So we’re at the end of our first week in Asia and decided to tackle one of the “must-see” HK attractions and visit the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. This involved taking the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car ride from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping Village – right by the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha.
We arrived at the foot of the cable car at 12:30pm and promptly joined a long queue… We had signed up to the online newsletter and had 10% off coupons, but unfortunately still had to join the standard line to buy tickets. Return ride per person is 185HKD.
Travel Tip: To anyone planning to ride the NP360, I strongly suggest you buy your tickets online and use the express line straight to the cable cars. You’ll save yourself perhaps an hour queuing to buy the tickets.
It was at around 2pm (after 75 minutes of queueing) when we finally reached the front of the line and boarded our cable car. They strategically place 10 people into a pod and in general there’s plenty of space to get some amazing views. The route takes you straight into the mountains and overlooks HK and the airport. It’s high, it’s fast, and it’s a little scary!
The ride itself lasted about 25 minutes and runs from 10am to 6pm during the week (or 6:30pm at weekends). We arrived in Ngong Ping at 2:30pm, so this gave us a few hours to explore.
Jane quite enjoyed the various cows that wandered around.
Tonight's the latest I've been able to stay awake (11:30pm) since we arrived in Asia. Going through photos from our day on #LantauIsland to visit the Big Buddha. @darren_g1 hates my pics of all the cows 🐄😂 | @cbgtoyyz . . . . . . . #hongkong #hkg #travel #travels #travelpic #travelpics #travelphotography #travellove #travellover #traveler #travelers #travellers #traveller #ngongping #ngongpingvillage #cow #animal #cbgtoyyz #djasia2016
First order of business was to see the Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) atop some 300 steps.
Fun Fact: This is the largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha at 34 meters tall. It was constructed from over 200 bronze pieces and weighs more than 250 metric tons.
It was certainly a very impressive Buddha and the general height offered some excellent views across the island.
After descending the stairs we went in search of the Wisdom Path. After 15 minutes walking into the jungle, we decided to abandon this idea and head back to the monastery to grab some snacks. It was a little too hot to just wander into the mountains today.
We found ourselves at the Po Lin Monastery and watched as people burnt incense by the entrance. Inside we stopped for refreshments: beancurd dessert and soy milk, and admired the impressive architecture.
By 4:30pm we wandered back to the NP360 cable car area and queued for another 30 minutes to catch our ride back down. We were lucky enough to ride just before sunset and got a few extra pics!
Overall the whole experience was excellent – I’d strongly suggest anyone visiting HK for even a short while to take this day trip. Pack plenty of water and snacks and make a day of it! The cable car is high, so not for those afraid of heights.
In the evening, we went for delicious ramen at Ippudo! Jane will post pics of that meal for sure.