Unfortunately for us, the cable car to the top of the mountain was under construction. Whomp whomp. This meant that instead of a calm ride up the mountain, we had to endure a 45 minute trip in a bus which bumped along while constantly hugging the guardrails.
Once at the top of the mountain, we were greeted by the 115 foot (34 meter) tall bronze statue, completed in 1993.
And after a whopping 240 step climb, we found ourselves at the top.
The day was much colder than expected, so we hurried along to Po Lin Monastery which sits at the base of Tian Tan Buddah. Founded in 1906, the monastery continues to serve as an international Buddhist retreat even today.
While a visit to the Big Buddah and Monastery is technically free, I would encourage you to pay the small fee to enter the three floors beneath the Buddah. Mostly because your entry ticket entitles you to hot tea and vegetarian snacks upon arrival at the Monastery. And yes, one of those snacks just happened to be my beloved bōluó bāo.