For most visitors, the gateway to Hong Kong is the airport on Lantau Island.
And if you are on Lantau Island, you must go see the Buddha.
Hong Kong, and most of East Asia, have many representations of Buddha. But this particular statue is worth seeing. Massive, presiding over a beautiful site on top of a peak, overlooking the island and the ocean, over one hundred feet tall, this figure is incredible.
I visited several times and was always impressed by the fact that, even during stormy days in Hong Kong harbor, during every visit, the Buddha remained bathed in sunlight.
Easy to reach by cable car, although a bit scary for those afraid of heights, the Buddha is most impressive when approached on foot via a hike on one of Lantau’s incredible mountain trails.
Walking along the rocky slope of Lantau Peak, I stumbled out into the clearing where the Buddha serenely rests. Not a spiritual person, I nonetheless found myself struck and humbled by the figure, and even felt unexpectedly inspired at that moment to begin learning more about the Eastern religions. While a modern creation, not the most historic or storied image of Buddha, it is worth a trip to Hong Kong solely to see this statue.