The Big Buddha statue near the Po Lin Monastery in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island is a major Hong Kong tourist attraction. Tourists usually just wait in the long queue in Tung Chung for either the bus or cable car to get there. There is actually a better way. Hike!
It will be a mostly uphill hike, with a concrete path flanked by trees and dotted by temples. Birds sing. Temple bells ring. Trees give shade. Flowers send forth a delicate fragrance. Stones with carvings of Buddhism words smile at us. Look further, you see the spectacular mountain view. It is surely an interesting and beautiful walk.
After reaching two thirds of the path, you will come to this temple, quietly sitting at a highpoint with a commanding view. A nun was farming. Step in the temple area and you will be struck in awe by a huge cotton tree with flaming flowers – it is immensely tranquil there.Approaching the end of the path, you can turn left to go and see the Wisdom Path, an outdoor replica of the centuries old Heart Sutra, displayed on wooden pillars on a natural slope. The calligraphy is done by Jao Tsung-I, an internationally renowned master in Chinese art. You will be struck with awe.
The starting point is Shek Mun Kap. Simply take bus No. 34 from Tung Chung Bus terminus (next to Tung Chung MTR station, Exit B) and get off at the bus’s last stop Shek Mun Kap – a quiet village.
Mon-Sat: 7:30, 8:25, 10:15, 12:05, 13:30, 14:45, 16:15, 17:30, 18:45
Sun and public holidays: 7:30, 8:30, 9:30, 10:30, 11:20, 12:10, 13:00, 13:50, 14:40, 15:30, 16:20, 17:25, 18:30
After you get off the bus, follow the path that has a sign reading “Lo Hon Monastery”. During the hike, follow the sign pointing to “Ngong Ping”.
How to get back to Tung Chung MTR station
Take bus at the Ngong Ping bus terminus. For weekends and public holidays, the bus fare is HK$27, much higher than on weekdays, which is HK$17. The bus ride, full of twists going downhill, takes about 30 minutes.