Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery

Sights Type / Religious
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
  • Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery
Location

Hong Kong, China

Address

Ngong Ping Rd, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Getting there

Bus: Bus 15 from Central, below Exchange Sq
Train: Peak Tram Lower Terminus

Telephone

+852 2985 5248

More information

http://www.plm.org.hk/, https://facebook.com/pages/Big-Buddha, https://foursquare.com/v/tian-tan-buddha-giant-buddha

Prices

The cost is $25 HKD one way for an adult. The buses are clearly marked and easy to find both going and returning. If you like, you can take a taxi, which costs around $125 HKD one-way from the ferry pier to the big Buddha statue.

Opening hours

10:00 am - 5:30 pm

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The Big Buddha on Lantau Island is the biggest sitting Buddha statue built outdoor. This majestic statue sits atop the peak of Mount Muk Yue. Po Lin Monastery has taken 12 years to plan and build this bronze Buddha statue that symbolizes the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on earth.

The Big Buddha Statue has become a major landmark in Hong Kong, attracting numerous local and overseas Buddhists and visitors. It is not only a remarkable work project, but also an outstanding piece in Buddhist sculptural art in recent history. It is a valuable heritage of mankind.

The Hong Kong Big Buddha (or Giant Buddha) in Lantau Island is one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world. It stands at 34 meters high (112 feet) and is one of Hong Kong's most popular sights. Tian Tan, as the Big Buddha is known, is made of bronze.

The Big Buddha is not a "piece of history" but rather a fairly recent endeavor. It was unveiled in 1993 and ever since visitors have been flocking in numbers. In fact, the entire complex has a "newness" feel to it, and with the tourist crowds inevitably comes a bit of commercialisation.

The Big Buddha is not a "piece of history" but rather a fairly recent endeavor. It was unveiled in 1993 and ever since visitors have been flocking in numbers. In fact, the entire complex has a "newness" feel to it, and with the tourist crowds inevitably comes a bit of commercialisation.

Getting to Ngong Ping Village and the Hong Kong Big Buddha with the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car is in itself an attraction and definitely the recommended way to get here to see the Buddha.

As you traverse the Ngong Ping Village, the paths beyond will be well-marked, but not really necessary as you can always look up and see the majestic Hong Kong Big Buddha sitting atop the hill so all you have to do is head in that direction.

Leaving the Ngong Ping Village, the path to the Big Buddha will be flanked on both sides by the Twelve Divine Generals.

Each of the Twelve Divine Generals that guard the statue, symbolizes a different animal from the Chinese Zodiac, is armed with a particular weapon, and represents two distinct hours of the day.

Once you pass the Twelve Divine Generals you will see the Staircase that leads to the Buddha atop the hill. There are 260 steps and several areas in between where you can stop for a rest, take pictures, and just enjoy the views.

Tian Tan rests on a three-tier podium at the end of the Staircase. The first level contains Six Statues of Bodhisattvas, three on each side of the staircase.

The Bodhisattvas are Buddhist deities which are venerated for helping mortals reach enlightment. Each statue weighs about two tons and are made of stone.

The Second Level houses a small museum with paintings and various articles depicting Buddha's life and teachings.

And finally the closest look at Tian Tan, seating on a wreath of Lotus Leaves. The Lotus has special significance in Buddhism, and is a symbol of Purity.

Another symbol of Buddhism is the "reverse swastika". You will see these symbols used in decoration throughout Buddhist temples as well as here carved into the chest of the Big Buddha. The symbol has nothing to do with the swastika, it is merely a symbol associated with Buddhism, like the cross would be a symbol for Catholics.

The 260-step climb will be well-rewarded, the views from Tian Tan's podium are magnificent and you can go around in a 360 circle and enjoy Lantau Island's beauty, the valleys and mountains...

Po Lin Monastery

The remote Po Lin Monastery, hidden away by lush mountains, became a popular attraction when the extraordinary Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as the Big Buddha) was erected in 1993. Sitting 34 metres high and facing north to look over the Chinese people, this majestic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia.

The eyes, lips, incline of the head and right hand, which is raised to deliver a blessing to all, combine to bring a humbling depth of character and dignity to the massive Buddha, which took 12 years to complete. Climb the 268 steps for a closer look at this remarkable statue, and to enjoy the sweeping mountain and sea views that can be seen from its base.

Opposite the statue, the Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums and has been dubbed ‘the Buddhist World in the South’. Home to many a devout monk, this monastery is rich with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography and its pleasant garden is alive with birdsong and flowery scents. You can also enjoy a meal at its popular vegetarian restaurant.

How to get there

MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, then take Ngong Ping Cable Car, which takes around 25 minutes. Then walk for around 10 minutes to the monastery; or,

MTR Tung Chung Station Exit B, then take New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre, which takes around 45 minutes. Then walk for eight minutes; or,

catch ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo, then take New Lantao Bus 2 to Ngong Ping Village, which takes around 40 minutes.

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

If you’re staying in one of Hong Kong’s luxury hotels with a good concierge, always let them know what your itinerary is because you just might be surprised by the convenience they can add. We have purchased Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car tickets through the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong concierge desk and most recently through the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong concierge with no service charge. This allows us to skip the queues at the cable car entrance. Even though we arrive early, ticketing queues are still quite long. There is a special line for people with advance purchase tickets to exchange vouchers for wrist bands to ride the cable car.

After receiving wrist bands, there’s a queue to enter the cable car. The glass bottom cable car queue is significantly shorter than the regular cable car.

If your budget permits, opt for the glass bottom cable car, called a Crystal Cabin. This experience is a serious highlight for my daughter. We passed over bits of the South China Sea, roads and lots of greenery.

Things To Do At Ngong Ping Village

The cable car from Tung Chung ends at Ngong Ping Village where, of course, you’ll be able to purchase photo souvenirs of you just after entering the cable car.

Here, you can see the Buddha at a distance (as you can on the cable car), take a restroom break (they are very clean, at least when we were there), grab a snack, souvenir shop or even sit down for a full meal.

The one thing I would recommend you do with kids in tow or if you need a refresher regarding the life of Buddha, is to catch the short Walking with Buddha film here which gives a brief run-down of Siddhartha Gautama’s path to enlightenment. He is the man who ultimately became Buddha. The show runs every half-hour, but it could make the visit to the Big Buddha a bit more meaningful to some.

From Ngong Ping Village, it takes about 10 minutes or so to walk to the Big Buddha. Perched up on the hilltop, you can easily figure out where to go.

Note that there are a variety of stray animals that roam Lantau island from sleeping dogs (someone must be feeding them because they keep to themselves) to water buffalo (the latter you probably won’t see in touristy spots). Ignore them and move on.

Eating At Po Lin Monastery

At the base of the Big Buddha, right before you climb up the steps, there are counters selling tickets for vegetarian lunch or snacks at the Po Lin Monastery.

However, before we even arrived in Hong Kong, I mentioned to the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong concierge that we were planning on eating at the monastery’s Vegetarian Kitchen so they took the liberty of making us a reservation for lunch in the VIP room. I didn’t realize reservations were possible (and, like other things in Hong Kong, I’m not sure that they are) so all we needed to do was go directly to the VIP room and pay after being seated (before our lunch was served).

We have also purchased lunch from the counters below the Big Buddha. They’ll offer you the ability to buy the same VIP lunch there, too.

This is what the VIP room entrance looks like.

The menu has been the same for what seems like forever. We’re served jasmine tea, mixed mushroom soup, egg rolls, asparagus with cashews and other veg, fried bean curd with lemon sauce (sort of like a dessert and very good), black mushroom stir fry and white rice. It isn’t Michelin-star quality but it’s good enough. My daughter enjoys it quite a bit. There is no a la carte menu. I paid $138 HKD per person which is less than what we normally spend in Central for lunch. The non-VIP meal is available for less.

Adjacent to the Vegetarian Restaurant is a snack center shop with desserts and other Chinese style vegetarian snacks. You can buy snack vouchers at the same counter below the Big Buddha.

And while we’re on the subject of food, your only other choice up here is to walk back to Ngong Ping Village or bring your own.

Tips For Visiting Big Buddha In Hong Kong With Kids

If you think your kids won’t dig Chinese food at Po Lin Monastery, plan to eat at Ngong Ping Village (pictured below) where there is an ice cream shop, Starbucks, Subway, sushi and I think even an Indian food place.

My daughter had no problem turboing up the 268 steps to see the Big Buddha, counting each one along the way. Visiting the area is a lot of walking for toddlers so a stroller is best for them (left at the base of the Big Buddha).

How Much Time Do You Need?

We’ve managed to squeeze in visits in less than 4 hours door-to-door once because I had an appointment at The Mandarin Spa to get to. I think this is a bit aggressive as the MTR back to Central takes about 45 minutes alone and the cable car alone is 25 minutes each way. We have taxied to Ngong Ping 360, which I don’t recommend cost-wise from Central unless you’re really pressed for time.

But you certainly don’t need a full day to visit the Big Buddha unless you plan to hike the Lantau Trail.

Other Things To Do Near The Big Buddha

If the vegetarian lunch at Po Lin Monastery doesn’t appeal nor do the generic offerings in Ngong Ping Village, you should taxi over to Tai O fishing village. It’s one of the only remaining villages with Chinese stilt houses suspended over water (makes really great photographs). Ask your concierge for recommendations but perhaps try the Tai O Crossing Boat restaurant for roast goose or the many street stalls. Buy XO sauce here.

Site affiliate partner Viator offers a guided day tour with almost everything I mentioned above and more. It starts with a coach ride to Cheung Sha Beach (Hong Kong’s longest beach), Tai O, the Big Buddha, lunch at the monastery and cable car back down.

Citygate Outlets is right next to the Tung Chung MTR station at the base of Ngong Ping 360. If you like discounted shopping, I recommend you stop in here. I stop in for the Shanghai Tang—a Hong Kong luxury brand that is one of my favorites in the world—outlet which retails prior season merchandise at steep discounts.

Reviews by visitors

to visit the Big Buddha Statue, you have to get to Ngong Ping 360 complex by cable car or bus from Tung Chung area.

It is a great place to visit, especially if you want to escape from the busy city of Hong Kong.

When I went there, it was rainy, windy, foggy and misty, nevertheless it offered a one of a kind experience for visitors. I couldn't see the Big Buddha clearly, but still it's a great experience for me visiting this place, particularly after the quite long cable car ride uphill in the middle of the misty mountainous area.

To access the Big Buddha you have to go through the Ngong Ping village area, continuing to the Po Lin Monastery area after the 12 statues of divine generals representing different Chinese zodiacs and times of the day, and walk upstairs of 240 steps above. But it's not very tiring and it's really worth it. It was indeed impressive.

~Ricky S

I love this place, the cable car that goes through the hills and clouds! Its def a must do in HK. Catch the train to expo and get the cable car, the only way to do this. You can easily spend 3 hours here from the time you start the cable to the end. Be prepared to walk and enjoy the sights! Best time is to go in the mornings to beat the rush and the suns rays!

~Hasan R

The whole Ngong Ping village complex, which includes the Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and the surrounding walking trail is worth at least a half day visit. I was told by the locals that it's important to visit the Big Buddha on a clear day. There are some instances where the entire mountain peak and the Buddha is shrouded in fog, where you can barely see anything. In spite of the heavy crowd levels, i still felt a sense of serenity just being here. The stairs can be daunting but it makes for a relatively easy climb, if you pause for breaks in between. Once you are up there, the view is just breathtaking!

~Krisinder K

The Buddha was one of the sights I tried to see in my last couple of visits but just could not find the time. The day promised rain but I was going. I took the train (Tung Chung route) which ends right where the cable cars start. One can go by bus but the ride on the cable cars should be a must. I bought a poncho from an attendant right before getting on the cable car. Worth that 40HKD as the skies opened up once I got there. Still was worth the trip as the crowds were down and there was only a short wait going and no wait coming down. 

One walks through the small village of Ngong Ping which is filled with shops with the usual tourist trinkets and small restaurants on the way to the Great Buddha. 

The rain came in small showers allowing time between them to walk up those stairs which will take your breath away both in the walk up and the view. Make sure you have a pair of shoes with non slip soles as the steps can be slippery.

It is a great break from the crowds of Hong Kong with amazing views of the country side. I am not sure I would have enjoyed as much on a beautiful weather day because of the crowds but on this day it was worth the effort.

~Craig W

The journey to the Monastery is long and requires a cable car at the end to take you to the top of a remote island of Hong Kong near the Airport. I wasn't sure it would be worth the trip. I was pleasantly surprised as the Buddha and Monastery became one of the highlights of our time in Hong Kong. The Buddha itself is huge and very impressive - but so is the monastery with the buildings and interiors with gold and lots of Buddha's.

~Texasfamily98

I was lucky, the only day that it was not raining. It's nice place to visit, I would have love hiking to the place but didn't have enough time so I took the cable car.

~Synvie b

First of all you have to take a ferry to this Island to see the Big Buddha. Once you are on the island you must walk up 400 stairs to the top of the hill to see this statue. If you have bad knees this is not for you, but there are other interesting things around, for example Buddhist Monks are all over and if you are not familiar with them it is very interesting. It was worth the time to go to this spot. Remember to always be respectful of the religion that is actively being practiced here.

~jbmathusek

Going here on Buddha's birthday was certainly an experience and the area itself was quite nice. The downsides of the visit were that it was incredibly crowded (perhaps more than usual because of the birthday) and that it was built on cheap land far from the center in the 1990's. Overall worth a visit, but shouldn't be on the top of anyone's list.

~joelcstrauss

We caught a taxi up the hill to see the big Buddha , although I'm not a spiritual person it was a wonderful site seeing all the statues and being respectful. 

It is a tranquil place with great views there are some convenience stores outside of the Buddha entry point. Also make sure you wear some form of non slip shoes as when the tiles are wet they can be very slippery. As my mother found out the hard way. 

~Adrienne H

The trip to go and see the Big Buddha was worth the time it took to get there. The views were spectacular. The architecture of the Big Buddha is interesting.

~JohanVanGreuning

This place is really great and i love the surrounding of it, lots of buddha statues and you also can enjoy great outdoor activities such as hiking and bird watching here. 

There are shops that sell lots of souvenirs too. You will need to walk a distance and climb stairs too as the Big buddha is a bit far from the drop off point.

~Jacson_Kueh

I had booked a tour on the one EXTREMELY foggy day of my week in Hong Kong. The Buddha is huge; however we could barely see the outline due to the fog. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of the hill for refreshments served in the base of the statue along with a tour of the temple. Be prepared to climb approximately 300 steps. Fortunately there are landings to rest along the way. If the weather had been better, it would have been a beautiful sight.

~George O

First things first. If you are going to the Big Budha, go by the ropeway and only choose the Crystal Cabin. It's definitely worth the extra dollars that you will pay. The views are amazing - think about being in the air 1000 feet high with the sea to your bottom and then green hills with a waking path that few people take and then clouds as you go to further heights. Also you can see the Hong Kong airport and planes landing and taking off. Definitely book in advance online to avoid long queues. We went to it from Kowloon by MTR and it was a fun day event

~Nix_Travels

If you don't go early or on a workday, you will need to plan ample time to make the trip as the queues will be massive.

I recommend the cable car to & from Citygate Mall in Tung Chung. The ride can be a bit unnerving as at times the car will stop, and may sway in the wind, and the gap between the car and ground can be quite large.

Once up the hill, there's a small village to stroll through on your way to the Buddha. It's certainly impressive. The walk up the stairs to the base of Buddha is worth it too. There is also a monastery worth visiting whilst you are up there. 

Other notes:

-there is a bus service too, but it takes longer
-the cable car offers great views of the airport

~Azhman

Going there is a must. Don't forget to buy your ticket for the cable car in advance in a 7/11 (you can not buy it in 7/11 there and you'll have to queue for a long time). 

Once you finish to wait you'll see the nice panorama inside.
 
Personally I'm not a big fan of all the shop and walk fast until all the statue and finally go up to the big Buddha. 

I don't spend much time there cause in fact I love to go to Tai O after this touristic place.

I take the bus (21 if I remember) and go to the fishing village. I eat there and walk inside the small streets where you can imagine how is it to live there. 

People are nice, food is good and it's an authentic visit. 

After I take the bus direction Mui Wo to go the ferry pier and go back to central.

~sebastien B

Climbing 270 steps, one reaches the Big Buddha Statue. The clouds had come down to ensure we didn't clearly see the statue. But after waiting for a while, the winds blew the clouds away for a while. The magnificent statue was in front of our eyes!

~MihirK1983

Figured we were in store for a short day... I was so wrong, From the epic cable car ride to the fun shows and fantastic shopping experiences to the wonderful food. There was just so much to take in besides seeing the Big Buddah. We really enjoyed the "wild" cows that were found at many different places along the way, but our favorite was the giant temples that we saw, Just a surreal day. A must see for any family or friends that come to visit.

~dimitrip56

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