Monday, September 22, 2014

The Wishing Tree of Lantau Island

There is a legend that wishes made at the Bodhi Wishing Shrine at Ngong Ping Village on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island come true. Guest blogger Kris Madden made a wish



 In the middle of the village, on the right-hand side from the main entrance, is a Wishing Tree or Bodhi Tree covered with countless written wishes made by locals and visitors. The Bodhi Tree is believed to be the tree under which the young prince Siddhartha meditated, eventually attaining enlightenment and becoming Buddha.
                                                        Making a wish at the ‘Wishing Tree’ shrine
To make a wish, you first have to get a wishing card, which are given away with any purchase of HK$150 or more at all of the Ngong Ping 360 souvenir shops. You write your wish down on the card and post it to the Wishing Wall next to the tree. Even if you think this is a load of malarkey, the Chinese are very superstitious, and it’s a nice feeling to send well-wishes to those back home.


                                   The Bodhi Wishing Shrine at Ngong Ping Village on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island.
Next step is to climb the 268 steps for a closer look at the extraordinary Tian Tan Buddha statue (informally known as the Big Buddha). Sitting 34 metres high and facing north, right hand raised in blessing of all below, this gigantic bronze Buddha draws pilgrims from all over Asia. From the top you can take in the sweeping mountain and sea views all around Lantau Island.

                                                          The Big Buddha, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Opposite the statue, the ancient Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist retreats. Rest in its cooling tranquil garden and you’re sure to feel blessed.
Kris Madden travelled to Hong Kong courtesy Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Tourism Board on assignment for Get Up and Go.
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