Site Name: NGong Ping 360 Experience and Lantau Island
Site Type: Trekking, Buddhist temple, Monastery, Themed Village, Cable Car
Location: Tung Chung, Hong Kong
Highlights:Spectacular 5.7 kms cable car journey; World's tallest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue
Nearest Train Station:MTR Tung Chung
Nearest Airport:Hong Kong
How to reach:Easily accessible by road; Tung Chung MTR station is nearby; Buses are available from various locations of Hong Kong
Hotel: Plenty of options in all ranges around this area
Restaurants: A lot of options in Lantau Island
Opening Hours: Weekday - 10 am - 6 pm; Weekends & Holidays - 9:00 am to 6:30 pm
Ticket Fare: Standard cabin - HKD 94; Crystal cabin - HKD 149 (For complete details on fare, check the NGong Ping website)
After visiting Ocean Park and Disney Land and doing shopping in few popular markets, if you claim that you have visited Hong Kong, you might sound incorrect. Your visit to Hong Kong will be incomplete if you do not visit NGong Ping and Lantau Island. This is one of 'must see' places of Hong Kong. You need one full day to cover all the attractions in this site. Let us explore all these attractions in detail.
NGong Ping Cable Car
It is a joyful 25 minutes ride on 5.7 km bi-cable ropeway. The cable car journey begins from Tung Chung and ends at NGong Ping village. You can get spectacular views of South China Sea, grassland slopes of North Lantau Country Park, Hong Kong International Airport, Tian Tan Buddha statue, mountains of Lantau Island and Ngong Ping Plateau. This wonderful experience is something which you cannot forget in your entire lifetime. It will definitely refresh your mind and body. If you need the best experience, go for crystal cabin with the glass bottom or private cabin.
NGong Ping Village
NGong Ping village is set on a 1.5 hectare site on Lantau island. This is the first site that you reach after you get down from the cable car. This is a culturally themed village. It has several tourist attractions such as Walking with Buddha (a multimedia attraction that talks about the life of Buddha), Bodhi Wishing shrine, model cable cars from different countries and a lot of retail, dining and entertainment options.
Twelve Divine Generals
The wide path between the NGong Ping Village and Tian Tan Buddha has the huge statues of the twelve divine generals of Chinese religion. Each of them represent a particular zodiac sign of Chinese calendar. Each of them appear in different poses, hold different weapons and also have the animal/bird symbol on their head. (One of the generals is named as Indira - similar to Hindu mythological character).
Tian Tan Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha - the giant bronze statue of Buddha, weighing over 250 tonnes is one of the most significant sites of Lantau island. It is considered as "one of ten engineering wonders of Hong Kong". The 34 meter tall Buddha statue stands on three storey building which can be reached by a flight of 268 steps. The north facing Buddha statue is in the sitting posture with his right hand depicting "abhaya (fear not) mudra". He is sitting on a lotus petals. There are six big bronze statues of Devas in different dancing postures with different offerings to Buddha situated in the complex. The relic of the Buddha is found in the third floor of the building. There are few important paintings depicting the life of Buddha and a giant bell inside the building.
If you are a hard core vegetarian, there is a Buddhist vegetarian restaurant located within this complex.
Po Lin Monastery
The hundred years old Po Lin Monastery which is located near the Tian Tan Buddha statue is a calm and serene place. It has the Happy Buddha as the main deity with few other Buddhist deities in three separate sub-shrines.
The Wisdom Path which can be reached in 15 minutes trekking from Po Lin Monastery features an arrangement of 38 giant wood columns measuring 8-10 meters tall and 1 meter wide. They showcase the calligraphic work of Professor Jao Tsung-I, the master of Chinese studies. The calligraphic works are from Heart Sutra. The height and positioning of each column are designed to correspond to the topography of the landscape and are planted in a figure of eight configuration symbolising infinity.
There are many trekking options present in Lantau island. There are trekkers who trek all the way from Tung Chung to NGong Ping village. When you travel through the cable car, you can find these trekkers and the trekking path below you. Beyond the Wisdom Path, there is a trekking path for about 5 kms surrounded by beautiful trees and spectacular views.
Visit this place to claim that you have "really" covered Hong Kong. :-)