Thursday 25 August 2011

A day out of the Office- Big Buddha

This is the first part of a series of A day out of the office.... where interns tell us about a day off, so that you, our readers know where all the best places are to go in Hong Kong.

This week I adventured to 'Big Buddha' or Tian Tan to locals. This is a giant bronze Buddha on Lantau Island at Ngong Ping, next to the Po Lin Monastery in the center of the island.

To get to the monastery and the statue, the easiest route is to get the cable car, however you can still get a bus or if you are feeling brave, walk. The journey to Ngong Ping is relatively simple, you can get on a MTR and the final stop for the yellow route at Tung Chung. On most maps they even show you the cable car, so you know exactly where you are going.

Once you get to Tung Chung, you will realize there really isn't much too it. A fountain, and a lot of big buildings. It is really only there for the cable car terminal.

Big buildings.

Fountain. 'catching the water' seemed like a fun game, but I didn't really feel like it.

Once you walk past the fountain of youth, you will see a cable car terminal. If I was to go back, I definitely would walk up to the monastery. On the walk up you get to climb things like this.....

On the cable car ride you get to have awkward conversations about how 'cool' the bronze Buddha is with the other westerner in the cable car, who has decided to unbutton their shirt about a third of the way so they can let their 'inner buddha' come out. You also only really get four points of the journey where you can get decent pictures, most of them look like this:

I think the perfect way is to walk up to the monastery and get the cable car down, just try to purchase the ticket before you get there as the queues can be massive.

Once you get to the top you realize that it is a little like the 'Main Street USA' in most Disneyland's except for Buddhists and Monks.
I bypassed this stuff apart from watching some monks running around with buckets. Quite interesting really.

All of this stuff kind of takes the Buddhism out of the Big Buddha, which was created in 1993, it is a little too much of an 'attraction'. However as I walked up the stairs you get a sense of judgement from the towering figure, but I will let you discover that once you get here.

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