Lantau Island – Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery
The most protected and under populated area of Hong Kong, Lantau Island it is also the biggest island of the region, hosting since 1993, one of the largest seated Buddha statues in the world, known as Tian Tan or Big Buddha.
The path to the Big Buddha is flanked on both sides by the Twelve Divine Generals, which symbolizes a different animal from the Chinese Zodiac, armed with a particular weapon.
The massive statue completed after 12 years, is made of bronze and it stands on the top of the hill, at 34 meters high, which means that you should climb the 268 steps for a closer look.
After the stairs end, on the first level, the Bodhisattvascan gods stone statues can be seen surrounding the Big Buddha, leaving behind a breathtaking landscape of the Lantau island valleys and mountains, including the Po Lin Buddhist Monastery.
Opposite the statue, the Po Lin Monastery (Precious Lotus) welcome the visitors with a nice courtyard studded by many areas where people can bring offerings and pray. It is aso the home of many devout monks. You can also enjoy a meal at its popular vegetarian restaurant.
No not miss Victoria Peak, it is a “must see” attraction and has maybe the most scenic view of HK, Kowloon & Victoria Harbour.
I have been to The Peak during spring and the views from the top have been amazing (but be prepared to be jostled and elbowed by hordes of visitors fighting for the ideal shot/selfie). Definitely worth the price which includes the tram (the ticket costs you around 50 HK dollars.). Also, there are couple souvenir stores and also many places to eat near Victoria Peak. I love this place so much, quite the romantic location too.
At the top of the peak at night, it is significantly cooler and windy than at the base, so bring a light jacket if you are going at night.
Get up early to avoid ridiculous queues…but if you wanna get the dusky twilight exposure in your pics you should go in the evening! I was in the line for over 2 hours to just board the tram to get up to the observation area, with the line for the ride down taking at least 45 minutes. Tour groups and fast pass holders can skip some of the long lines but for a price. Taxis were offering to ferry people up to the top for almost $400HKD, despite the price for the tram being a small fraction of that price. Some people chose the taxi route later came down to find that it was a short overpriced ride to the top.
The tram ride was interesting but don’t expect people to be polite and remain in queue-Chinese style.