What To See in Hong Kong – Big Buddha in Hong Kong Lantau Island

What To See In Hong Kong - Big Buddha Blesses Everyone - Header

What To See in Hong Kong – Big Buddha in Hong Kong Lantau Island

If you are wondering What To See In Hong Kong that is a Must, it is the Big Buddha in Hong Kong Lantau Island, also known as Tian Tan Buddha, is an amazing sight to behold! It is so huge that it can be seen from an airplane as it approaches Hong Kong International Airport.

During our last Hong Kong vacation, of course we simply must visit this awesome and magnificent Buddha image! We were really eager and excited about this day trip to the island that also has many attractions such as the Po Lin Monastery, the monastery’s vegetarian restaurant, the Wisdom Path, and more.

At that time, we were staying at Residence G Hong Kong (by Hotel G). It was a very nice Boutique Lifestyle Hotel. We will share about that in another blog post soon. (So do sign up for our newsletter to receive updates)

So, we had to travel from Residence G Hong Kong, which is located in Kowloon, to Big Buddha in Hong Kong Lantau Island.


Getting to Lantau Island

It is very easy and convenient to travel from anywhere in Hong Kong to Lantau Island. One of the most affordable ways is via MTR (Mass Transit Railway).

The MTR has a vast network that can take you to almost anywhere in Hong Kong. Take a look at the map below (click to see a larger version of the map).

What To See In Hong Kong - MTR Map
MTR System Map, source: mtr.com.hk, CLICK to see larger version

The closest MTR station to Residence G Hong Kong, the hotel where we stayed at, is Austin MTR station. After early morning breakfast, we walked along Austin Road to the station.

We took the train on the West Rail Line to Nam Cheong MTR station. Then transit to Tung Chung line towards Tung Chung MTR station. That stop was in Lantau Island itself. You can see the route on the map above.

What To See In Hong Kong - View from MTR train en route to Tung Chung MTR Station that is on Lantau Island
View from MTR train en route to Tung Chung MTR Station, Lantau Island, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

At certain sections of the train route, it went above ground. Nothing spectacular to see, but it was nice to get views of Kowloon as the train sped on to Lantau Island.



Citygate Outlets

At Tung Chung station, there is a mall called Citygate Outlets. Initially, we thought of spending some time there to browse around, and perhaps get some great deals. It is, after all, a factory outlet, supposedly selling stuff at much lower prices.

Tip: Truth about Citygate Outlets – our Hong Kong friend informed us that the product range at this mall is not good. The fashion is not the latest, and the discounts were not really worth it. A taxi driver later confirmed this with us. Apparently the locals know this. Only tourists were in the dark, thinking there are good deals because of the word ‘outlets’, which is supposed to mean stuff at much lower prices. They are not.

After finding out the truth, we decided not to shop there. Still, the mall has a good use though.

The train ride from the hotel was not too long, but long enough. And it may be another half an hour to one hour to Ngong Ping, Lantau Island where Tian Tan Buddha is located. So we took advantage of the nice and clean restrooms there, and had our restroom break.


Ngong Ping Cablecar

What To See In Hong Kong - Ngong Ping Cablecar Station was closed
Ngong Ping Cablecar Station was closed, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

It was supposed to be an entire experience. We had planned and intended to take the Ngong Ping Cablecar to Ngong Ping. That is where Tian Tan Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and Wisdom Path are located.

Unfortunately, when we reached the cablecar station, we were informed that the entire service was down due to maintenance. We had no choice but to take the bus to Ngong Ping.

We were a little disappointed as we wanted to see how the view as the cable car ‘flies’ over to Ngong Ping. Nevertheless, the main event is the Big Buddha. So disappointment was quickly dissipated by anticipation.


Bus to Tian Tan Buddha

We discovered that the bus to Ngong Ping was bus number 23. But before that, we had to find out how to pay for the bus ticket.

* Tip: Get the Octopus card the moment you start to take the MTR around Hong Kong and Kowloon. It is very useful, convenient and saves a lot of money. When you first get the card, you need to pay HK$50 (refundable deposit) and HK$100 value for use. We were able to use the same card for the bus to Ngong Ping. No hassles.

The queue for bus number 23 was very long. Fortunately, the bus arrives frequently. In less than half an hour, we were aboard the bus, and on our way to Ngong Ping.

The bus ride was not really smooth sailing. Ngong Ping is at the top of a very high hill. The road to there has a lot of sharp turns and many curves that most probably circled the slopes of the hill.

Tip: For those who are prone to air or car sickness, I suggest taking something to prevent that before boarding the bus.


Gateway to Tian Tan Buddha

After some time, we finally arrived! Here is the Gateway to Tian Tan Buddha!

What To See In Hong Kong - Gateway to Tian Tan Buddha
Gateway to Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Yesterday, after we arrived, we spent half a day and night at Kowloon. And what a difference Ngong Ping was to Kowloon!

There were vast open spaces with lush greenery that filled the landscape at Ngong Ping. In contrast, there were tall and short buildings that covered every area in Kowloon, thinly separated by narrow roads.

At Ngong Ping, I could actually feel my soul breathe.

Tip: From the Gateway, it is awesome to see the Tian Tan Buddha sitting high on the hill. A sight you will never forget. Take a few moments to soak it all in.

At the Gateway, we could see the monumental Tian Tan Buddha! (top right portion of photo above) Here is another photo of the Big Buddha as seen from the Gateway.

What To See In Hong Kong - Tian Tan Buddha seen from afar, from Gateway
Tian Tan Buddha seen from Gateway, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The Bodhi Path

Before reaching the actual Big Buddha image, there was a Bodhi Path that led to it. When we were there, and because the weather was also quite warm, the path looked really long. But it actually was not.

Also, it was fun to spend a little time along this path. There were 12 Divine Generals placed along the pathway.

What To See In Hong Kong - Bodhi Path that leads to Tian Tan Buddha
Bodhi Path that leads to Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Tip: Did you know that each of the 12 Divine Generals represent an animal in the Chinese Zodiac? Find yours, and take a photo with it!

The one below was the Divine General for those born in the Year of the Rabbit.

What To See In Hong Kong - Divine General for those Born in the Year of the Rabbit
Divine General for those Born in the Year of the Rabbit, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems


The Long Stairway to Tian Tan Buddha

And then … the long and steep flight of steps to Tian Tan Buddha.

268 steps!

What To See In Hong Kong - 268 Steps to Tian Tan Buddha
268 Steps to Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Sounds exhausting?

Well, it was the climb we had to take in order to get a closer view of the magnificent statue, and to enjoy the sweeping scene of the mountains and seas.

Let’s go!

Tip: Oh wait! At the bottom of the steps, there is a booth that sells Meal Tickets. These are tickets to dine a set lunch at the nearby renowned Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant. A Deluxe Meal is priced at HK$128 per person (as of March 2014). Choose the Deluxe Set Meal. You won’t regret it. And purchase the tickets here at this booth at the base of the steps. Reason: You get FREE admission to the museum when you reach the Big Buddha. The artifacts, relics and art pieces are worth viewing.

At the bottom of the steps and along the way up, there were many Incense Burners, Lamp Posts and mini Pagodas.

What To See In Hong Kong - Large Incense Burner at Foot of Steps to Tian Tan Buddha
Large Incense Burner at Foot of Steps to Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Beautiful, isn’t it? Look at the intricate details. Here’s another one.

What To See In Hong Kong - Large Incense Burner along Steps to Tian Tan Buddha
Large Incense Burner along Steps to Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems
What To See In Hong Kong - Large Lamp Post along Steps to Tian Tan Buddha
Large Lamp Post along Steps to Tian Tan Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Tian Tan Buddha

We finally reached Tian Tan Buddha!

The gigantic Tian Tan Buddha is made of bronze. It took 12 years to build, and was completed in 1993. It is 34 metres tall and faces north. This direction was specially chosen so that the Big Buddha looks over all the Chinese people.

Why was the statue named Tian Tan Buddha?

Its base is a model of the Altar of Heaven. Also, known as Earthly Mount of Tian Tan, which is the Temple of Heaven that is located in Beijing.

We hope everyone receives blessings when they see the images here of Tian Tan Buddha!

What To See In Hong Kong - Big Buddha Blesses Everyone
Tian Tan Buddha Blesses Everyone! © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The right hand of the statue is raised. This represents the removal of affliction. The other left hand rests on the lap. This is a gesture of generosity.

What To See In Hong Kong - Big Buddha - view from another angle
Another angle of Big Buddha, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The Museum

Beneath the statue, there is a Museum. It comprises of 3 halls – the Hall of the Universe, the Hall of Benevolent Merit, and the Hall of Remembrance.

There were many floors of ancient relics and Buddhist items on many floors. We even saw an Anita Mui shrine. But more significant was the relic of Gautama Buddha, the alleged cremated remains. That is what this Museum is renowned for, and why most people visit it.

It was really worth a visit. Take note of the tip given earlier to buy the ticket at the ground level so that you get free entrance to this ethereal and blissful experience.

Unfortunately, no photo taking was allowed. So we have no images to share of the Museum.


Around Tian Tan Buddha

At the base of the Big Buddha, there were six statues of Devas positioned all around it. As we took time to observe them, we noticed that each of these Devas has an item in their hands. They were lifted upwards as if offering them as gifts to Tian Tan Buddha.

What To See In Hong Kong - 3 of 6 Devas
3 of 6 Devas, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

These 6 bronze statues are known as The Offering of the 6 Devas. They are offering flowers, incense, lamps, ointments, fruits and music to Tian Tan Buddha. These items symbolize the 6 Perfections, which are zeal, patience, morality, generosity, meditation and wisdom. All necessary for enlightenment.

What To See In Hong Kong - Another 3 of 6 Devas
Another 3 of 6 Devas, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

The base of Tian Tan Buddha is circular with a large walkway for visitors to amble. Every step we took, we were greeted with really beautiful scenery.

Tip: Take some time to slowly enjoy the breathtaking view. It is truly awesome!

What To See In Hong Kong - Awesome View of Mountains
Awesome View of Mountains, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems
What To See In Hong Kong - Serene Mists On Mountains
Serene Mists On Mountains, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems
What To See In Hong Kong - Po Lin Monastery from afar
Po Lin Monastery from afar, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

After this spiritually lifting experience, we proceeded to have lunch at the famous Po Lin Monastery Vegetarian Restaurant. We had done some research before we traveled to Hong Kong, and many reviews said the lunch is really good.

We will be posting about this soon. So do come back to visit and read about it, or subscribe our newsletter to receive updates.

See ya soon!



If you have ANY questions about Big Buddha in Hong Kong Lantau Island or Hong Kong, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus

Things To See in Singapore – Changi Airport Kinetic Rain

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain

Things To See in Singapore – Changi Airport Kinetic Rain

This article is about a really beautiful moving sculpture that is the Changi Airport Kinetic Rain. It also includes a video that went viral on Facebook. So don’t miss watching it. And see why many people have given praises like awesome, mesmerizing, meditative waves of lovedrops, and very amazing. This moving sculpture is surely well liked and is one of the Things To See In Singapore.

This viral video started as an innocent request from one of my Facebook friends. He told me that he read on the Internet about a sculpture that moves. It was located at Singapore Changi Airport. He asked if I could take a photo or video of it, and show it to him.

Actually, I knew and have always loved this modern sculpture. For years, I wanted to capture the contemporary sculpture in video. In 2014, I had the Sony Xperia Z1, which enabled me to take great photos and videos. Now, with it, I could finally do the sculptor justice.

I promised my Facebook friend to do it, and on September 14, 2014, I took the MRT train to Tanah Merah station. Then I switched to another train that took me to Singapore Changi Airport. Next, I walked to the SkyTrain station, hopped on a SkyTrain and arrived at the departure hall of Terminal 1 at Singapore Changi Airport.

It was easy to spot the Kinetic Rain. It is a large installation, and can be seen from almost anywhere in the departure hall of the airport’s Terminal 1.

The moving sculpture was definitely a sight to behold. Something you only see here. The way the ‘raindrops’ slowly floated down from above, the patterns the ‘droplets’ created, it was mesmerizing! Below is the video I took of the Changi Airport Kinetic Rain. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I did.

* Tip: Watch the video ‘HD’ (high resolution) with sound on. Switch on subtitles if you like to learn more about Changi Airport Kinetic Rain.


Things To See in Singapore – Changi Airport Kinetic Rain

Credits: Music in video by Kevin Macleod – Dream Become Real



This Video Went Viral

The video reached 937,000 views on Facebook and 26,957 people shared it. As of 9 August 2017, on YouTube it has reached over 26,000 views and still growing.

Here is a screen shot of statistics:

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain video went viral on Facebook, 937,000 views & 26,957 shares
Screen Capture from Facebook © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

It was amazing and such a thrill for me. Before that, I never had any of my content go viral. I am so happy!


About Changi Airport Kinetic Rain

The Kinetic Rain is undoubtedly the centerpiece of Singapore Changi Airport’s Terminal 1. It is the world’s largest kinetic sculpture with 1,216 raindrops made of aluminium and highly polished copper.

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain
Changi Airport Kinetic Rain © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

Each of these raindrops weigh 180 grams and is suspended by a thin wire. The wires are moved up and down by computer-controlled motors. The entire group of raindrops’ movements are orchestrated, in a slow and fluid manner, such as to form shapes. These shapes all have meaning related to the topic of flight; for example airplane, kite, hot air balloon and even a dragon.

It took two whole years for artists, animators and programmers to create the Kinetic Rain. The design firm is from Germany called Art+Com. The creators designed it to be something for people to look at, contemplate and reflect.

They indeed fulfilled that goal. I could see people hanging around it, watching, and simply immersing in its gentle dance. Even people who watched the above video gave comments that they felt relaxed as they viewed it.

It was Mesmerizing!


About Changi Airport

I love visiting Changi Airport! Whenever I have free time, and a friend happen to depart for another country or return from one, I would grab the opportunity to drop by. Many times, even without any reason or excuse, too.

These days, many Singaporeans also do that. The reason is Changi Airport is much more than just an airport.

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain - Mickey & Minnie Mouse photo op at Changi Airport
Mickey & Minnie Mouse photo op at Changi Airport, © Timotheus Lee for Asia Travel Gems

It is like a huge mall with lots of shops, restaurants, cafes and fast food eateries. There are also many points where there are fun activities, and even photo opportunities, just like the photo on the right.

This year, in 2017, air travelers named it the World’s Best Airport at the 2017 World Airport Awards. It earned the honor for the fifth year in a row.


Location of Changi Airport & Kinetic Rain

As you can see from the image below, Changi Airport is situated at the far east of the island. There are many ways to get there. I will just name the more common ways locals and tourists use.

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain - Singapore map show location of Changi Airport
Location of Changi Airport on Singapore map, source: Google Maps

How To Get To Changi Airport?

It is easy. Earlier I mentioned one of the ways – via the Singapore train system known as MRT. This is one of the most convenient and cheapest form of travel in Singapore. And the train takes you all the way to the airport.

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain - MRT Map
MRT & LRT System Map, source: transitlink

Whichever train line you are on, you can switch till you get on the Green Line.

Things To See In Singapore - Changi Airport Kinetic Rain - MRT to Changi Airport
From Tanah Merah to Changi Airport

The Green Line is also known as the East-West line. Go towards Pasir Ris direction.

When you reach Tanah Merah station, alight and take the line towards Changi Airport. It is only 2 stops away from Tanah Merah station.

There are other ways to get to Changi Airport; such as by bus, taxi or even your own car. I prefer the train and that is why I explain more about it here.

If you wish to take the bus, please go to the Singapore Bus Services website to find out more. If you choose by car, taxi or private rentals such as Grab or Uber, that is quite simple and easy. Just follow the signs on the road and around and at the airport to guide you.

How To Get To Kinetic Rain?

Usually, when I reach the Changi Airport MRT station, I will head towards Terminal 3. Note that there is no direct way to Terminal 1.

At Terminal 3, I look for the signs that direct me to the Sky Train. Go to the Sky Train platform, and wait for the shuttle train to arrive. The Sky Train will take you to Terminal 1.

Alight from the Sky Train when you reach Terminal 1. Walk out into the Departure Hall. Walk a little further into the center of the area, and you will surely see the Kinetic Rain.

That is all for this blog about this lovely and mesmerizing moving sculpture. I hope that if you visit Singapore, you take the time to see it.



If you have ANY questions about Changi Airport Kinetic Rain, Changi Airport or Singapore, ANY at all, please submit your questions as comments below. I will be happy to help you out.

Thank you for reading this article and watching the video.

Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels,

Timotheus