My Experience At Po Lin Monastery
The journey to the Giant Buddha in Hong Kong is the longest I’ve taken of any of the tourist attractions, despite its relative proximity to the airport on a map. After getting off the subway, there were three options to there. Bus, taxi, or a guided tour. Although taking a bus is the cheapest, there was a 1-2 hour line to get on the bus. The guided tour is five hours long and has additional sights that I’m not as interested in, so I’m splitting the taxi fair with some other people who are also going to the Giant Buddha monastery.
There are two types of taxis. Red ones and blue ones. From my limited understanding, the, red taxis only go to areas in town, so we can only get a blue taxi.
To get a taxi. However, we had to call, three taxi companies and bribe one of them $30 HKD because they are so busy today.
By taxi, it’s about a 40-minute drive. The fare is about $170 HKD (plus the bribe). In the United States, one will frequently see signs for deer crossings in rural areas. Along this road, there are signs for deer crossings. And have no doubt, we saw a few cows lying lazily by the side of the road.
We also drove over a rather large dam. Ngong Ping (where the monastery is) somewhat remote. And I greatly enjoyed the views of the countryside on the way. One can expect to be surrounded by towering mountains, ocean, and many small islands as you navigate the wandering roads.
Upon arriving, I discovered that the bus to the Giant Buddha would have only cost me $17 HKD. If you travel here, taking the bus is worth the savings.
There is a small tourist village with high-end shops that you can walk through. If you look up to the right, you can see the huge Buddha statue on top of a small hill. It towers above the village, and I immediately head in that direction.
I walk along a road with 12 small statues of famous Chinese generals before I reach a long, straight stone stairway leading up to the Giant Buddha. At the bottom, you can buy a meal ticket which will allow you to have tea inside the base of the statue. Without a ticket, you cannot go inside, but I opted out of purchasing one. I don’t think that going inside the statue would be very exciting for me.
At the top of the stairs, I am very impressed by the statue. It’s huge and has six smaller statues making offerings to Buddha. I can see the local monastery nearby. The monks at the monastery were responsible for this statue being built. That’s where I go next.
The monastery is impressive and is built with the traditional ancient Chinese architecture. There are drums that anyone can walk up to and drum on. You can hear the music and smell the incense burning at the altars from a distance.
Overall the monestary was an amazing place to see!