Ngong Ping 360

896 Reviews

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Things to do


Date of travel

January, 2018

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Although we’d visited Hong Kong before, we’d never been on the “Ngong Ping 360”: cable car which takes you to a ‘traditional Chinese cultural themed village’ and Big Buddha.

We took the MTR from our “hotel”:, with the journey taking an hour due to a long walk at the interchange. But it was all very clear with stations shown and announced in English and lines named, coloured and numbered.

At the end of the line we were on Lantau Island, where we followed the crowds and began queuing, wishing we’d had the foresight to buy advance tickets online. There were two options: a crystal cabin with a glass floor (return 290HKD/£27), or the standard (210HKD/£20) which we chose. After buying tickets, we joined another long queue.

Staff ensured each cabin was full, generally with 8 people, but we were guided to one which already had 7 occupants who were not best pleased at having to ‘shove up’ although, having seen a sign showing the maximum capacity was 17, they were jolly lucky.

On the 5.7km journey, one girl began turning green and couldn’t appreciate the spectacular views of HK international airport with its two clearly visible runways and tiny looking aeroplanes and the sheer scale of HKs iconic high-rise buildings. After 30 minutes, we reached the top and couldn’t miss Big Buddha, erected in 1996 a year before the hand-over. A walk took us through a series of rather kitsch cafes and tourist shops but as the sun was lovely, we stopped for an al fresco drink. We continued onwards, along an avenue of statues where cows grazed contentedly amongst the twelve bronze divine generals each dedicated to a symbol of the Chinese calendar and certain hours of the day.

Having reached BB, we climbed the 266 steps to the top. They were easy steps and, although there were separate sides for going up and down, a few people didn’t appear to notice that everyone was going in the opposite direction to them. In addition, one devotee stopped to pray at each landing whilst another fell onto her knees at every 5th step.

At the top, we walked around BB and other statues before going inside where there were yet more souvenir shops and information boards bearing the speeches at the opening ceremony including one by Chris Patten.

Back down, we visited the Po Lin Monastery where we found the usual incense burners and pots of maroon and yellow chrysanthemums on the steps leading inside.

We eventually returned to the cable car, found no queue and consequently only had 5 in our car, which enabled us to retake some of our ascending photos with more space to be artistic.

Helen Jackson

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