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Living Large: The world's largest seated Buddha statue!
July 1, 2000

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Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane... it's a Buddha!!!
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As you may have noticed Hong Kong is familiar with great achievement. As a matter of fact Hong Kong is, as the saying goes, living large. I mean that literally! The next great achievement that I'm going to tell you about stands in a class alone. Or should I say sits in a class alone. The seated Buddha on Lantau Island is the world's largest seated bronze statue of Buddha and is so big it can actually be seen from the air.

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The Po Lin Monastery in the remote mountains of the Lantau Islands is as peaceful and pristine as it was almost a century ago.
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This amazing vision is one of the most popular attractions in Hong Kong. Surrounded by lush green hills it is the perfect for deep thought. The Buddhist monastery next to the temple, the Po Lin Monastery, is Hong Kong's largest Buddhist complex. Named "Precious Lotus," it grew from a humble monastic retreat of stone huts built in 1905. Today, a 22 ton bronze statue of Lord Buddha seated on a lotus flower is the monastery's star attraction. With one hand waving and the other in his lap, his pose was one of teaching. This serene 26 meter figure brought followers to their knees before him. In awe visitors quietly climbed the 268 stairs for a close-up view of the Buddha and the panoramic view of Lantau.




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Magical, mystical, spiritual, it's all right here
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As I'm sure you can imagine, I was in no hurry to get back to the traffic, pollution and crowded streets of the city. So I lingered for a while; appreciating the ocean view from the top of the island as the clouds which occasionally covered the top of the mountain melted away in my fingers. Many Buddhist pilgrims did the same, often lighting small ceremonial fires burning paper offerings representative of cars, houses, even mahjong (the popular Chinese game). Unlike most Western tradition, which doesn't really believe that spirits are still among the living and nothing to be fearful of, Buddhist tradition says that ancestral spirits deserve respect this temple is a place many come to show their devotion.

It was nice to see the spiritual side of Hong Kong, which is better known as a commercial paradise. We'll have to go on a little shopping spree next time so stay tuned!

Jasmine

p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...jasminehamlett@bigfoot.com

Pictures of Lantau Island And Buddha:
http://metalab.unc.edu/hkpa/scenic/by-district/en/lantau.html

 

Yang-Yang - All Aboard for the Orient Express! Next Stop - Canton


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