Day Trip to Lantau IslandSunday, February 28, 2016
Away from the blinding light and enthusiastic crowd of Hong Kong, is a little gem, which for me became a highlight of our trip...
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong and getting there involves sitting through one of the longest gondola ride of our lives. The trip took a total of 25 minute and involved flying over picturesque waters and peaceful mountains as we saw the glistening outline of Hong Kong city disappear.
As we inched closer to the monastery on top of the island, we were surrounded by nothing but clouds and gentle rain, amidst it we spotted the giant Buddha statue that was both hauntingly eerie and beautiful. Spying the statue of Lord Buddha sitting serenely over this sea of green set the tune for the rest of the day.
When we reached the monastery, the entire place had a sense of calm and peace that was refreshing after our days in the city and our jam packed trip to India.
Here are all the things we got up to on our trip to Lantau Island:
1. Visit the Po Lin Monastery: Stopping by the Po Lin monastery at once gave us a sense of serenity. The gentle scent of incense in the air, the monastery dogs lazily roaming about and a sea of green surrounding the rich and colorful monument made this place a special stop.
2. Eat a vegetarian meal at the Monastery cafe: As vegetarians finding food can be a difficult task in some places in Hong Kong but this was certainly not the case with our visit to Lan Tau Island. We feasted on traditional budhist meals in the monastery cafe.
3. Enjoy the unparalleled views from The Big Buddha: The Tian Tan Budha (or The Big Buddha) with its inclined head and gently raised hand, is an iconic symbol of Buddhism that stands tall over the island. There is flight of stairs that gets you to the top of this statue from where you can literally have your head in the clouds for the day. Reaching to the top also gets you access to Budhist artifacts that are stored in a museum.
4. Walk the Wisdom Path: If you want to get the best bird's eye view of the South China sea, walking the Wisdom path is your route there. The path involved 38 wooden steles that document the Heart Sutra prayer. A short distance from the Po Lin monastery and The Big Buddha, our visit to the Wisdom Path saw us encounter a herd of lost buffaloes, walk through a path with no one else for company but the trees that covered each side only to come out and experience the wooden monuments standing tall surrounded by thick clouds. Truly a magical moment.
When I was younger I truly considered myself a city girl but over the last few years, I have discovered a love for nature and the sense of escapism it offers. Visiting Lantau Island was my favorite part of our trip to Hong Kong. I loved roaming around the scented, floral pathways of the monastery, petting the half a dozen monastery dogs that hung around the base of The Big Buddha and walking the Wisdom Path in the hope of some enlightenment. If you are planning a visit to Hong Kong, I truly recommend stopping by Lantau Island. It's a peaceful, calming and truly nourishing experience.
With this post we conclude our Hong Kong travel series. Lots more exciting posts coming up about our recent travels to Canada and Hawaii! But before that some local Australian posts, watch this space.