Misty Day At Ngong Ping

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Took the Crystal Cabin Cable Car (HK$180 one way) from Ngong Ping 360 which is 5mins walk from Tung Chung MTR Exit B. The journey to Ngong Ping Village crosses over Tung Chung Bay & covers about 5.7km; I was a little apprehensive at first as I have a slight case of Acrophobia but thankfully the 20min ride was smooth & without incident.

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A misty day welcomes us to Ngong Ping Village, which sits on a 1.5 hectare site on Lantau Island.

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This touristy village has restaurants & souvenirs shops paving the way to Po Lin Monastery & Tian Tan Buddha. It was chilly but for some strange reason I had to satisfy my craving for Ice cream at Da Dolce Gelato. Love their refreshing Guava Sorbet & the flavourful Lychee Gelato which had bits of real fruit in it.

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Ngong Ping Village is culturally themed & if you are into Chinois stuff you might find something you like whilst passing through this strip to get to the sightseeing spots & Bus Terminus for the other places on Lantau Island like Tai-O, Cheung Sha & Mui Wo…

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On a good clear day, you would catch the side view of the Tian Tan Buddha from this point.

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Interesting to note that standing here, we are approximately: 12,968km from USA’s Statue of Liberty 11,881km from Africa’s Cape of Good Hope 9,632km from UK’s Big Ben 7,378km from Australia’s Sydney Opera House 1,972km from PRC’s Great Wall

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As Mid-day approached, the mist did not dissipate but got denser. It was ‘cool’ for two different reasons; it rained heavily the night before so temperatures plummeted to around 20º Celsius & walking past this stone gate, felt like we were entering the heavenlies.

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Approaching the Tian Tan Buddha is a pathway lined with the statues of The Twelve Divine Generals.

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Six Divine General statues (yaksha) line each side of the road, which in some Buddhist denominations are deemed to be benevolent deities that are caretakers of the earth & protectors of the natural treasures buried beneath.

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268 steps to get to the top of Mount Muk Yue where the Tian Tan Buddha, a large 34m high bronze statue of Sakyamuni Buddha is seated. Completed in 1993, this statue near Po Lin Monastery symbolizes harmony between man & nature; people & faith. This is an important site for Buddhism in Hongkong as well as tourism. Panoramic views of the South China Sea & parts of Lantau Island can be seen from the Tian Tan Buddha podium.

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The mist obliterated all view of the gigantic Buddha. Looks like another trip here would be necessary. Met 3 Filipino teen-aged boys who competed on a cycling circuit & finally raced up these stairs to determine the ultimate winner. What an adrenaline rush!

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This Altar of Earth or Di Tan is a raised platform where Po Lin Monastery hold their major ceremonies & functions. The Committee for the Construction of the Tian Tan Buddha Statue was established on 26 Dec 1981 & they drew inspiration from their visits to Longmen & Dunhuang to see the grotto statues & also Tian Tan (Temple of Heaven) in Beijing.

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This stone gate leads to Po Lin Monastery which we did not visit as we were running late. Another reason why I have to come back again. We took Bus 21 ( HK$6.60) for Tai-O & after our visit there, another Bus from Tai-O Bus Terminus (HK$10.70) to Mui Wo where we caught a ferry (HK$14.50) back to Central Pier 6 on Hongkong Island.

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