- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Chinese Phrases
Fodor's Hong Kong
Tian Tan Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha Review
Hong Kongers love superlatives, even if making them true requires strings of qualifiers. So the Tian Tan Buddha is the world's largest Buddha—that's seated, located outdoors, and made of bronze. Just know the vast silhouette is impressive. Steep stairs lead to the lower podium, essentially forcing you to stare up at all 202 tons of Buddha as you ascend. At the top, cool breezes and fantastic views over Lantau Island await.
Po Lin Monastery. It's hard to believe today, but from its foundation in 1927 through the early '90s, this monastery was virtually inaccessible by road. These days, it's at the heart of Lantau's biggest attraction. The monastery proper has a gaudy, commercial, orange temple complex. Still, it's the Buddha people come for.
Wisdom Path. This peaceful path runs beside 38 halved tree trunks arranged in an infinity shape on a hillside. Each is carved with Chinese characters that make up the Heart Sutra, a 5th-century Buddhist prayer that expresses the doctrine of emptiness. The idea is to walk around the path—which takes five minutes—and reflect. Follow the signposted trail to the left of the Buddha.
Ngong Ping Village. People were fussing about this attraction before its first stone was laid. Ngong Ping Village is a moneymaking add-on to the Tian Tan Buddha. Walking With Buddha is intended to be an educational stroll through the life of Siddhartha Gautama, the first Buddha, but it's more of a multimedia extravaganza that shuns good taste with such kitsch as a self-illuminating Bodhi tree and piped-in incense. No cost has been spared in the dioramas that fill the seven galleries—ironic, given that each represents a stage of the Buddha's path to enlightenment and the eschewing of material wealth.
You can get here on the Ngong Ping 360 sky rail from a terminal adjacent to the MTR station in Tung Chung or via Buses 2 and 23 from Mui Wo and Tung Chung, respectively.
The only way to the upper level, right under the Buddha, is through an underwhelming museum inside the podium. You only get a couple of feet higher up.
The booth at the base of the stairs is only for tickets for lunch—wandering around the Buddha is free.
The monastery's vegetarian restaurant is a clattering canteen with uninspiring fare. Pick up sandwiches at the Citygate Mall, Tung Chung, or eat at a restaurant in Ngong Ping Village.
- Address: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong | Map It
- Phone: 2109–9898 Ngong Ping hotline
- Cost: Monastery and path free. Walking with Buddha: HK$35
- Hours: Buddha daily 10–5:30, monastery and path daily 8–6
- Website: www.plm.org.hk/eng/home.php
- Metro Tung Chung.
- Location: Lantau Island
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
With hot temperatures and sometimes poor air quality, visiting Beijing during the summer months can sometimes be miserable.
However, during our visit we were fortunate to have nice weather as we head from Read more
A short Beijing Metro ride and we surface in search of our destination to experience some more of for us amazing Beijing. Read more
I am travelling with my boyfriend in China this summer. Read more
· News & Features
A member of the Design Hotels group, the new Mira Moon hotel flaunts cutting-edge design in Hong Kong's ... Read more
Come for the art and the views, but stay for the fantastic food, strong drinks, and swanky stays.... Read more
Behind Hong Kong's towering skyline skyscrapers is a world of unique, diverse downtown enclaves, from... Read more