Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Sakyamuni Buddha, located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. On the last day of our Easter long weekend, we finally had the opportunity to head out to the outlying island (and tick No. 6 off my 30 Before 30 list)!
We took a minibus to Central Pier, then the ferry to Mui Wo, and finally bus No. 2 to Ngong Ping. I think the journey took two hours in total, inclusive of waiting time!
Free range cattle at the foot of the hill. This fella came up and started sniffing me!
Time to walk up those steps!
As we had purchased meal tickets (you can get these at the counter located at the base), we could enter the inner halls, where there were displays of religious artwork, among other things. The exit (on a higher floor) led us to this :
This is as close as we will ever get.
The view was stunning as we walked around the “lotus”.
I wonder if Xavier Quack found a home that day?
After that, we headed to the nearby Po Lin Monastery.
The Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
When dining in the monastery, you can choose between two restaurants. There are two options for the meal tickets: a general set and a deluxe set. These are both vegetarian (we’re in a monastery after all). We went with the general set, which cost HKD98 (~S$17) per person.
If you don’t intend to have a full meal, you can get some light bites from a stall near the restaurants, and dine al fresco. As mentioned earlier, the meal tickets get you access to the inner halls under the Big Buddha, so it’s a bit of a “package deal”.
Inside the restaurant. The one serving the deluxe meal was more posh-looking. Well, you get what you pay for!
Soup of the day. There wasn’t anything on the menu specifying what kind of soup this was, but I detected beans, carrots, and bittergourd.
Pu er tea.
Set lunch for two, which also came with more rice than we could finish. Clockwise from top left: stewed black mushrooms with poached seasonal vegetables; sautéed mixed capsicum and firm tofu; steamed beancurd and mixed vegetables in light chilli sauce; and deep-fried spring rolls.
Because fried food deserves a close-up.
We left some room for their famous daufufa (sweet tofu).
If you squint a little, it’s almost like being in Japan during sakura season.
We took a stroll through Ngong Ping Village en route to the bus terminal.
Souvenir shop selling nothing but maneki-neko/招财猫 (lucky cats).
Might as well indulge in tourist-y behaviour!
There are other dining options in the village, in case you don’t fancy vegetarian, although I would definitely recommend going meatless for the day.
Hey, if all else fails, there’s always Starbucks.