Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Walking Tour: Big Buddha at Ngong Ping

During my mom's visit over Chinese New Year, I got to revisit many of the main tourist sites in Hong Kong. One of those is the Ngong Ping cable car, which travels through Lantau Island to the Tian Tan Buddha, the largest outdoor, seated, bronze Buddha statue in the world.

We took the MTR to Tung Chung, way out on Lantau Island.

At the end of the line there's a shopping mall...

...some apartment blocks...

...and a very long line. The cold and rain didn't keep the crowds away.

We waited down below for about an hour, then took the escalator up to the cable car platform.

There wasn't a whole lot to look at as we waited for another hour at the top of the platform.

We bought our tickets, along with hundreds of other Chinese New Year tourists.

We found another line after we had the tickets. This one moved a little faster.

Finally, we passed through the ticket barrier...

...and waited in one more line.

We could see the cable cars swinging through.

Finally, it was our turn.

We stepped onto the cable car...

...and were lifted out into the rain.

We could barely see the cable cars passing in the mist.

Throughout the ride, we stared into the fog.

This is what it looks like on a sunny day.

At some point we figured we had crossed the water and were heading into the hills...

...but we could only see the other cable cars when they were right beside us.

Eventually we reached the platform, which was shrouded in mist.

We made our way to the exit...

...and bypassed the souvenir photos.

Exit through the gift shop.

We found hundreds of people lining up to go home.

There were some gloomy reminders of the Year of the Dragon.

We passed another chilly line and headed for the warm Chinese restaurant.

We couldn't even see the bus station through the mist.

We could see how far away from the rest of the world we were.

We met a few of the Lantau cows, who looked almost as cold as we were.

We found our way to the entrance to the steps.

We started to climb, but we couldn't see the Buddha yet.

So we climbed further...

...and further, but this is the most we could see when standing right beneath the statue.

This is what it looks like in the sunlight.

I've always liked the statues around the side better. We snapped a few pictures and took a nice, warm bus ride home. We found out later that the cable car stalled for a few hours the day after we were there. If it was even half as cold I feel so sorry for the people who were stuck up there! 

We had time to visit a few other cool tourist spots, so come back for another walking tour next week!


  1. The fog actually seems to lend more mysticism to the statues. Beautiful photos!

    1. Thank you Susan. It was very cool to see the statues in a different light this time.

  2. Wow, a lot has changed at Lantau over the years! Back when I lived in HK, there was no MTR stop on Lantau and to reach the Big Buddha, you had to walk up hundreds of stairs. When I took my mom there in 1990, we found some what were probably the most depressing toilets in all of Hong Kong. We ate a 'free' vegetarian lunch at the temple and made a donation afterwards. No matter, it's always a nice change from the bustle Hong Kong side.

    1. It's currently easier to get to now, but that also means the lines are a lot longer. I would like to do the hike at some point. We ended up going to a restaurant in the little village near the end of the cable car and it was quite good.

  3. Great photos, as always. The trip via the cable cars look exciting. Hopefully, I will be able to do it one day. I wonder if in the last picture, these are the statues of Guan Yin (a feminine version of Buddha).

    1. Thanks Giora. I'm not sure about the statues, but that sounds likely. Let me know if you're ever in HK!

  4. Hey Sharon, what a lovely post, and I'm sorry that the weather was not very friendly to you on that trip. I remember what queues are like for tourist attractions in the summer, so I'm surprised you still had to wait as long as you did during winter. As always, though, loved your narratives! :)

    Just to let you know that I'm awarding you the "Totally Smitten" blog award!

    Hope you like it! ^_^

    Yishi x

    1. Hi Yishi! Thank you for the award! That's very sweet of you :).


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