For some unknown reason, I’ve been eyeing at this tourist spot over the internet since last year. Part of my job requires me to write about travel themed topics and this was one of the places that I love to talk about and of course, one that hooked my heart: Tian Tan Buddha / The Bid Buddha in Lantau Island. As planned, we should have taken the ferry going to Macau during our last day but my parents recommended that we try the Cable Car ride. Was I just too predictable that they read what’s in my mind or the odds were in my favour? Whatever it is, I was happy we finally agreed on one thing.
First, I met a friend of mine whom I haven’t seen for 7 years. We weren’t just classmates or seatmates. Jaja was one of my bestest friend in college. See? It’s like we didn’t even aged at all! That’s what she said! 🙂
We chose the Standard Round Trip Cable car ride that is worth HK$225 each. The ticket also included a bus ride going to the Tai O for a boat excursion. As suggested by the itinerary, we visited The Big Buddha first.
The ride lasted for 45 minutes. See the spectacular view of the Tung Chung Bay, the Hong Kong International airport, Ngong Ping Plateum South China Sea and when you’re near Ngong Ping, you’l see the beauty of the Big Buddha from a far.
Ngong Ping 360 is the ideal springboard to exploring Lantau Island. Your journey begins with a 25-minute cable car ride from Tung Chung. Give the amazing Crystal Cabin a try. Its glass bottom offers an astonishing bird’s eye view of the magical deep blue sea and lush green mountainside underneath your feet. As you step out of the cable car, you will be greeted by the culturally themed 1.5-hectare Ngong Ping Village, where a wide array of shops and eateries in Ngong Ping Village offer a delightful shopping and dining experience. Also, don’t miss the Walking with Buddha multimedia presentation.
Just a quick introduction about Ngong Ping Village, it is Chine-style themed located near the Ngong Ping Cable Car terminal. Roam around and you’ll see wide range of restaurants that serves scrumptious Eastern and Western cuisines and souvenir shops.
I was squinting all the way up just so I can see inch by inch how I was getting closer to the Big Buddha. Imagine sprinting on the last 5 minutes in the treadmill before it finally slows down & you’re completely out of breath ( and die for a while ). But as I was writing this, I couldn’t remember those words I uttered anymore. Magical? Breathtaking? Overwhelming? I say, all of the above.
Second stop: Tai O Village.
*TAI O is Hong Kong’s oldest fishing village, which is only 20 minutes away from Ngong Ping. You’ll see antique buildings as well. Take the No. 21 route of the New Lantau Bus.
A look at the seaside villages in Tai O. It’s where you can buy everything dried like salted fish, sundried salted eggs, dried fish maw and squid. If you still have time, go around the Wing On and Kut Hing streets and look for the famous Chargrilled Egg Waffles, Tofu Puddings, Herbal drink ( Begonia fimbristipula ), Steamed Glutinous rice cakes and rice dumplings and the Lohanguo tea.
We were lucky that a Chinese White Dolphin peeked out of the water when it was our turn. You can actually choose between the Boat Excursion, exciting water sports in Cheung Sha, experience nature in Shui Hau, or a laid back bicycle ride in Mui Wo.
After you’re done with any of these, go to the bus terminal and ride the route No. 21 going back to Ngong Ping.
My only regret is that I wasn’t able to visit the Po Lin Monastery when I had the chance. Went back to buy some souvenirs and tried some tasty Hong Kong street food. Don’t bother asking what these are. The thrill is to try everything without any clue on how it will turn out. And wether you’ll like it or not.