Walking through the Ngong Ping Village, we found ourselves in the Ngong Ping Piazza, an open space linking all Ngong Ping’s spiritual and scenic attractions: the Ngong Ping Village, Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, and the Wisdom Path. The defining feature of this piazza is the ornamental archway built in the northern architectural style of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), a detail we only found out about later since we didn’t speak of read any chinese or cantonese. I would have spent more time admiring this serene landscape, but the heat was unforgiving (at least I had my breezy dress and hat on, V wasn’t as lucky) and there was lunch to be had, so off we went in the direction of the Po Lin Monastery.
The Po Lin Monastery is one of Hong Kong’s most important Buddhist sanctums and has been dubbed ‘the Buddhist World in the South’. Home to many devout monks, this monastery is rich with colourful manifestations of Buddhist iconography. V and I wanted to have a taste at what the monks have for their daily meals, so we decided to try their popular vegetarian restaurant, where lunch is served daily for a modest price of HKD 80 per person. We were given soup, rice, and 5 dishes (unfortunately no photography was allowed inside the restaurant), and while we ate until we were full, the food was rather bland for our liking. If we ever visit Ngong Ping again, we’ll try one of the eateries in Ngong Ping Village instead.
Photos by Arnold Hozana