We were pretty excited to plan a trip to Lantau Island. Taking Ngong Ping 360 cable car is the ideal way to explore Lantau Island. Trust me, it totally worth the price as the journey takes about 25 minutes ride from Tung Chung. If you get to MRT Tung Chung Station, take the Exit B and you will find the cable car service right across the station. Tips: You may want to book the tickets online. Otherwise, you have to go to Tung Chung pretty early in order to avoid the long queue. We reached Tung Chung at around 8.30am and there was already a queue. Besides, if you reach Ngong Ping Village earlier, you will have a chance to take better pictures. To buy the ticket, click here.
We had decided to give the Crystal Cabin a try. It offers us an astonishing bird’s eye view of the limitless sky, scattered islands, blue ocean and mountainside beneath our feet. Tips: Buy a one-way ticket for the cable car to Ngong Ping Village and you can take a bus (at Ngong Ping Village) back to Tung Chung directly instead of a cable car. By doing so, you can avoid a huge crowd waiting for the cable car at Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal.
We were glad that the weather was pleasant in the morning. We had to walk through Ngong Ping Village to find our way to Tian Tan Buddha. There are shops, restaurants and cafe (i.e. Starbucks) in the village. Strolling around the village, we found our way to the Tian Tan Buddha (also known as Big Buddha), Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping Piazza and Wisdom Path. They are just a stone’s throw from the village.
Well, it’s not a question why Tian Tan Buddha is also known as the Big Buddha. It’s massive and it took about 12 years to complete. At first, I thought that the statue is made from giant rock. In fact, it is a bronze statue. Having a majestic Buddha statue sitting high up on the mountain, it has become a famous tourist attraction. It wasn’t too tough to climb up 268 steps to reach the statue in the morning. However, it certainly becomes more challenging if you go in the afternoon because of the crowd and scorching sun.
On top of the mountain, we enjoyed the great view of Lantau Island. It was peaceful and relaxing. Since we arrived earlier, we could still see the mountains covered by the mist and slowly unveiled by the wind.
After visiting the Big Buddha, we dropped by at the Po Lin Monastery which is located at the opposite of the statue. Po Lin Monastery is a home to the monks. It’s famous for its colourful and detailed Buddhist iconography. If you walk around the Monastery, you will find the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Besides, the Monastery consists of other halls such as Da Xiong Bao Dian (the Great Hall of Treasure), the Maitreya Hall, the Hall of Ti-Tsang Bodhisattva, the Weituo Hall, the Banruo Hall and the Sutra-Collection.
There is a vegetarian cafe nearby the Monastery. During the lunch time, you will see all the monks coming out from the Monastery to the cafe. We had a quick lunch at this vegetarian cafe where Lewis got to try out some local snacks (they are just alright).
After visiting a few remarkable attractions, our next destination is Tai O Village. While waiting for a bus to Tai O Village, we walked around Ngong Ping Village. There are souvenirs shops if you fancy buying something for friends and families. Otherwise, sitting at the Starbucks is a pretty good idea.