Friday, May 10, 2013

Fun in Hong Kong: the Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Tai O

Back again with more fun things to do in Hong Kong! You can find the first instalment back over here.

We decided to pop over to Lantau Island to see the Big Buddha, a 34 metre statue of the big man at the Po Lin Monastery.

We took the Ngong Ping 360, a cable car, over to the island. What a fantastic way to travel.

Ngong Ping 360 cable car in Hong Kong

We paid a little extra to get the glass bottomed car (known as the Crystal Cabin) which the kids loved.

Don't worry, someone cleans the nose prints off after every ride.

When you hop off the cable car you make your way through the Ngong Ping Village, which as far as I could see was a street filled with take-away food and souvenirs.


But once you get past that little pocket of commercialism you find yourself in the Po Lin Monastery grounds:


Dominated by the bronze Tian Tan Buddha statue:

the Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong

Built in 1993, you'll have to climb up 268 steps to make it up to his lotus throne.

The Tian Tan Buddha at the Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong

Once there you will be treated to beautiful views:


And some lovely smaller statues known as The Offering of the Six Devas (not the Sex Divas, as I accidentally typed), who face the Buddha with their gifts.


In the background of this photo you can see the golden-roofed monastery (the building behind it, under all the scaffolding, is apparently the monks' accommodation).

Deva offering to the Big Buddha on Lantau Island, Hong Kong

So we headed back down all those stairs:


To see the Po Lin Monastery.

Po Lin Monastery in Hong Kong

It is filled with so many beautiful Buddha-y things - you really must see it.

Stairs leading to the Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island

You can't go in (or take photos of the interior) but there are many large open doors so you can watch the monks praying amongst the gorgeousness.

Chinese dragon at the Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong

It's hard not to be affected by the peace and calm that emanates from the building.


On the way out we walked through an area where incense offerings could be made.

Of course, the 3 yr old touched the tip of an incense stick. Of course he did.

We didn't have a great deal of daylight left but we decided to make a quick visit to the nearby Tai O fishing village.

Waterway in the Tai O fishing village, Hong Kong

We caught the bus from the Ngong Ping and 20 minutes later (after a rather curvaceous ride) arrived in a village very different to the Hong Kong we had seen so far.

Houses on stilts at Tai O fishing village, Lantau Island

The village is essentially mounted on stilts. You can pay to take a boat ride through the waterways (which we would've done if we'd had the time) or just do like we did and wander the several streets that are built on land.

The best house in the village (the one that appears on all the postcards)

There are market stalls everywhere, specialising in dried seafood. Every sea creature you could think of had been caught, dried and sometimes, pressed.


Check out the whole shark hanging on the back wall in this photo:

Seafood market stalls at Tai O fishing village, Hong Kong

We were racing the bus schedule so we didn't get to spend as much time in the village as we wanted (I didn't get to see the temple, boo), but we were still very glad we made it there.

We took the ferry home from Lantau Island that night and we were all rather tired.

Another weekend is upon us, hooray! Hope you all have a good one!


Betty said...

Wonderful as always! Thank you for taking us with you on your trip!
I think I know what your kids will remember from this trip: the glass bottom of the cable car!
Or perhaps that one stick of incense? haha

Sarah - Red Gingham said...

Oh my that looks totally terrifying Kirsty! As for the glass bottomed one, you can keep that. I really don't like cable cars these days. I bet that walk up all those stairs was a good workout. It's such an enormous statue. Looks like a great time was had.

My parents have just spent two days in HK and enjoyed it too. It was just a quick stopover so I don't think they would have been to the places in your pics but they did find your previous post very useful. Enjoy your weekend too Kirsty xx

Susan said...

I agree with Betty- wonderful as we have come to expect from you Kirsty! I did the climb to the Buddha when we were there in 2008. Another fond memory was being 'blessed(?)' by a Buddhist monk at a temple in Vietnam in 2006. They certainly exude peace and calm. If my footy team can get up tonight, it will be a great weekend- besides its Mother's Day on Sunday!

Marg said...

Thanks for sharing your photos of your trip to HK. I've only been there once, when I was pregnant and in the first days of seven months of morning sickness. Needless to say I didn't enjoy it. I would love to go back though. I missed so much the first time.
Pity about the incense, I bet he won't do that again in a hurry!

Sarah said...

What a fantastic visit! Love the photos of the village on stilts. I wonder if the houses get damp inside. I suppose they must do.

Katy Cameron said...

Oh that looks amazing! When we went to Oz we went via Malaysia, so as yet I've not made it to HK

Cath said...

Looks like a trip worth doing. The photos are amazing (as usual!)
Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

Anonymous said...

Agreed - the photos are amazing as usual! You have reminded me that I must make the trip out to Tai O again soon - haven't been in ages. Jo

Sara Louise said...

I can just picture Hegory, lying on the bottom, nose pressed to the glass with the other three :) x

Unknown said...

Спасибо, очень интересно! Фотографии суперские.

JoeinVegas said...

Wow - some cable car!

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