Lantau Island and the Big Buddha

Here is a great destination to discover in a day!

Peaceful island, and buddhism

Lantau Island is located south-west of Hong Kong. Buddhist architecture; a long sandy beach; a mall of shopping outlets: the place has it all. Whatever your persuasion, Hong Kong’s largest outlying island brings solace to the soul.

Another perk is the presence of Hong Kong International Airport, opened on a man-made island in northern part of Lantau Island in 1998. This island truly has it all.

It boasts dramatic ocean views, gorgeous hiking trails, unspoiled beaches and picturesque villages. In addition, the iconic Tian Tan Buddha statue overlooks the place. And Hong Kong Disneyland can be found here.

Throughout Lantau Island, the beautiful scenery and famous historical sites are truly fascinating. There is a chain of mountains that stretches from the higher elevations in the west to the lower ridges in the east.

The highest peak in the mountain range is Phoenix Mountain, standing 935 meters high. It is the second highest peak in all of Hong Kong.

One of the most popular attraction for tourists visiting Lantau Island is climbing Phoenix Mountain to view and admire the sunrise. Tourists often climb up at night, and reach the top before the daybreak.

What might the most popular attraction is the Big Buddha, or Tian Tan Buddha. 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 symbolises the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on earth.

Years needed to build the Big Buddha

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.

Start your hike from the south of Shek Pik reservoir, where cattle roams around the road and provides a relaxing sight. What a change from the bustling city life!

Go through the Lantau Shek Pik country trail, for a rather easy stroll of two hours. The hardest part is at the beginning, featuring several steep flights of stairs, but manageable nonetheless.

Once through this bit, it goes gently uphill, with occasional ups and downs, making it enjoyable.

The views quickly get impressive: first the reservoir and further, the sea; then various cliffs covered in lush green vegetation.

You will also come across several brooks, reflecting the sunlight upon the rocks in a way any photographer will be amazed by.

After a hundred and twenty minutes of walking, or less given your condition, you reach civilisation anew and enjoy architecture with Wisdom path, and abandoned houses giving an eerie yet poetic vibe to the place. Some more effort, and here you are!

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.

Lantau peak, also called Fung Wong Shan, stands next to you, a little higher than the Buddha.

The remote Po Lin Monastery, hidden away by lush mountains, is next to it.

Sitting 34 meters high and facing north to look over the Chinese people, this majestic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia.

Pictures from: Michaela Giles.