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.
A misty day welcomes us to Ngong Ping Village, which sits on a 1.5 hectare site on Lantau Island.
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.
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…
On a good clear day, you would catch the side view of the Tian Tan Buddha from this point.
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
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.
Approaching the Tian Tan Buddha is a pathway lined with the statues of The Twelve Divine Generals.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.