Tian Tan Buddha….Religious Fascination in Ngong Ping

Journey to Tian Tan Buddha

Me: “Is it a bus to Tung Chung Station, Sir

Driver: “Yes, Sir….It will go there”.

A short conversation in double decker S56 front door at bus shelter, Hong Kong International Airport. With that double-decker bus, I headed to Tung Chung Tempory Bus Terminus which is 250 meters northwest of Tung Chung MTR Station.

Sitting on bus lower deck, I continued to look out the window to find a direction sign to Citygate Outlets as the closest building to Tung Chung Station which was most easily seen because of its towering height.

30 minutes passed, I finally saw top of that shopping center. Made my heart a little calm because of I wasn’t lost. Bus slowly approached at Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus. Instantly, I could see bus no. 23 bus which was aiming to Ngong Ping. Didn’t rush to catch it, because I had to look for breakfast at Citygate Outlets.

Shopping center which is combined with offices and hotels.

In and out of several minimarkets in mall ground floor, I never found halal food. Returning to front plaza while sitting and observing around, until finally finding McDonald’s logo at end of mall. I entered in that fast food restaurant. A warm omlet burger and a cup of hot tea for USD 1,9 made me better prepared to explore Big Buddha.

Hong Kong MTR (Mass Transit Railway) logo.

A step later, I was getting ready at Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus and then queueing at Bus no.23 platform. Starting by swiping Octopus Card on automatic fare machine near driver, I finally began my journey to Tian Tan Buddha.

Bus no.23 interior which goes to Ngong Ping.

How about views during my trip using bus no. 23. Let’s took a peek!

That’s part of South China Sea.
Rode through Tung Chung Road.

35 minutes later.…

Me: “Hello, is it yours?“, I shouted to tour group while holding someone’s Immigration Clearance Arrangement which had fallen under bus seat.

One of them: “Oh, it isn’t” she said after reading and confirming that it wasn’t her name and her group mate.

Me: “Oh, Ok“. I handed that sheet over to bus driver, maybe someone would look for it later.

Bus No. 23.

That incident had closed my journey story heading Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha and surrounding destinations

The first part which I went through was Ngong Ping Piazza. What were in Ngong Ping Piazza?, here it is:

Entering Ngong Ping Piazza front gate amazed me about this destination. Spacious, majestic and sacred.

Ngong Ping Piazza main gate or often called New Pau Lau.

After passing through gate, next part which you will pass is 122 meters Bodhi Path with 12 statues on left and right sides which are known as “The Twelve Divine Generals”.

The Twelve Divine Generals” are in form of 12 statues of Gods Generals as guardians of Tian Tan Buddha. These 12 Gods Generals also symbolize 12 Chinese zodiacs. The twelve were armed with certain weapons.

The General Indra, represents the time between 9-11 AM. Representing snake symbol in Chinese zodiac. Armed with a stick.
The General Makura, represents time between 5-7am. Representing rabbit symbol in Chinese zodiac. Armed with an ax.

After passing Bodhi Path, you will find another section called The Four Lotus Ponds (Di Tan). This part is usually used for religious ceremonies held by Po Lin Monastery.

In Tan is centre of Ngong Ping Piazza. Often dubbed as “The Alter of Earth”.
If you are lucky, you will be greeted by a cow which is free to roam around Ngong Ping Piazza.

OK, Ngong Piazza was finished……

Next part which I would going to was Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha is one of the tallest Buddha statues in the world. Facing north and need to climb 268 stairs to be exactly reach it. From above you will also see 360-degree views of Lantau Island.

Come on …. Are you strong to climb or maybe don’t climbing up there?
360-degree view of Lantau Island awaits you if you success to climb those stairs.
Free if you are visiting outside from Tian Tan Buddha statue. But you have to pay if you want to go to bottom of Buddha statue.

Around of Tian Tan Buddha, you will find six Bodhisattva statues which look like they give different offerings for Tian Tan Buddha.

Here it is one of six Bodhisattvas statues.

Then how about form of Tian Tan Buddha. This is it:

Dashing standing with 34 meters in height.

Stepped down the stairs of Tian Tan Buddha then I immediately rushed to Wisdom Path.

What is Wisdom Path?

Yups … is a path that cuts through forest with views on either side in the form of inscriptions containing writings from Heart Sutra teachings and poured in large pieces of wooden boards. The Heart Sutra itself is highly respected among Confucius, Buddhists and Taoists. These 38 wooden planks are arranged so that forming number 8 pattern as a symbol of infinity.

Sign towards Wisdom Path.

This Wisdom Path is only 15-minute walking from Tian Tan Buddha..

Yuhuuuu….I reached the Wisdom Path.

Wisdom Path was finished…..Then, what else?

Yup….Let’s visited Ngong Ping Village.

Is this a really village, Donny?

Noooooo…..This is just a souvenir sales place. Hahaha. So surely, I won’t visit it for long time….

The last….There is another destination in Ngong Ping. Namely Po Lin Monastery. Sorry, guys, I couldn’t visit…. Swear, I was very tired. I hadn’t slept all night, because there wasn’t comfortable sleeping area at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila. Hopefully I can go to Hong Kong again and visit this monastery where monks gather and religious gatherings on an international scale held.

Bye Ngong Ping….Welcome Disneyland…..

Tian Tan Buddha….Pesona Religius di Ngong Ping

Perjalanan Menuju Tin Tan Buddha

Aku: “Is it a bus to Tung Chung Station, Sir

Driver: “Yes, Sir….It will go there”.

Percakapan singkat di pintu depan double decker S56 di bus stop, Hong Kong International Airport. Dengan bus tingkat itu, Aku menuju Tung Chung Tempory Bus Terminus yang berjarak 250 meter di barat laut Tung Chung MTR Station.

Duduk di deck bawah bus, Aku terus mengamati ke luar jendela untuk menemukan tanda keberadaan Citygate Outlets sebagai bangunan terdekat dari Tung Chung Station yang paling mudah terlihat karena ketinggiannya yang menjulang.

30 menit berlalu, akhirnya Aku melihat bagian atas shopping centre itu. Membuat hati sedikit tenang karena sudah pasti Aku tak tersasar. Bus perlahan merapat di Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus. Dalam sekejap pula, Aku bisa melihat keberadaan bus bernomor 23 yang bertujuan akhir di Ngong Ping. Tak bergegas mengejarnya, karena Aku harus mencari sarapan di Citygate Outlets.

Pusat perbelanjaan yang dikombinasikan dengan perkantoran dan hotel.

Keluar masuk beberapa minimarket di lantai dasar mall, Aku tak kunjung menemukan makanan halal. Kembali ke plaza depan sembari duduk mengamati sekitar, hingga akhirnya menemukan logo McDonald’s di ujung mall. Mendamparkan diri di resto cepat saji itu. Burger omlet hangat dan secangkir hot tea seharga Rp 26.000 membuatku lebih siap untuk menjelajah Big Buddha.

Lambang MTR (Mass Transit Railway) Hong Kong

Selangkah kemudian, Aku sudah bersiap di Tung Chung Temporary Bus Terminus dan kemudian mengantri di platform bus No.23. Dimulai dengan men-swipe Octopus Card di automatic machine fare di sebelah sopir, akhirnya Aku memulai perjalanan menuju Tian Tan Buddha.

Interior bus no.23 menuju Ngong Ping.

Bagaimana ya pemandangan selama perjalan menggunakan bus no.23. Intip dikit yuk!….

Itu bagian dari Laut China Selatan lho…..
Menyusuri Tung Chung Road.

35 menit kemudian…..

Aku: “Hello, is it yours?”, Aku berteriak kepada rombongan wisata sambil memegang Immigration Clearance Arrangement milik seseorang yang jatuh dibawah bangku.

Salah satu dari mereka: “Oh, it isn’t”, berseloroh setelah membaca dan mengkonfirmasi itu bukan namanya dan teman rombongannya.

Aku: “Oh, Ok”. Aku menyerahkan lembar itu ke sopir, barangkali nanti ada yang nyariin.

Bus No. 23.

Kejadian itu menjadi penutup cerita perjalanan menuju Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha dan Destinasi di Sekitarnya

Bagian pertama yang Kulalui adalah Ngong Ping Piazza. Apa aja yang ada di Ngong Ping Piazza, ini dia:

Memasuki gerbang depan Ngong Ping Piazza membuatku kagum akan destinasi ini. Luas, megah dan sakral.

Main gate Ngong Ping Piazza atau sering disebut New Pau Lau.

Setelah melewati gerbang maka bagian selanjutnya yang akan Kamu lalui adalah Bodhi Path sepanjang 122 meter dengan 12 patung di sisi kiri dan kanan yang dikenal sebgai ”The Twelve Divine Generals”.

The Twelve Divine Generals” berwujud 12 patung jenderal dewa sebagai penjaga Tian Tan Buddha. 12 Jenderal Dewa ini juga melambangkan 12 zodiak Tiongkok. Kedua belasnya dipersenjatai dengan senjata tertentu.

The General Indra, mewakili waktu antara jam 9-11 pagi. Mewakili lambing ular dalam zodiak Tiongkok. Bersenjatakan tongkat.
The General Makura, mewakili waktu antara jam 5-7 pagi. Mewakili lambing kelinci dalam zodiak Tiongkok. Bersenjatakan kapak.

Setelah melewati Bodhi Path maka Kamu akan menemui bagian lain yang dinamakan dengan The Four Lotus Ponds (Di Tan). Bagian ini biasanya digunakan untuk upacara keagamaan yang diselenggarakan oleh Po Lin Monastery.

Di Tan adalah pusat dari Ngong Ping Piazza. Sering dijuluki sebagai “The Alter of Earth”.
Jika beruntung, Kamu akan disapa oleh doi yang bebas berkeliaran di sekitar Ngong Ping Piazza.

OK, Ngong Piazza kelar……

Bagian selanjutnya yang kutuju adalah Tian Tan Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha adalah salah satu patung Buddha tertinggi di dunia. Menghadap ke utara dan perlu mendaki 268 anak tangga untuk persis berada dibawahnya. Dari atas juga akan terlihat pemandangan Lantau Island 360 derajat.

Yuk….Kamu kuat ga naik?.
Pemandangan Lantau Island 360 derajat menantimu jika berhasil mendaki anak-anak tangga itu.
Free jika Kamu sebatas berkunjung di luar patung Tian Tan Buddha. Tapi Kamu harus membayar jika ingin masuk ke bagian bawah patung Buddha

Disekeliling Tian Tan Buddha akan Kamu jumpai enam patung Bodhisatva yang terlihat seperti memberikan persembahan berbeda-beda untuk Tian Tan Buddha.

Ini dia salah satu dari keenam patung Bodhisatva.

Lalu bagaimana wujud dari Tian Tan Buddha. Ini dia:

Gagah menjulang dengan tinggi 34 meter.

Menuruni kembali Tangga Tian Tan Buddha maka Aku segera bergegas menuju Wisdom Path.

Apa itu Wisdom Path?

Yups…adalah jalur setapak yang membelah hutan dengan pemandangan di kiri kanan jalan berupa prasasti-prasasti yang berisi tulisan-tulisan dari ajaran Sutra Hati dan dituangkan dalam lembaran-lembaran besar papan kayu. Sutra Hati sendiri sangat dihormati di kalangan Konfusius, Buddhists dan Tao. Papan kayu ini berjumlah 38 buah dan disusun sedemikian rupa sehingga membentuk pola angka 8 sebagai lambang infinity.

Tanda menuju Wisdom Path.

Wisdom path ini hanya berjarak 15 menit jalan kaki dari Tian Tan Buddha.

Yuhuuuu….Sampai juga di Wisdom Path.

Wisdom Path kelarrrr…..yuk, apalagi?

Yup….Mari berkunjung ke Ngong Ping Village.

Ini perkampungan ya, Don?….Kok Village.

Bukaaaaaannnnnnnnnn……..Ini Cuma tempat penjualan souvenir. Hahaha. So pasti, Aku ga bakal lama-lama disini….

Terakhirrrr…..Ada satu lagi destinasi di Ngong Ping. Yaitu Po Lin Monastery. Sorry ya gaes, Guwe gak bisa kunjungi….Sumpehhh, cuapekkkk puolll. Guwe belum tidur semalaman, karena ga ada dapat posisi tidur yang nyaman di Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila. Mudah-mudahan Aku bisa ke Hong Kong lagi dan mengunjungi biara itu. Biara tempat berkumpulnya para biksu dan pertemuan-pertemuan keagamaan berskala Internasional.

Bye Ngong Ping….Welcome Disneyland…..