Lantau, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery, Lan Tau, Hong Kong

The Po Lin Monastery (lit. Precious Lotus Zen Temple) stands on the highest point of Lantau Island, one of the off-lying islands in Hong Kong. It is best known today for the Big Buddha statue.

The Monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks from Jiangsu. It was first, rather unromantically, named The Big Hut but was renamed in 1924. It remained a fairly small operation until late in the 20th Century.

In 1990 the Tian Tan Buddha was started. It was finished on 29 December 1993 (Buddha’s own birthday). It stands at 112 feet high (34 metres) and weights 250 metric tons and until 2007 was the world’s tallest outside standing Buddha. It is the only great Buddha statue to face north, the others all face south.

Po Lin Monastery and the Tian Tan Buddha are now firmly entrenched on the Hong Kong tourist trail and make a superb day out away from the pollution and chaos of Central and Kowloon.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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