Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Hong Kong: Tian Tan Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha
The main event for me in Hong Kong was the Tian Tan Buddha on Lantau Island. After a 20 minute subway ride from Hong Kong Station to Lantau, we lined up for the cable car ride up to see the Tian Tan Buddha. I was silly to think it would be a quick ride up. After a half hour of dangling over water, bridges, and steep mountains, we got there. We climbed through thick masses of fog at a glacial pace before making it up. At first, no Buddha was to be found thanks to the fog. But it cleared up partially to allow us some eerie photos of the massive statue. The closer I got to the Buddha, the more clearly I could make out the silhouette and features. It was the world’s tallest outdoor bronze seated Buddha (until 2007) so it was an impressive photo-op I found myself in front of. Walking up the 240 steps to get a closer look of the Buddha would have been a lot easier if I didn’t stop working out for the past few months prior to this trip. I’ll go back I swear. Soon.
After exploring the Buddha up close, I strolled around the Po Lin Monastery. I witnessed the largest incense in the world (my own assumption) burning a fragrant scent into the air. To end the tour, I spent $1 on a coconut peanut bun, and a vegetarian BBQ bun. It was a sweet ending to my trip to the Buddha.
It was all so spiritual until exiting the area through a strip of gift shops with a Cold Stone and a Subway. Because nothing says “sacred” like a nice 6-inch sub!