Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha

Top choice in Lantau

Po Lin is a huge Buddhist monastery and temple complex that was built in 1924. Today it seems more of a tourist honeypot than a religious retreat, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year and still being expanded. Most of the buildings you'll see on arrival are new, with the older, simpler ones tucked away behind them. The main compound has several areas to peer into, such as the Main Shrine Hall of Buddha.

The big draw is the enormous seated bronze Buddha, a must-see on any Hong Kong trip. Commonly known as the "Big Buddha," the Tian Tan Buddha is a representation of Lord Gautama some 23m high (or 26.4m with the lotus), or just under 34m if you include the podium. It was unveiled in 1993, and today it still holds the honour of being the tallest seated bronze Buddha statue in the world.

How to get to Po Lin Monastery

The Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car offers the quickest and most scenic route (HK$270 round trip for standard cabin). The "Crystal Cabin" features a glass bottom (and runs HK$350 round trip). Rides start at Tung Chung, which is easily accessed on the MTR. Alternatively, the No 23 bus takes the terrestrial route.


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