hk_tiantan_stairsIt’s the second-biggest Buddha I’ve ever seen.

That was the thought I hadwhen I made my first trip to Lantau in Hong Kong with my parents (after numerous day and weekend trips China’s Special Administrative Region). We decided to take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car up to Po Lin monastery and the Giant Buddha.

After seeing so many temples in China, Thailand, and Malaysia, it takes a lot to impress me–and Po Lin wasn’t anything special. Yes, it’s a large seated Buddha on a lotus flower, but it’s not that interesting or even historic (it was built in 1993). It was a much better experience seeing the one in Leshan.hk_tiantan

Although the temple and statue weren’t great, the ride up was amazing. The Ngong Ping 360 cable car is an experience. I was wondering why a ticket would be so expensive, and I found out on the half-hour ride up the mountains. We were fortunate enough to have the clearest day I’ve ever seen in Hong Kong–it made the views of Lantau much better.

Lantau from Ngong Ping
Lantau from Ngong Ping

Below the cable car, we noticed a few hiking trails–with a few hikers risking the extended time in the sun and intense heat of August. I was tempted to return when the weather was cooler to enjoy a hike through the mountains of Hong Kong, but that may have to wait.

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