OWL Magazine Korea

Lantau Island, Hong Kong: The Giant Tian Tan Buddha

Ngong Ping Village, located at the heart of Lantau Island in Hong Kong, sits atop a hill. It’s here that you can find the once-largest statue in the world, the “Tian Tan Buddha.”

While it was once the largest, other colossal statues have been constructed, and the Tian Tan Buddha now holds the third place globally. Nonetheless, it still exudes a commanding presence.

“The Giant Tian Tan Buddha in Ngong Ping Village”

Ngong Ping Village is a theme park centered around Buddhism, allowing visitors to encounter various elements related to the faith. Among them, the most renowned is the colossal statue known as the “Tian Tan Buddha.” Locals in Hong Kong often refer to it in English as the “Big Buddha,” but its precise name is the “Tian Tan Bronze Buddha.”

“The Bronze Giant Buddha”

The Tian Tan Bronze Buddha, also referred to as the Bronze Giant Buddha, stands at an impressive 34 meters in height and weighs approximately 250 tons. At one point, it held the title of the world’s largest statue. However, it now ranks third globally, with the first place belonging to the Leshan Giant Buddha in Sichuan, China, standing at 38.66 meters tall and weighing 380 tons, completed in 2000. The second place goes to the Amitabha Buddha statue in Gangjin, Jeollanam-do, South Korea, at 36 meters in height and weighing about 150 tons, constructed in 2007. The Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong was completed in 1993.

“Rain and Dense Fog Hindered a Clear View of the Tian Tan Buddha”

To be honest, the main reason for my visit to Ngong Ping Village was to see the Tian Tan Buddha. Unfortunately, on the day I visited, rain poured and thick fog shrouded the area, obscuring the statue within the mist.

Despite climbing all 268 steps to get closer to the Bronze Buddha, the fog concealed it from view.

“268 Steps Leading to the Bronze Giant Buddha”

To approach the statue, one must ascend 268 steps, which can be quite a climb due to their number. The significance of having precisely 268 steps lies in linguistic wordplay: the Chinese number “2” sounds similar to “easy,” “6” sounds like “flow,” and “8” is associated with making big money. Therefore, 268 steps are believed to symbolize “making money easily.”

“A Special Altar with Resonant Sound”

Before ascending to the Bronze Giant Buddha, there is a small altar where an intriguing phenomenon occurs. While the exact principle remains a mystery, if you clap your hands on the circular center, it produces a resonant sound.

Despite the rain and fog preventing a clear view of the Tian Tan Buddha, the special photo capturing the statue shrouded in mist left a memorable impression. Ironically, it’s days like this, with gloomy weather, that tend to stand out in one’s memory after a journey.

“Lantau Island, Ngong Ping Village, The Giant Tian Tan Buddha”

  • Address: Ngong Ping Rd, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
  • Phone: +852 2985 5248
  • Website: http://www.plm.org.hk
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM