I didn’t get a chance to visit Tian Tan Buddha on my first trip to Hong Kong, so it was one of the first things on my list to see this time around.
Although the weather on the day of my visit was rather wet, miserable and dreary, and I had much rather spent the day in bed, I still wanted to make the most of it and make my journey over to Lantau Island.
The commute via public transport started with a walk from my hotel (I stayed at The Mercer in Sheung Wan which I highly recommend for convenience, quality and service) to the Sheung Wan MTR station, an MTR ride to Tung Chung and lastly, a 40 minute bus ride to Tung Chung town centre. There’s an option to take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car from the Tung Chung MTR to the town centre however, since there was a fair bit of rain and fog on the day, visibility wasn’t really at it’s A-game anyway.
Standing at 34 metres tall, it’s pretty hard to miss Tian Tan when the skies are clear. But when the fog and mist starts to roll in, it can become a challenge – I experienced just this after spending half an hour in Tung Chung when it really started to pour down with rain.
Besides seeing the magnificent bronze statue of Tian Tan Buddha in person, the other reason for visiting was to have lunch at the vegetarian restaurant at Po Lin Monastery. I absolutely love visiting Buddhist temples and centres and enjoying a meal there – there’s always a good vibe going on and the food never seems to disappoint. And the feast that I had at Po Lin was no exception!
While the rain didn’t seem to settle (it in fact got even heavier!), I still wanted to take the stairs all the way up to Tian Tan Buddha after lunch. There are approximately 268 steps up to the Buddha, but I found it to be quite a walk in the park! I didn’t take many photos while I was up there due to the rain, but it was also quite busy that I wanted to get in and out of the crowds as fast as possible (after a walk around of Tian Tan Buddha, of course!).
Despite the circumstances around the weather, it was still all-in-all an enjoyable day to be out and exploring a new place for the very first time. I definitely think that if you find yourself in Hong Kong (even for a short layover), a morning trip to Tian Tan Buddha and lunch at Po Lin Monastery is worth it!