on February 15, 2006
On Lantau Island, the same island that holds the Hong Kong Airport, is a giant statue of Buddha on a mountaintop. The statue is 34m tall, in addition to sitting at the top of a huge bunch of stairs on a mountaintop, so it is a very impressive sight. It's at the grounds of Po Lin Monastery.You can reach the Buddha by ferry from Hong Kong and take public transport. Since our flight to the US didn't leave until later in the day, we chose to take the train to the airport, check our bags in, and then take a taxi to the Buddha. I believe that you can take public buses after taking the train to the airport for a lot less, but I also believe that it would take all day if you did. As it was, the taxi ride was pretty long (45 minutes, with a lot of curves and ups and downs), and we didn't have much extra time to linger at the statue before we had to get back to the airport for our flight. It was a good plan, but we needed to allot a little more time to get to Buddha and back.We were there in August, when it is brutally hot and humid, so it was really a lot of work to climb all the stairs to get up to the Buddha.The temple at the monastery was also nice, but at the end of our trip, we were pretty much done with seeing temples.I do recommend this as a side trip. It's also interesting to see how undeveloped Lantau Island is when it's so close to Hong Kong.
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