Day 4 - Welcome to Buddha Land
This entry was posted on 11/29/2006 3:32 AM and is filed under Hong Kong.
In the western hills of Lantau Island is Po Lin, a large
Buddhist monastery and temple complex. High on a hill sits the largest
bronze seated Buddha in the world called the Tian Tan Buddha. It
is about 80 feet tall and majestic beyond belief. You climb up
260 steps to get to the base of it. There is a large bell inside
the statue, controlled by a computer that rings 108 times a day to
symbolize escape from what the Buddhists term the '108 troubles of
mankind." It took 12 years to construct this Buddha. It is
made of bronze and the individual pieces were trucked up a very narrow
road where it was assembled on the site.
To get there we took
our first subway/train ride. We were amazed by the cleanliness of
the cars and the stations. You couldn't find a piece of trash on
the floor if you looked and looked. This is true, by the way,
throughout all of Hong Kong - 7 million people and the streets are
almost spotless. And no graffiti anywhere we've seen either.
the end of the train line we took a 25 minute gondola ride across the
first green terrain we've seen here in Hong Kong, and over water, until
we came into view of this majestic Buddha seated high up on a
hill. It was dramatic and breath taking. And since this
gondola had only been open a few weeks, you can believe that we were
holding our breath throughout the ride.
Getting to the Buddha,
we had to walk through "Enlightenment Land" - a place of souvenir
"enlightenment" objects and other curious things, like a theater
showing a film of the Buddha's life complete with light show, animated
figures, smoke and mist effects and psychedelic strobe lights.
Highlights included Haagen Das Green Tea ice cream, Starbucks by the
Buddha, the 260 steps up to view the Buddha, and of course, the Buddha
himself. And there were six huge statues surrounding the Buddha
making offerings that were also breathtakingly beautiful too.
Here are some photos of how the day unfolded.
Train from Tsim Sha Tsui to Tsuen Wan...
And inside one of the ultra-clean, modern, smooth-riding subways (at a moment when it emerged above ground)...
Take the Gondola over to Lantau Island...
Souvenirs of enlightenment - gotta love it!
Don't forget to grab your Starbucks as you approach His Magnificence...
And finally....The Buddha with the beautiful attendant statues making their offerings...