“Life Well Travelled Hong Kong” is a digital journey that brings Hong Kong to life through the eyes of two travelers seeing it for the first time. Read their story here, or download our free interactive eBook. Learn helpful tips. Even book a ticket.
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10:00 am | Lantau Island

Floating through clouds

It’s 10:00 am, and the rain is falling steadily. But we’re too excited to care. Today we’re heading to Lantau Island to see the sights, one of which is the iconic Tian Tan Buddha. We’re lucky because the weather has kept the crowds down, and we have our own cable car to take us up the mountain. From ground level we begin our ascent upward, and the higher we get, the better and better the view becomes. One of our colleagues is slightly afraid of heights, and in retrospect, paying a little extra

for the glass bottom cabin might not have been a wise idea. For the rest of us, it’s nothing short of amazing. Several hundred feet above the water, we bisect clouds and enter the lush green world of Lantau Island. The ride is a little rocky, as the wind blows the car more than we’d care for. We exit the cable car cabin after a 20-minute breathtaking journey, our legs a little wobbly from the trip. Walking though the gate, we’re greeted by some local cows who are presumably on their way to see the Buddha. We pass through a collection of shops selling trinkets to tourists, and then beyond, a giant staircase where the climb to meet the Tian Tan Buddha begins. The Buddha is one of the five largest ones in China, and surrounding it are six smaller statues known as the Offering of the Six Devas. Each one represents the six perfections (generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom), all of which are necessary for enlightenment. The statue stands 112 feet in height and was built from over 202 individual bronze pieces. There are three halls behind the statue, and to reach them, we must climb one final spiral staircase. At the top we find the Halls of the Universe, Benevolent Merit, and Remembrance. In the Hall of Remembrance we’ve heard there’s a relic of Gautama Buddha, a bone fragment from his cremated remains. Only visitors who purchase an offering of the Buddha are allowed to see it. We’ve made the offering and are now face-to-face with an important piece of spiritual history. It’s both humbling and inspiring and gets us thinking. After being so high off the ground, it’s odd to think our next stop will have us going in the complete opposite direction.

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