Tian Tan, Lantau’s Big Buddha

The other day, my fella and I checked out one of the coolest things that we’ve done here, thus far.  We headed to Lantau, which is an island of Hong Kong.  I had been looking forward to this day trip for a while.  It did not disappoint.

After hopping off the MTR, we walked over to the area where you can pick up the Ngon Ping Cable Car.  While there are options to get your own car, or ones with see through bottoms, we decided to do the regular, shared cable car ride.  I will admit, I’m not one to be afraid too much of heights, but being in a swaying cable car that high up was a bit un-nerving.  Especially since it had recently re-opened after an ‘incident’.  Considering one of my cable car mates fell asleep on the ride up, I deemed it safe, took a deep breath and enjoyed the view.

From that high it felt like you could see anything.  The sea, the airport, and finally, Tian Tan, (big Buddha statue) came into view.  I knew it was going to be big.  I wasn’t prepared for how big it actually was.  It was completely breathtaking.  I’m not a Buddhist, but I do know that it was a very important site to see.  There was a lady who stopped at prayed at every step on the way up to the statue.  Her dedication was impressive.  She was still praying her way to the top when we walked back down.

Besides Tian Tan, there were warriors and other deities to be seen.  There is a monastery up there, and you can pay to eat in a vegetarian restaurant up at the top of the monument.  We didn’t do that, because we had just had just Yum Cha (dim sum breakfast) and were still pretty stuffed.  One thing that I was a bit surprised to see was that there were a lot of souvenirs and nic naks for sale.  It felt kind of… sad?  I am not sure.  Just different I suppose.  As a Minnesotan, I would say, “Interesting.”

I would recommend this day trip to anyone who has time to spend in Hong Kong.  Lantau has great hikes and other sights to offer as well, so you might as well make a day of it.  We made a day of it, and if there was one thing I suggest, it would be to leave earlier.  The line for the cable car can get quite long, and we could have done a longer hike if we would have left earlier.

Oh, and don’t fall asleep on the cable car.  It’s a beautiful ride and if you don’t see it, you might be a sad panda and regret it.

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