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…..

Ladies Market….First Day Closing

My adventure in Hong Kong Disneyland ended….It was time to move to another destination.

I gave USD 19,5 to female staff at Hong Kong Taiwan Hotel reception desk. Washing my body at 32nd hour since my last shower in Manila was first thing I did after opening room door.

Indian halal fried rice stall on 1st floor saved me from hunger after a half day exploring Tian Tan Buddha and Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island.

Little fast walking to Tsim Sha Tsui Station and fastly leaving Chungking Mansions Building which is my hostel location. Using Tsuen Wan Line MTR and switching to MTR Kwun Tong Line at Mong Kok station, I finally arrived at Lok Fu Station.

16-minutes train ride which reduced my Octopus Card balance about by USD 1,1. It was getting darker when I came out of Lok Fu Station at gate B. Damn, I was trapped in the darkness when going to Kowloon Walled City Park.

Didn’t want to linger for set direction, I asked an office employee’s woman who was rushing up Kowloon Green Minibus (Kowloon GMB) which is a reliable transportation in Kowloon City District.

Me: “Excuse me, mam!. Sorry for disturbing you. Can me know, which way towards Kowloon Walled City Park?”.

She: “Just walk straight through that street, You can find it in 1 km or you can use this GMB to go there”.

Me: “Oh, thank you mam. I prefer to walk towards there”. (not my way to take a bus for that distance)

Walking through in Junction Road, I was getting a little suspicious because road looked quiet and a little dark. But I never intended to cancel my search. After walking for 15 minutes, I arrived at Kowloon Walled City Park. True to my guess, the park was very quiet and dark disguised. The existence of several garden lights didn’t necessarily make it so bright because of park wide.

I just looked park from front yard. It was impossible to enter deeper areas, making me immediately leave this park.

Just a moment in front of park.

I returned to Lok Fu Station by walk. I intended to go to Ladies Market as closing trip on my first day in Hong Kong.

Do you know Ladies Market, right?

Sorry, this isn’t a market for selling women….Hahaha

Ladies Market is a 1 km street market which majority of stalls sell women’s goods and trinkets such as watches, cosmetics, souvenirs, clothes and some even sell underwear.

Taking Kwun Tong Line MTR. I headed to Mong Kok Station which is the closest stop to Ladies Market. Only 9 minutes and USD 0,75.

Exit from gate E2 in Mong Kok Station and continued along Nelson Street.

Actually, what are you doing, Donny?….Lack of initiative….Hahaha.

In second crossroad, I turned right. Finally I was greeted with Tung Choi Street situation which was very crowded. Full of billboards on each side of road.

Wow, this is Ladies Market, amazing….very busy market” I thought. Hmmh, I might go back too little bit late at night if I lost control.

Let’s buy….100 Dollars get 3“, I faintly heard my country’s language. Intrigued made me to looking for voice owner to really meet her. Oh, the seller is a Hong Kong citizen who seems to be fluent in Indonesian language.

Let’s buy souvenirs for bringing to Indonesia, sir“, She said. I broadly smiled. Somehow, She persuaded me, until USD 13 could come out of my wallet and then she packed 6 pieces of t-shirts titled “I Love HK” …. Ups, every where, women are champion in selling…..But, I still champion in bargaining….Hahaha.

Then, I spent more time to enjoy street food and also enjoyed a can of soft drink on a sidewalk bench. Eyes which are actually tired are invincible by drowsiness due to Ladies Market crowd. But, then time urged me to immediately went to hostel and I closed that night with an immeasurable impression about Hong Kong.

For 7 minutes, Tsuen Wan Line MTR took me to Tsim Sha Tsui Station where my hostel was. The cost was only USD 0,75..

Good night HK, see you tommorow.

….Zzzzzzz….

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…..

Ladies Market….Si Penutup Hari Pertama.

Petualangan di Hong Kong Disneyland pun berakhir….Saatnya melanjutkan ke destinasi lain.

Kuserahkan Rp. 264.000 kepada staff perempuan penjaga reception desk Hong Kong Taiwan Hotel. Membasuh tubuh pada jam ke-32 sejak mandi terakhir di Manila adalah hal pertama yang Kulakukan setelah membuka pintu kamar….Daki seberapa tebal?….Beuh, tak perlu ditanya juga sudah bisa diduga….Pufftttt.

Kedai nasi goreng halal ala India di lantai 1 menyelamatkanku dari kelaparan setelah setengah hari penuh menjelajah Tian Tan Buddha dan Hong Kong Disneyland di Lantau Island.

Berjalan sedikit cepat menuju Tsim Sha Tsui Station dan perlahan meninggalkan Chungking Mansions Building yang menjadi lokasi hostelku. Menggunakan MTR Tsuen Wan Line dan berpindah ke MTR Kwun Tong Line di stasiun Mong Kok akhirnya Aku tiba di Lok Fu Station.  

Perjalanan kereta selama 16 menit yang mengurangi saldo Octopus Card ku sebesar Rp. 15.000. Hari pun semakin gelap ketika Aku keluar dari Lok Fu Station di gate B. Sial, Aku terjebak malam menuju Kowloon Walled City Park.

Tak mau berlama-lama menetapkan arah, Aku bertanya kepada seorang ibu karyawan kantoran yang sedang bergegas menaiki Kowloon Green Minibus (Kowloon GMB) yang merupakan transportasi andalan di Distrik Kowloon City.

Aku: “Excuse me, mam!. Sorry for disturbing you. Can me know, which way towards Kowloon Walled City Park?”.

Dia: “Just walk straight through that street, You can find it in 1 km or you can use this GMB to go there”.

Aku: “Oh, thank you mam. I prefer to walk towards there”. (bukan kamusku naik bus untuk jarak segitu)

Menyusuri Junction Road, Aku mulai sedikit curiga karena jalanan terlihat sepi dan sedikit gelap. Tapi Aku tak pernah berniat membatalkan pencarianku. Setelah berjalan selama 15 menit tibalah Aku di Kowloon Walled City Park. Benar dugaanku, taman sangat sepi dan tersamar gelap. Keberadaan beberapa lampu taman tak lantas membuatnya terang saking luasnya taman tersebut.

Aku hanya memandangi taman itu dari pelataran depan saja. Tak memungkinkan untuk masuk ke area yang lebih dalam, membuatku segera meninggalkan taman ini.

Hanya sebentar saja di depan taman.

Aku kembali menuju Lok Fu Station dengan berjalan kaki. Aku berniat menuju ke Ladies Market sebagai penutup trip hari pertamaku di Hong Kong.

Kamu tahu kan Ladies Market?

Maap ini bukan pasar jualan perempuan ya……

Ladies Market merupakan street market sepanjang 1 km yang mayoritas kiosnya menjual barang dan pernak-pernik wanita seperti jam tangan, kosmetik, souvenir, baju bahkan ada juga yang jualan celana dalam.

Naik MTR Kwun Tong Line. Aku menuju Mong Kok Station yang merupakan pemberhentian terdekat dengan Ladies Market. Hanya 9 menit dan Rp. 10.000 kok.

Keluar dari Gate E2 Mong Kok Station dan dilanjutkan dengan menyusuri Nelson Street.

Sebenarnya Kamu itu ngapain sih, Don….Kurang kerjaan.

Diperempatan kedua berbelok ke kanan. Akhirnya Aku disambut dengan wajah Tung Choi Street yang sangat ramai. Penuh dengan billboard di setiap sisi jalan.

“Wah, ini ya Ladies Market, gileee….rame bangeeettttt”, batinku. Waduh, bisa-bisa kebablasan hingga larut malam kalau lepas kendali.

Ayoo, dibeli….100 Dolar dapat 3”, sayup-sayup kudengar bahasa negeriku. Penasaran berat yang membuatku mencari si empunya suara hingga bener-bener ketemu batang hidungnya. Oalah, si penjual adalah seorang ibu warga negara Hong Kong yang sepertinya memang fasih berbahasa Indonesia.

Ayo beli buat oleh-oleh ke Indonesia, pak”, sahutnya. Aku pun tersenyum lebar. Entah bagaimana Dia membujukku, hingga 100 dolar bisa keluar dari dompetku untuk kemudian dikemasnya 6 pieces t-shirt bertajuk “I Love HK”….Hadeuuh, emak-emak dimanapun tetap juara dah…..Jago nawar ya guweh….Hahaha.

Kemudian, sisa waktu lebih kugunakan untuk menikmati jajanan pinggir jalan dan menikmati sekaleng softdrink di sebuah bangku trotoar. Mata yang sebetulnya lelah tak terkalahkan oleh kantuk karena keramaian Ladies Market. Hanya saja, waktu yang kemudian mendesakku untuk segera menuju hostel dan menutup malam itu dengan kesan tak terkira tentang Hong Kong.

Selama 7 menit, MTR Tsuen Wan Line pun mengantarkanku hingga Tsim Sha Tsui Station dimana hostelku berada. Ongkosnya Cuma Rp. 10.000, ya….

Selamat malam HK, see you tommorow.

….Zzzzzzz….