There was this cute Hello Kitty display in one of the underpasses at the MTR and I couldn’t resist taking a few shots =)
We were headed to see the Tian Tian Buddha (Big Buddha) at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. Took the MTR to Tung Chung Station and then the Ngong Ping Cable Car to Ngong Ping.
The cable car ride is really scenic and recommended if you are the sort that love to sit back and enjoy the views. It’s very clean and feels pretty safe as well.
This is a much more comfortable way to get to Ngong Ping compared to taking the bus or the ferry service. You know you are reaching when you can spot the Big Buddha from afar and the bustling little town in the foreground.
Ngong Ping town is rather touristy which is more or less to be expected since tens of thousands of tourist come here each year just to see the Buddha.
Tea house and pond at the village.
The Bodhi tree which is rather significant for the Buddhist religion for it is the tree where Buddha, after his Enlightenment, spent a whole week in front of the tree, standing with unblinking eyes, gazing at it with gratitude.
I went for the multi-media attraction ” Walking with Buddha” and got to understand the origins of the religion as well as some of their principles and guidelines.
We had a blast writing down our wishes and putting them up at the wishing shrine. I’m not sure what the significance of this shrine is but it was still a nice feeling to be able to think of love ones back home and wish only the most beautiful things for them.
We also went for the ” A tale of Monkeys” show which I felt was a total waste of time so if you want my opinion, give that one a miss.
As we walked away from the village, the statue of the Buddha closer. Supposedly you can see the statue all the way from Macau on a clear day! The Buddha is 34 metres tall and was the tallest Buddha till 2007. Now the tallest one is in Jiangsu, China.
These fighting bulls were at a grassy area along the way to the base of the statue. I have no idea why they were there or what their uses were but they seemed a little aggressive to me! Luckily they were too occupied at venting their aggression at each other rather then the tourists that were gathering to see the fight.
Janice and I bought some steamed corn from a roadside store. It’s just steam corn with nothing added… no sugar, no salt, no butter or anything of that sort. But it was delicious! It was simply sweet and juicy and very tasty!
In order to reach the Buddha, we had to climb 268 steps. It sounds like a lot but it is actually pretty achievable for most people. The Buddha’s right hand is raised, representing the removal of affliction. His left hand rests on his lap in a gesture of giving dhana. The Buddha faces north, which is unique among the great Buddha statues, as all others face south.
Around the Buddha, there are statues of the eight immortals.
There are 3 floors of Buddhist works in the base of the Buddha including a relic of Gautama Buddha, consisting of some of his alleged cremated remains. Photography was not allowed inside.
Next, we visited Po Lin Monastery. Literally “Precious Lotus Zen Temple”. The main temple houses 3 bronze statues of the Buddha representing his past, present and future lives as well as many Buddhist scriptures.
I was really fascinated by all the intricate details that have been carved into the pillars and beams. It really is gorgeous! It’s a wonder why some people can see the wonders of architecture and art in the buildings in Europe but not appreciate the oriental architecture that we take for granted in our daily environment.