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Po Lin Monastery (宝莲寺)

Po Lin Monastery The Po Lin (Precious Lotus) Monastery (宝莲寺 bǎo lián sì ) is located on western Lantau Island, known as the 'Buddhist Kingdom in the South', it is one of the well-established Buddhist monasteries in Hong Kong. Serving as a Buddhist retreat, this monastery was originally built by three monks in 1920 with only a shrine dedicated to Buddha. In 1924, it was renamed 'Po Lin Monastery' and many monks gradually settled there. Since the 1930s, the monastery has been expanded with additional larger halls and temples added to it. In the 1970s, it became one of the top 10 Buddhist monasteries in Hong Kong.The main building at the monastery is the temple, although the decorations inside are very simple, which does not tend to overwhelm visitors with the glamour of Buddhism. It does not even have the traditional atmosphere as founded in Man Mo Temple on the Hong Kong Island.

From the gate of the temple, you can see a big copper statue of Sakyamuni - Tian Tan Buddha (天坛大佛 tiān tán dà fó ), which is located on the top of the Muyushan Mountain. It is regarded as the largest outdoor Buddha statue in the world. Completed in 1993, the statue along with its adjoining pedestal is about 34 meters tall (111 feet), depicting a sitting Buddha in a mediating position.

Po Lin Monastery The pedestal of the statue is a three-story
exhibition hall with a big bell inside. The bell is delicately engraved with Buddhist figures and Buddhist scriptures. Controlled by a computer, the bell is rung once every seven minutes, 108 times a day - in essence to 'relieve' 108 vexations. People can walk up the 268 steps to the platform where there is a tiny museum containing many elegant relics that you cannot find in the main temple.

Serving as a place where the Buddhist faithful seek enlightenment through mediations, the quietness of this monastery is only broken by visitors, especially on weekends. However, Buddhist faithful and monks still manage to live in a secluded world, despite the chaos caused by the tourists.

The Buddhist discipline forbids alcohol and meat in the monastery. However, if you like, you can try some of the delicious, Chinese vegetarian dishes offered at the temple.

Address: Lantua Island, Ngong Ping
Monastery Opening Hours: 9.00 to 18.00
Big Buddha Opening Hours: 10.00 to 18.00
Vegetarian Meals Serving Hours: 11.30 to 17.00
Enquiries: 00852-2985 5248
Transportation:Take the MTR Tung Chung Line to Tung Chung Station (Hong Kong Station to Tung Chung Station requires approximately 35 minutes), then take New Lantau Bus No. 23 to Ngong Ping (approximately 50 minutes)
From Central Pier No. 6 (near Central's Star Ferry Pier or MTR's Hong Kong Station), catch a ferry to Lantau Island's Mui Wo (Fast Ferry takes 40 minutes, Normal Ferry takes 60 minutes). At Mui Wo, take New Lantau Bus No. 2 to Ngong Ping (approximately 50 minutes)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 08 April 2009 18:32
 

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