On the mountainous Lantau Island of Hong Kong, lies an ancient Buddhist temple called Po Lin Monastery, and next to the temple sits 34 meters tall statue of Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the big Buddha of Hong Kong. Lantau, the largest island in Hong Kong surrounds this charming monastery with its beautiful flora. Well-known for its magnificent architecture and scenic backdrop, the big Buddha and the monastery are amongst the most popular tourist places in Hong Kong.
Whenever you’re in Hong Kong, make sure you pay a visit to this temple. The serenity and beauty of this place are to die for.
Po Lin Monastery – Everything you need to know
The history and architecture of the 111 years old Buddhist monastery
The Buddhist temple’s origin dates back to 1906, when three Buddhist monks after being blown away by the incredible beauty and tranquility of the island decided to establish a Buddhist temple on Lantau Island. Over the course of a century, the temple changed from a small thatched hut in the inhabited hills of Lantau Island into a popular and important center for Buddhists in Hong Kong.
Until 1924, the monastery was originally known as Big Thatched Hut, which later was changed to Po Lin Monastery. The temple consists of a splendid hall, gardens, restaurant, and the popular Big Buddha. Some of the halls in the complex are: Ti-tsang Bodhisattva Hall, Weituo Hall, Maitreya Hall, Banruo Hall, and Sutra-Collection Hall; also, the computer-controlled bronze bell in the temple weighs around 1 ton. A map of Po Lin Monastery is available for tourists to get a better idea of its architecture.
In 1979, a delegation from the monastery went to mainland China to discuss the idea and construction of the Big Buddha of Hong Kong. The construction of the statue started in 1981, and was completed in 1993. Apparently, the Big Buddha statue is the largest seated bronze Buddha in the whole world.
Suggested Read: 4 Days In Hong Kong: Your Ultimate Travel Guide!
Feed your hungry stomach at Po Lin Monastery’s restaurant
Other than The Big Buddha at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, food at Po Lin Monastery has been a motivation to travel to this part of the island. You get delicious vegetarian food at reasonable rates between 11.30 am and 4.30 pm. There are counters selling tickets for vegetarian snacks and lunch at the base of the Buddha statue.
The menu includes: Mix mushroom soup, soup of the day, asparagus with mix mushrooms & cashew, fresh mix vegetables with tofu, deep fried tofu sheet with lemon sauce, dessert etc. Chinese Tea is served free with each meal. You need a separate ticket for children under the age of 5.
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery opening hours
- Po Lin Monastery timings: 9 am – 6 pm
- The Big Buddha timings: 10 am – 6 pm
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery entrance fee
Entry to The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery is free, however, entry to the halls beneath the Buddha statue is paid. You’ll be charged HKD 25 to enter The Hall of Universe, The Hall of Remembrance, and The Hall of Benevolent Merit. There are hundreds of precious items displayed in the exhibition halls. Photography is not allowed inside the halls.
How to reach Po Lin Monastery
There’s more than one way to reach the monastery and the Buddha statue. Let’s simplify your how to search.
How to reach by MTR + Cable Car
- Board the MTR from the nearest MTR station
- Change the line going towards Tung Chung
- Get off at Tung Chung
- Take exit B for the cable car terminus
How to reach by Ferry + Bus
If you want to enjoy the mesmerizing Hong Kong skyline views, then a ferry ride is the best option for you.
- Go to Hong Kong Central ferry terminal
- Follow the signboards to pier 6 for Mui Wo
- Catch a ferry to Mui Wo. The fast ferry reaches in 35 minutes, while the ordinary one takes 50 minutes.
- From Mui Wo, board bus no 21 from outside the ferry terminal
- Get off at Ngong Ping (where the monastery is located) bus stop in 25 minutes
Further Read: Nightlife In Hong Kong: 10 Must Visit Places
I’m sure that the beauty of these pieces of architecture and the divine Lantau Island will make you book a trip to Hong Kong soon. There’s so much to explore for tourists in Hong Kong!
Looking To Book An International Holiday?
Book memorable holidays on TravelTriangle with 650+ verified travel agents for 65+ domestic and international destinations.