Whilst Hong Kong Island and districts of Kowloon are bustling metropolis, Lantau Island is totally opposite. Lying on the southwest side, it is Hong Kong’s largest island that features lush greeneries. The island is very popular not only because of Disneyland but also because it is the home of the famous Big Buddha (Tian Tan Buddha) and the Po Lin Monastery. Many tourist flock to see these attractions and experience the Ngong Ping 360.
The Ngong Ping 360 is an aerial tramway connecting Tung Chung and Ngong Ping Village where the Big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery is located. Visitors and tourist can enjoy a 25-minute cable car experience with breathtaking panoramic views of Hong Kong. If you’re not afraid of heights, you also have the option of opting for the crystal glass cabin. It is a special cabin that has a clear glass floor that enables you to view what’s right under your feet. We didn’t take it because I didn’t have the guts.
Heights aren’t my thing but once you’re at the top the views of the mountains, buildings and the sea is really worth the experience. The sights from the top are spectacular.
As the cable car approaches to the village, you can see the magnificent monument sitting on top of the mountain. Some local said that the Big Buddha can be seen in Macau on a clear sunny day. Imagine how huge that Buddah is.
Ngong Ping Village
The village has modern Chinese designed buildings built to accommodate the influx of tourists visiting the Big Buddha. It houses several shops, cafe’s, restaurants and some entertainment centers.
One of the shows we witnessed during our visit was the Lantau Drumming Spectacular. It was a very impressive drum performance done by professional drummers to entertain visitors.
These performers were really good. Although I didn’t understand what they were shouting about every beat of their drums will certainly make you dance.
Tian Tan Buddha
Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993, and located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. The statue is sited near Po Lin Monastery and symbolises the harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith. It is a major centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong, and is also a popular tourist attraction.
Getting up close with Buddha means you have to climb almost 300 steps. The admission is free however if you wish to see the museum inside you have to buy a ticket. There is also a fine dining restaurant inside the Big Buddha.
At the top you can find statues kneeling in front of the great Buddha with their offerings.
Ngong Ping Piazza
Connecting from Ngong Ping Village and the entrance of the Monastery and Big Buddha is the large Piazza. The walkway is lined with statues known as the twelve divine generals.
Po Lin Monastery
The monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks visiting from Jiangsu Province on the Chinese mainland and was initially known simply as “The Big Hut” (大茅蓬 Tai Mao Pung). It was renamed to its present name in 1924. The main temple houses three bronze statues of the Buddha – representing his past, present and future lives – as well as many Buddhist scriptures.
We spent a total of 6 hours exploring the village including the cable car rides. If you’re planning to visit the island, it is best to go there early as the place will get crowded during lunch time. The village has a lot of photo ops area and you can strike a pose anywhere. We certainly had a fun and memorable experience during our day trip in Lantau Island.
If you have time to spare while in Hong Kong might as well visit Lantau Island and enjoy a day getting in touch with nature. The island has hiking trails for adventure seekers and foodies will also enjoy a feast of fresh seafood at the nearby fishing village. Definitely Hong Kong has something for everyone.
Note: Quoted information above are taken from Wikipedia.