With skyscrapers that raid the sky at every turn, Hong Kong is one of the most expensive cities in Asia and maybe the world. A hub for large multinationals and business who aim to expand their roots in Asia, Hong Kong is an important starting point. Connecting the whole of Southeast Asia with an ever-growing diversifying population, the island city attracts over 50 million tourists every year.
While the conventional tourist locations such as the Victoria Harbor, Disneyland, Ocean Park, and the Big Buddha steal the spotlight, it is the lesser known destinations which highlight the humble beginnings of Hong Kong and its cultural ties to the rest of Southeast Asia. One such location which leaves a long lasting impression is the Wisdom Path on the Lantau Island.
A couple of kilometers away from the Big Buddha, the Wisdom Path is a series of 38 wooden upright monuments containing verses from centuries old Heart Sutra
. These upright monuments showcase the Chinese version of the prayers. The writing is based on the calligraphy of scholar Professor Jao Tsung-I, and are arranged in a âˆÅ¾
pattern, to represent infinity. To suggest the significant concept of 'emptiness' from the Heart Sutra
, the column at the highest point of the hill is left blank. Buddhists believe that once an individual achieves the Wisdom of 'Emptiness', they will realise that nothing ever remains constant and will therefore learn to adapt. The prayers on the poles are revered by Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists and are well known around the world.
To get to the mentioned destination, first, make your way to the base of the Big Buddha. Then, follow the signage that leads to the Wisdom Path. Once you embark on this journey, you can expect to experience a surreal scenic walk. As you move forward, you will pass by a teahouse followed by a tea plantation. Walk deeper into the trail and you'll come across an indescribable mountain scenery. Away from the bustling Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, the trail to the Wisdom Path offers a moment of peace and stillness. It serves almost as an alternative from the unusually fast-paced and hectic life that persists in this metropolitan.
Highly recommended during the winter season as the Wisdom Path sits at quite an elevation. For those of you who wish to explore this pristine location in the summer, make sure to dress appropriately as the humid weather will surely be somewhat discomforting.
To get there use the MTR, the local Metro system, to get to Tung Chung Station and take Exit B. From here, there are two ways to go. Firstly, you can go to the Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal. It's about a 25-minute cable car ride to the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal from where you can follow the signs to the Wisdom Path. On the other hand, you can go to the bus terminus next to the MTR station, take bus 23 to the Po Lin Monastery. Then follow the signs to Wisdom Path.
Getting There: There are several flight available from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata to Hong Kong. Jet Airways, Cathay Pacific, and Air India offer regular overnight flights. To apply for a visa, you need to apply online pre-arrival registration after which you can receive a visa valid upto 14 days.