The Tian Tin Buddha, a 98-foot-tall bronze sculpture known as “Big Buddha,” sits atop Ngong Ping Plateau, 2,420 feet above sea level, on Lantau Island in Hong Kong (www.plm.org.hk/eng/home.php). Getting to the island is a memorable experience, especially if you catch the first cable car on Sunday morning (9 a.m.) to avoid the long lines and crowds. The 25-minute ride above the waters of Tung Chung Bay offers stunning views as the towers of Hong Kong recede and Big Buddha appears like an apparition atop the lush mountain landscape. On the island, a short walk through a commercial village leads to the Po Lin Monastery and the statue. It’s best to wear comfortable shoes to climb the 260-plus stairs to the viewing platform where six larger-than-life-size bronze statues of devas offer flowers, incense, and other gifts to the Buddha. Round-trip standard cabin: adult $17.50, children ages 3-11 $8.80; crystal cabin (glass bottom): $27.50/$18.80. www.np360.com.hk/en
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