po Lin Monastery. I don’t remember ever seeing such intricate temple details and the colours are so vivid that it reminds you how sobering even the most lavish Catholic churches are.

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On the way back, don’t forget to pass by the smaller temples and the GIGANTIC incense sticks.

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Once we were done, we found a convenient bus stop just before the site’s exit, which took us to Tai O Fishing Village. More on that next time!!

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