Many of my friends from University now live in Hong Kong, so my main reason for visiting Hong Kong was to try and catch up with everyone. I had four days to meet up with all of my friends and had a ridiculously hectic schedule.

Why so little time?

To be honest, I don’t really know. I think I expected Hong Kong to be just another big city that wouldn’t hold my interested. When you took away the time I had with my friends, I only had 48 hours to explore Hong Kong

First, I decided to spend the day visiting the Tian Tan Buddha – the largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha in the world.

For someone who is terrified of cable cars, I seem to be spending a significant portion of my travels on one. I’m not sure why I opted to torture myself when I could have taken a boat to the island, but once again I found myself in a tiny glass box, convinced I was seconds away from plummeting to my death.

Hong Kong skyscrapers from cable car

About 30 seconds into the cable car ride, I remembered a story an old school friend told me years ago about a cable car in Hong Kong falling off of the cable and into the sea on a particularly windy day.

Was it this cable car?

Was it windy today?

Was I about to die?

Why is the ride up so steep?! 

I nearly passed out.

Hong Kong view from cable car

Upon arriving safely on Lantau island, I was walking like a newborn giraffe and it took ages to stop my legs from trembling with fear. Once I had recovered, I made my way over towards the Buddha.

Tian Tan Buddha from afar

I confidently approached the 268 steps, certain that all of my time spent lugging my heavy backpack around would have improved my fitness levels dramatically.

Five seconds later I was bent over, clutching at my side, wheezing and diagnosing myself with asthma as I bitterly glared at the elderly Chinese ladies who were energetically striding past me.

Steps to the Tian Tan Buddha

Drenched in sweat and promising myself that I would totally start an exercise regime the following morning, I was excited to have finally made it to the top!

Tian Tan Buddha in black and white

The Buddha’s right hand is raised, representing the removal of pain and his left hand rests on his knee, symbolising happiness. He also faces north, which is unique as all other famous Buddha statues face south.

Close-up on the Tian Tan Buddha

Surrounding the Buddha are six smaller bronze statues known as “The Offering of the Six Devas”, which are offering flowers, incense, a lamp, ointment, fruit, and music.

Offerings at the Tian Tan Buddha

Three small statues at the Tian Tan Buddha

The base of the Buddha is based on the Altar of Heaven found at the Temple of Heaven, which I recognised from my time spent there in Beijing.

Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong

After I made my way back down the steps, my day became even more exciting when I ran into a random cow roaming the streets of Hong Kong.

Cow in Hong Kong

The next evening, I visited Victoria Peak, where I stayed to watch the sun set and the city come alive with the glittering neon lights and glowing skyscrapers lighting up the sky.

Hong Kong The Peak at night

And that concluded my time exploring Hong Kong!

Despite being incredibly expensive compared to the rest of Asia, I enjoyed my time there much more than I was originally expecting to and wished I had longer, especially so that I could have been able to see some of the beaches that Hong Kong has to offer.

How would you spend 48 hours in Hong Kong?

Share this post: