Located at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island, the Big Buddha, which is also known as Tian Tan Buddha, is a large bronze statue that measures 34 meters tall and weighs just over 250 metric tons. Symbolizing the harmonious relationship between man and nature, this is one of Lantau Island’s most popular tourist attractions.
Reaching the Big Buddha
There are a few different ways to reach the Big Buddha once you arrive on Lantau, with the most scenic being the gondola ride that takes you up to the top, although there are also buses available. Once you reach the top, you can either explore the museum, visit the monastery and purchase a vegetarian meal for your lunch, or you can simply take the stairs and explore the statue from the outside.
Lantau is known for being quite the outdoor adventure wonderland, and the trailhead to Lantau Peak, which is the second highest point in Hong Kong, is located right next to the Big Buddha. The round trip to the top takes about three hours, but you are best saving this trip for a clear day, otherwise, the fog and smog will block any views that you may have otherwise had.
Just a few kilometers away from the Big Buddha, on the western side of Lantau Island, lies Tai O, a traditional fishing town. This village has quite the history behind it, from piracy and smuggling to salt production. While their traditional fishing lifestyle is slowly dying out, there are still a number of points of interest to explore here, from the quaint houses on stilts to the Yeung Hau Temple, which was built in 1699, to the Hung Shing Temple, built in 1746. Visitors are also able to book boat rides from local fisherman, who will take you into the sea to catch a sight of some of the native Chinese white dolphins. The Tai O Rural Committee Historic and Cultural Showroom is also located in town and boasts exhibits that tell the story of the community’s past, with all items in their collections donated by local residents.
Ngong Ping Village
Ngong Ping Village is a culturally themed village that stretches out for around 1.5 hectares and is adjacent to the Big Buddha. In addition to the many shops and restaurants that you will find here, there are also regular themed events hosted, as well as street side entertainment every day, from stall games to performances to workshops. This is a great area in which to soak up the essence of Hong Kong, as it manages to merge culture, entertainment, and sightseeing, all in one place.
For those of you visiting Hong Kong this year, be sure to save enough time for a day out on the gorgeous Lantau Island. In addition to checking out the Big Buddha, there are so many other exciting sights to see, from the naturally stunning Lantau Peak to the culturally rich Ngong Ping Village, and it will definitely be one of the highlights of your Hong Kong trip.