What Lies Beneath the Fog: Revisiting Ngong Ping Village and the Big Buddha

This Lomo location has been featured before but a veil of thick fog was covering it. Thankfully it was quite sunny during my trip so I was able to get a good look – and lots of lomographs of this popular tourist destination in Hong Kong.

This Lomo location has been featured before yet it was shrouded with a thick fog. With the fog, the location looked dreamy, bordering on the eerie, yet beyond this veil of white, lies the majestic glory of the Ngong Ping monastery and one of the biggest Buddhas in the world. Let us discover what lies beyond the fog!

If you seek a quick escape from the bustling city of Hong Kong, then take the train to Tung Chung station. A short walk from the MTR station is the Ngong Ping 360, a cable car that will take you 460 meters above sea level to the 102-hectare plateau in the western-central part of Lantau Island.

After your ascend, you will find yourself in Ngong PIng Village. The traditional Chinese architecture gives the feel of the cultural and religious veracity of Hong Kong. If you have time, have some tea at the Ngong Ping Tea House or enjoy the other attractions such as the Monkey Theatre or Walking with Buddha.

Follow the cobblestone path through the village and to Ngong Ping Piazza. Here you will find the Bodhi Path which you must take to get to the foot of the Big Buddha. Along this path is the statue of the 12 divine generals of Yakushi Buddha. They are the protective deities or yaksha of Bhaisajyaguru, the Buddha of healing.

After treading the Bodhi Path, you can now see the majestic Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the BIg Buddha, atop a stairway of 268 steps. At times, with the high altitude and the cold weather, this colossal statue may be shrouded in fog. As tattso said in her lomolocation, “buried in the whiteness is a dreamlike experience.” Yet if you visit it on a semi-clear day, with only a little mist covering the Buddha’s splendor, the setting sun gives the Buddha an iridescent glow. This massive 250 ton, 34 meter high bronze Buddha symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and religion.

Once you’ve ascended the 268 steps, take a breather before you gaze upon the vast landscape from the top. The beauty of the view from the top is as breathtaking as the 268 steps you just climbed. The Buddha is even more impressive up-close. As tattso said, “There was a quiet and mythical aura around it.”

Before you end your day, go down the 268 steps and follow a path through the forest. Watch the sunset at Wisdom Path, a mere 10-minute walk from the Tian Tan Buddha. Here you will find 38 gigantic wood columns, 8 to 10 meters tall and 1 meter wide, arranged in an “8” pattern to symbolize infinity. On these columns the Heart Sutra was written. The Heart Sutra is a well-known Mahāyāna Buddhist sūtra that is very popular both for its brevity and depth of meaning. Its Sanskrit name Prajñāpāramitā Hṛdaya literally translates to the “Heart of the Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom.”

This just goes to show that a place’s beauty changes with the weather. The Tian Tan Buddha can appear as a dream-like apparition on foggy days, yet when visited at the right time, can have the luminescence of a divine vision. Why not re-visit your past Lomo Locations on a foggy or rainy day? Who knows, what you might see might surprise you!


written by paperplanepilot on 2011-01-14 #places #fog #buddhist #foggy #buddha #beautiful #mist #location #religious #day-trip #misty #travel-destination

More Interesting Articles