Visiting the Tian Tan Buddha, Lantau Island

The Tian Tan Buddha is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world. It’s no surprise that this was at the top of my Hong Kong bucket list in 2009 and while I didn’t get to see it on my first trip to Hong Kong, I was sure that I wouldn’t miss it on my second.

Standing at 34 meters high and made from bronze, it’s a pretty majestic statue that can be seen miles away. We started off by catching the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car which rides up to the Ngong Ping Village area.


The cable car is a must do, especially the cabins with glass bottom floors. Riding up, gives you an aerial view of the surrounding valleys, hills and beaches.



We walked around the Ngong Ping Village, wandering into tea houses and quaint little Chinese cultured shops.

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Just like many of our trips and despite checking the weather apps, it still proved to be unpredictable and before we knew, it was pouring!


After the showers had passed, we wandered on towards the majestic Buddha sitting atop the hill, masked somewhat by the clouds. The pathway to the bronze Buddha was lined by the Twelve Divine Generals.


Each statue represents a different animal from the zodiac and each were armed with a particular weapon. Off we went in search of our zodiac animal. The rabbit for me was represented by General Makura, who was armed with an ax.


After passing the Generals, we had found the staircase with 260 steps, leading to Buddha’s seat on the top of the hill.


Off we went. Making the journey upwards. The Tian Tan Buddha statue sits on a three tier podium which starts at the top of the staircase. At the first level, there are six Bodhisattavas statues made of stone.


The main purpose of the Bodhisattavas statues are to help mortals reach enlightenment.


Continuing upwards, we came to the second level which contained a small museum filled with paintings and writing on Buddha’s life and teachings. The third level was the most magnificent of all, allowing a closer look at the bronze statue itself. The Tian Tan Buddha is seated on a statue of lotus leaves which is meant to symbolize purity.


The views itself from the podium are beautiful, leaving you standing within the clouds, overlooking monasteries, beaches, valleys and hills.


Definitely one of my most magical journeys yet.


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I'm Shalinee - a Geminian scientist who loves to travel, write, draw and eat chocolate. I've visited over twenty countries, published a Environmental Science encyclopaedia and somewhere along the way started a science communication company to help students and corporates translate that hard-to-read data generated in a lab. Other than that, I'm just searching for the magic still hidden in the world.

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