Day 5: Ngong Ping – Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
On the fifth day I have decided to visit the Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery via Ngong Ping 360 AKA Tung Chung Cable Car.
The cable car entrance is located within a ~30 minute train ride from the city, at the terminus station of Tung Chung line. The cost of the gondola ride if HKD$165 or $255 for the Crystal Cabin (with the glass floor). The park is located on the Lantau Island, the island that also houses the airport.
To get to the mountain, where the Buddha and the park is located, you need to take the cable ride, which is approximately 20 minutes long (not including the lineup, which can be avoided if you pre-book the tickets. On the way to the Buddha, you walk through the park, which in addition to the oriental design buildings has an exhibition of cable cars from round the world (but nothing from Canada).
The Buddha is about 34 meters tall, and took 12 years to complete. He sits atop of the 268-step stairs, which is an easy walk if you are fit enough. The view from the top of the hill is breathtaking! Make sure to pack your camera, and have it charged.
After the visit to the Buddha, I have checked out the Temple, which has an adjacent vegetarian restaurant. Mind you, the photography inside the temple is prohibited. At this point I could either go back, or keep exploring. I have decided to see the Wisdom Path, which features 24 wooden carvings, which have the Words Of Wisdom written on each, and if you go in the right direction, you are meant to understand the meaning of the living a little deeper. Of course, not being able to read them, I left as ignorant as I came.
There is an elaborate set of trails that go around the island varying in lengths, ranging from just a few minutes to several hours. The entire visit to the island took a little over 5 hours; and by the time I got home I only had enough energy to go for a dinner at a diner in the Tsim Sha Tsui; and after a brief stroll around the seawall, I went back to the hotel to sleep.