Sunday, April 9, 2000
I had signed up for an over night trip, so in the early morning, we boarded a bus headed for Lantau Island (the largest outlying island of Hong Kong). Along the way we stopped at the Tsing Yi viewing platform to view the recently completed Tsing Ma Bridge (1997), which at the time was the longest suspension bridges in the world. Now, it is the ninth longest bridge of it's kind in the world.
Our drive continued into the mountains with our next stop at the Po Lin Monastery, a major center of Buddhism in Hong Kong. There we marveled at Tian Tan Buddha, the largest outdoor bronze Buddha in the world, standing at 26 meters (85 feet) high. The Buddha is situated at the top of a mountain, sitting on a lotus, with a massive staircase, with 268 stairs leading up to the base. Surrounding the base of the Buddha were six smaller bronze statues called "The Offering of the Six Devas" that are posed with offerings. Offerings include flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music which symbolize the six perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are needed for enlightenment.
After our tour and a quick visit to the museum, we enjoyed a vegetarian lunch onsite before continuing on our way. We made a quick stop at a picturesque village called Tai O, just before our arrival at Cheung Sha Beach known for it's white sand. We enjoyed some time relaxing at the beach and some of our group even went swimming. After a while, we headed to the YMCA youth camp for dinner and a restful evening.
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#lantauisland #tsingma #tsingmabridge #tsingyi #suspensionbridge #tiantan #outdoorbuddha #buddhism - 30 minutes ago