Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
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Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery

The Po Lin Monastery was built more than a century ago in the secluded mountains of Lantau Island. In 1993, the 34-meter-high (112-foot-high) bronze Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, was erected to face the monastery—which successfully put the monastery on the tourist map. Climb the 268 steps at the statue's base for expansive mountain and sea views, and walk through the grounds of the monastery, including the new Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Though you can take a bus or taxi, the Ngong Ping cable car is a thrilling way to get there.

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Big Buddha
I'm sure you've seen many pictures of this famous big buddha in Hong Kong. This picture is particularly special to me as I took this trip with my whole family, extended aunts, uncles and all, gathering from all parts of the globe. My mom told me stories of how they would come to this island for family vacations when she was a little girl. There were cows, owned by farmers, which has since then been abandoned, and still live and roam the town now! Although I always feel like a tourist when I'm in Hong Kong, it will always mean more to me than a backpacker's destination.
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