Lantau Island, Hong Kong

As we made our way to the notorious “Big Buddha,” I found myself sulking while staring out the bus window into the vast South China Sea, bound and determined to spot one of those damn pink dolphins.  If I couldn’t spot them by boat, like originally planned, I was bent on spotting one by bus.  Our dolphin-watching trip was cancelled earlier that morning due to the horrendous weather Hong Kong was experiencing.  (Evident by the picture below… oh, wait… is that blue sky I see?)
We arrived at the “Big Buddha,” dolphins still unseen, and I was convinced that Lantau Island, Hong Kong, had let me down.  When we unloaded the bus and I saw what awaited us, I got over my petty porpoise problems very quickly.
The “Big Buddha,” or formally known as Tian Tan, awaited us, perched at the top of 260 steps in the midst of the lush mountains.  The buddha is 34 feet tall and weighs over 250 tons.  He is the biggest bronze, seated buddha in the world.  (&  he high-fived me!)
260 steps sure does sound like a lot, but I feel like I was so excited to get to the top to inspect him closer, that I didn’t even notice how bad my thighs were burning.  I was also secretly racing my classmates because the whole trip I had this sick obsession with staying in the front of the group in order to see and photograph everything before anyone else did.  At least I can admit it, right?  I know… I’m cray-cray.
The view from the top was outstanding and my dolphin woes were soon replaced with the excitement of the idea of spotting a monkey lingering in the dense greenery that surrounded us.   Unfortunately, that didn’t happen either… but I guess you don’t go to Hong Kong to see the wild life.
Surrounding the buddha were six saints who each offered him a different gift.
Who knew Tian Tan was such a friendly guy?  I guess I would be too if I had people presenting me with gifts all day, everyday.
Of course, there can’t be a great buddha without a little temple action. I do believe this was one of the more beautiful temples out of the (too) many that we visited.
You cannot visit Hong Kong without seeing the “Big Buddha,” and it’s definitely a site I would return to… right after sailing with my pink dolphins, of course.

Whatcha think?