Visiting the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery

Before we went to Hong Kong, I already knew we would have very little time to see and do all we wanted. The Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery were some of the key sights I wanted to see, so there we went!

The first step was to get on the subway and get off at Tung Chung station. There you will find Citygate Outlets, which ended up being a great distraction as 1) we got in before 10am to start our 25 minute journey on the Ngong Ping 360 gondola ride to the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery and 2) a huge thunderstorm started and we were able to hang out there.

Sign at Tung Chung station pointing to the Ngong Ping 360 station
Sign at Tung Chung station pointing to the Ngong Ping 360 station
Sign inside Tung Ching station that will show you which exit to take to get to Ngong Ping 360 station
Sign inside Tung Ching station that will show you which exit to take to get to Ngong Ping 360 station
Ngong Ping 360 station, where you will buy the tickets to and board the gondola ride
Ngong Ping 360 station, where you will buy the tickets to and board the gondola ride

Once the thunderstorm was over and it was already 10am, we proceeded to buy our tickets for the gondola ride. You can choose the Standard Cabin or the Crystal Cabin; the Crystal Cabin has a glass floor, which means you can see everything below you. My husband thought the price difference wasn’t too big and that we should go for the Crystal Cabin – I have a fear of heights, yay!

Don't look down! Land
Don’t look down! Land
Cabin seen from the Crystal Cabin
Cabin seen from the Crystal Cabin
Don't look down! Sea
Don’t look down! Sea
Hello there, other cabin!
Hello there, other cabin!
We can see a Big Buddha!
We can see a Big Buddha!

To my surprise, the ride was pleasant and as we approached the village, the views of the Big Buddha were awesome! But it was pouring rain during our gondola ride and also after we arrived there. No rain would wash away our excitement, though!

We strolled through the village towards the Big Buddha first. When we arrived, we climbed the 268 steps that will take you to the platform where the Big Buddha sits. We walked around the Buddha but decided not to pay the fee to go inside the Buddha as we were tired and wanted to just take it all in and relax before heading to the Po Lin Monastery (a short walk once you descend the 268 steps you just climbed).

Going up the steps towards the Big Buddha
Going up the steps towards the Big Buddha
The Big Buddha!
The Big Buddha!
View from the top of the 268 steps
View from the top of the 268 steps
Us and the Po Lin Monastery in the background
Us at the Po Lin Monastery grounds
Me as we arrived at the Po Lin Monastery
Me as we arrived at the Po Lin Monastery

Even with the rain, we had a great time visiting the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery. And although I have a fear of heights, the gondola ride on the Crystal Cabin was actually fun and I highly recommend this day trip (about 6 hours) to anyone visiting Hong Kong. I just wished I knew more about the religion, but even without knowing much about it and the symbolism, we felt peace everywhere!

Have you been to Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha? Would you ride the Crystal Cabin?

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