Big Buddha

Address: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China

- Free


One of Hong Kong's greatest attractions - getting there is half the fun.

Formally called Tian Tan Buddha, this 34-metre high, 250-ton hill-top statue is visible as you fly in or out of Chek Lap Kok airport (depending on weather and flight route). I always enjoy taking visitors here - the statue is relatively new (1993) but the adjacent Po Lin Monastery was founded in 1906 when Lantau Island was virtually uninhabited.

Consider the climb up the 200-odd steps to the statue as a mini-pilgrimage - and wander along the ridge line to Wisdom Path, a series of tall wooden inscriptions of the Buddhist Heart Sutra that's set within a figure of eight to symbolise infinity.

While primarily a religious site, BB is well on the tourist trail, with buses grinding up the steep access road and other visitors taking the cable car. Whichever route you choose, the scenery is nothing short of dramatic.

Value for money

Expert tips

Plan to get here early, catching the first cable car or bus, before the hordes arrive.

Combine BB with a hike up to Lantau Peak (934 m), which rises to the north east. NB Not for sissies. Alternatively, the trail to Shek Pik Reservoir is all downhill.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Families with teenagers
  • Families with younger children
  • Education
  • Sightseeing