Lantau Island’s Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) is a huge bronze seated Buddha at 112 feet (34 meters) tall. The statue is a popular pilgrimage site for travelers from Asia and around the globe who climb the 268 steps leading to its base for panoramic views of the South China Sea.
Big Buddha is a popular day trip destination from Hong Kong, and most Lantau Island tours include a visit to the iconic statue. Explore the adjacent Po Lin Monastery and its Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, ride the skyrail cable car from Ngong Ping Village for picturesque views of the giant statue, and perhaps visit nearby attractions such as Tai O fishing village, famous for its stilted houses. For a personalized experience, opt for a private or small-group tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Big Buddha is a must-see for first-time visitors to Hong Kong.
- Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Day trips to Lantau Island from Hong Kong typically last about eight hours.
- Big Buddha and the cable car ride from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping are both wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Big Buddha is located on Lantau Island, roughly one hour by road from Hong Kong. To get to the statue via public transportation, take the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) from Hong Kong to Tung Chung MTR Station. From there, hop on a bus or the scenic cable car railway to Ngong Ping Village.
When to Get There
The statue is open daily and is busiest on Saturdays and Sundays, when many locals and mainland tourists come to visit. Arrive early to avoid crowds and check the weather in advance, as views from the statue’s base are best on a clear day.
Design of the Big Buddha Statue
It took 12 years to plan and build the Big Buddha statue, partly due to the 32 symbolic markers (laksanas) that were incorporated into the piece from Buddhist scriptures (sutras). Each element is symbolic—from the pearls on Buddha’s head that represent his wisdom to the wheel of law etched on each palm, referencing the Buddha’s eternal truth that spreads out in all 10 directions of the universe.