• Major Attractions

Tian Tan Big Buddha – The Iconic Attraction in Lantau Island

January 16, 2021

Name(English): Tian Tan Buddha
Name(Chinese): 天壇大佛
Category: Temple visit
Phone Number: +852 29855248
Address(English): Ngong Ping Rd, Lantau Island
Address(Chinese): 大嶼山昂平路
Address Google Map Link: https://goo.gl/maps/2YWpxwiEeC6WR8GQ9
Address longitude and latitude: 22.254188243836253, 113.90501618394276
Opening Hours:
MON 10:00 – 17:30
TUE 10:00 – 17:30
WED 10:00 – 17:30
THU 10:00 – 17:30
FRI 10:00 – 17:30
SAT 10:00 – 17:30
SUN 10:00 – 17:30
Recommended Time to Visit: 10:00am
Accessibility Note: Need to walk up staircases

What would be your top attraction to visit when you plan your trip to Hong Kong? The Peak, Victoria Harbor, or The Big Buddha? The Big Buddha in Lantau Island is the second largest outdoor bronze sitting Buddha (note how we choose the word so it is ranked the second in its class here).

The Name – Tian Tan Buddha

This world-famous architecture is in fact named “Tian Tan”, derives from another majestic religious building of China. Back in 1979, the abbot of Po Lin Monastery was invited to visit Japan and Taiwan. During the trip, the big buddhas he saw inspired him to do just the same in Hong Kong.

The name however, stems from a different trip when the abbot visited The Temple of Heaven, Tian Tan (天壇) in Chinese or heavenward altar in English, in Beijing, China.  They copy the design of the temple’s foundation and name for the newly-founded buddha so as to pay “tribute” to the original.

About the design

Nestling on the summit of Muk Yue Shan (木魚山), the 26.4-metres-high statue has been captivating numerous visitors due to its dramatic design and placement. You have to climb 268 flights of stairs to reach the 34 meters tall Buddha and every bit of this experience is designed to humble you.

Facing northward to Beijing, the capital of China, The Big Buddha devoutly sits as if Gautama Buddha prayed beneath the Sacred Fig, with the gesture that emblems universal peace.

Conversely, the lower part that pedestals the Buddha is a lotus flower, which as the saying goes, means purity and untaintedness despite growing from filthy mud.

Real Estate is more expensive when you are dead

There is a “columbarium” (technically, it is more of a memorial hall as there is no ash stored there) inside The Big Buddha and you should take a walk around there. Just as anything else in Hong Kong, anything that takes up space is going to cost you dearly. While we don’t know exactly how much they charge for putting the name of your deceased family member there, we do know a typical columbarium space can easily cost more than HKD 500,000. Now you want your family member’s photo to be inside The Big Buddha permanently? A good guess is no price will be high enough for that!

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Eric Wong

A HONGKONGER named Eric, is a writer and traveler, but simultaneously the clairvoyant in the city discovering its beauty people barely know.


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