Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rick's Roadshow: Hong Kong: Visit to the Giant Buddha

Rick's Roadshow today is from exciting Hong Kong. This former British colony of course transitioned to Chinese rule back in 1999, yet still retains its distinct British influence. That may well be why I like it here so well- it has the obvious Asian element but also with Western undertones and British sub-culture. This isn't my first trip to HK, this is actually my third visit. I feel strangely at home here, and enjoy the familiar sites to acclimatize myself when I return. In this photo above, I'm wearing an authentic Chinese suit and shirt, made by my tailor here in Hong Kong (who does excellent work, incidentally). I had it made for a business dinner I had recently with someone rather important and wanted to honor the Chinese culture by dressing locally.
Long time readers of this blog may recall that I am a student of world religions. I have been studying Buddhism for many years and enjoy visiting Buddhist temples and such. Hong Kong has the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world, so naturally I had to go visit the Tian Tan Buddha. From my hotel, I had to take a train a tram and then hike the rest of the way. I signed up for what the locals call "Crystal Cabin" tram, which is a glass-bottom tram car. These photos are intended to show the journey to the Buddha at Po Lin Monastery.
we passed over the sea coastline...

...and mountain peaks....


...it was a long journey by tram

check out the glass bottom floor. The ocean is below!


At long last, the Giant Buddha comes into view!

As we drew closer excitement was building.

once at the monastery, visitors could present incense offerings

the area is surrounded by beautiful trees and nature
































The Tian Tan Buddha statue- so breathtaking
































I paused for a photo at the base of the steps leading to the Buddha




















































partway up the stairs I encountered this incense urn

High up the steps, I was winded but thrilled to be seeing the Buddha








































An inspirational close-up shot of Buddha
































a series of smaller Buddhas surround the giant Buddha









































 
















Half way back down the steps I had this photo taken of me in front the Buddha. I was so pleased to have made this trip! I bought a few trinkets and such from the monastery, and enjoyed the vegetarian lunch they offer there. It was so peaceful and enjoyable to be there. Whether or not you are interested in Buddhism, this is well worth seeing should you visit Hong Kong!
Once back down from the Buddha, I found a nice spot to sit and write a few postcards. Sitting under the view of the Buddha was trans-formative and a special moment. I took a moment to pray for my blessings of this trip. Tomorrow I will return with photos of the Po Lin Temple and monastery, along with a few other fun photos. Rick's Roadshow from Hong Kong continues...

4 comments:

kenju said...

My daughter-in-law was in Hong Kong in January, and I bet she didn't see that!

Cokie the Cat said...

Wow. What an amazing trip!

snowelf said...

Buddha always seems so warm and loving to me, what a great experience. Religion is so personal, I have to thank you for sharing.

--snow

KathyA said...

That tram is amazing and the views breathtaking. And the steps!! No wonder you were winded. I was winded sitting here!!

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