Ngong Ping 360: What to Do & See?

Lantau is the largest of Hong Kong’s islands and is almost double the size of Hong Kong Island itself. It is located 10km west of Hong Kong Island and is about 25km in length. The island has a lot of tourist attractions to offer and one day is not enough to see them all. You can, however, enjoy a visit to one of the the most popular visitor destinations, not only in Lantau but also in Hong Kong, Ngong Ping.

A plateau high in the western Lantau hills in the shadow of the towering Lantau Peak, Hong Kong's second highest mountain. It has become popular since the Tian Tan “Big Buddha” statue was erected in 1993. What I love about this attraction is, despite the extent of development, it still retains the natural and wonderful environment. You can still see a lot of trees going there and within the attraction.

Address: 11 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong
Phone#: (852) 3666 0606
Fax#: (852) 2109 9179

Ngong Ping itself offers a lot of attractions and things to do while in there. Depending on your time and budget, you can have the full adventure at Nong Ping. Here are the attractions that you might want to check when you visit Ngong Ping:

1. Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car 
The 25 minutes Cable Car Ride starts at Tung Chung Station accross the Tung Chung Bay and steeply ascend to the North Lantau Country Park. Then ascend further to the highest point at Nei Lak Shan, 560 meters above sea level. As the car slowly descend the Nei Lak Shan station, the statue of the Big Buddha start to be visible. And as the car get nearer the Ngong Ping station, the statue gets bigger until it disappear as soon as the car stops at the Ngong Ping Station.
On the way to Ngong Ping, the car we're in is full, but when we got back we're only 4 people in the car. That's the time I was able to finally capture many photos. To know more about the Cable Car and how to get there, please visit: Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

2. Ngong Ping Village
Adjacent to the Ngong Ping Cable Car Terminal, Ngong Ping Village is an impressive cultural themed village, incorporating three major attractions - Walking with Buddha, Stage 360 and Motion 360.  The village has gift shops, restaurants and café’s. If you want to get the perfect picture of the village, make sure to go there as soon as it opens. Ngong Ping is really popular with it's Giant Buddha and a lot of people go there to visit.
It tends to get overcrowded starting lunch time and you will need a lot of patience when people are bumping on you or appearing when you are going to take photos.

3. Bodhi Wishing Shrine
If you are superstitious and a believer, don't leave Ngong Ping 360 without making a wish at the Bodhi Wishing Shrine. You won't miss it as it's situated just under the Bodhi Tree on the way to the Tian Tan (The Big Buddha) and the Po Lin Monastery.

4. The Piazza
Connecting the Ngong Ping Village and some of the attractions in the area is the Piazza. The piazza, which was almost two years in construction and cost some HK$77.5 million, harmonises with the religious setting of the surrounding environment and includes a new 14.1 metre tall, 19.1 metre wide Pai Lau, 122 metre long Bodhi Path flanked by statues of the "Twelve Divine Generals", Di Tan with four lotus ponds around the perimeter and 1,980 sq metre Chinese landscaped garden. Although, I didn't see the lotus ponds and the garden when we were there. Maybe I'm too focused on the 12 Divine Generals or just not paying attention to my surrounding. 
Along the path at the entrance of the Po Lin Monastery is a giant Cauldron, seated on a pedestal. The cauldron was erected in 1998 and commemorates the end of British sovereignty and return of Hong Kong to the motherland a year earlier. The cauldron is engraved with the pattern of the Bauhinia, the national emblem of Hong Kong.

5. Tian Tan Buddha Statue (The Big Buddha)

The Tian Tan Buddha Statue (“Big Buddha”) have been cast in 202 bronze sections in mainland China and was transported over a period of three years to Lantau, where it was assembled. This hollow statue with  the height of 26 meters is claimed to be “the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha statue”.  The statue is sitting on circular three-tier podium atop the peak of  Mount Muk Yu. To get there one has to climb some 268 steps to the lower tier of the podium. There is shorter route but it's only open for tour coaches and authorized vehicles. The Buddha was modeled after Sakyamuni, who achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree.
If you've been to other monastery with a Buddha, you will find that their hands have different positions. These hand positions have meaning, depending on what country and belief. In this case, the imparting fearlessness of the right hand of the Buddha indicates the compassion to save all sentient beings from their sufferings; the 'fulfilling wishes' mudra of the left hand, resting on the lap, implies the vow to grant blessing and happiness to all.

6. The Po Lin Monastery
Po Lin (Precious Lotus) Monastery is another popular attraction in Ngong Ping 360 in Lantau Island, Hong Kong. A visit at the themed village is not complete without visiting the Monastery. It's a must see attraction next the Tia Tian Buddha, commonly known as the Big Buddha.
The Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a Scripture Library and a Dharma Hall is the new addition to this religios site. Pardon me for taking pictures of the Buddha inside the temple, even though it's not allowed. It's just that I can't help myself because it's really beautiful and glimmering. Make sure you visit the Po Lin Monastery and it's surrounding when you travel to Hong Kong.
We don't have much time when we visited so I was able to visit the attractions above. But if you have enough time, make sure to visit these attractions and join other religious or fun activities:

1. Wisdom Path
Wisdom Path features an arrangement of 38 giant wood columns measuring 8-10 meters tall and 1 meter wide. They showcase the calligraphic works of Professor Jao Tsung-I, the master of Chinese studies.  These wood columns are arranged in a "∞" pattern. The words on these wood columns are from a famous Buddhist classic called the Heart Sutra whose full name in Sanskrit is Sāhasrikā-prajñā-pāramitā. Here's is where you want to go for an enlightenment tour.

2. Ngong Ping Nature Centre
If you are interested in knowing more about Ngong Ping, other than being a tourist spot, this is the perfect place to visit. This is where you can get the information about the biodiversity and natural landscape of the the island. How they promote public awareness of environmental and ecological conservation, and the most important of all, how they encourage ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism of the country. This tour is free and available in English. See below for the schedule of the tour.

Monday to Friday: 11:00am*, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10:00am, 11:00am*,  3:00pm, 4:00pm
* English Tours are only available at 11:00am.

3. Walking With Buddha
This 3-dimensional multimedia attraction is all about the life of Siddhartha Gautama, "he who has meaning (of existence)/he who attained his goals", and became Buddha. From being a Prince of Court to finding enlightenment and becoming a Buddha.

4. Stage 360
Get an exciting opportunity to go behind the scenes to watch  the professional performance of stuntmen and do some flying kicks of your own at Stage 360.

5. Motion 360
Motion 360 offers 5D shows - Discover Lantau and Little Ants Adventure. Whatever you choose to watch will surely bring you fund and and excitement.

Helpful Tips:
  • Bring an umbrella or cap to protect you from the sun. Ngong Ping is an open area and gets really hot specially during summer.
  • Ngong Ping is very popular for tourists and locals, so it's really best to visit early. You can take pictures of the attractions with less people. Be patient and wait for your time, because almost all people want to have pictures with all of the attractions.
Click here on how to get to Ngong Ping 360.


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