Day 2 in Hong Kong and we woke up to a slight rain. I was worried it will ruin our plans for the day, but my mom and dad seem ready to risk being wet and cold. Hmm, it’s just a drizzle so I guess we’ll be fine. Today, we’re going to the Ngong Ping Village and try the cable cars, also known as the Ngong Ping 360. I haven’t rode a cable car before, so I’m really excited.
How to Get to Ngong Ping Village
The fastest and most convenient way to go to Ngong Ping Village is via MTR and Cable Car. You can ride the MTR and get off at the Tung Chung station. The Ngong Ping 360 cable car terminal is just 2 minutes walk away from the Exit B of the Tung Chung MTR station. If you want to take the bus, you can ride Bus E11 at Hong Kong Island, E21, E22, E23 at Kowloon, E31, E32, E33, E34, E41 and E42 at New Territories, get off at Shun Tung Road. From there, it is just around 12 minutes walk to the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars.
Since we’re located just in front of the Tsim Sha Tsui MTR station, we decided to go to Ngong Ping Village via MTR. Tung Chung is the last station. When we get off there, we asked around where to find the Ngong Ping 360 terminal. It’s starting to rain a bit again. We were disappointed to find out that the cable cars are under maintenance, so we won’t be able to go to Ngong Ping Village the way I would have loved to. We then took the alternate route, which is via bus. We went to the bus terminal just below the Ngong Ping 360 cable car terminal. We rode the Bus 23, which will take us to the Ngong Ping village. It’s a 50-minute ride. FYI, cable cars will only take around 25 minutes the village.
The 50-minute bus ride is surprisingly enjoyable. I guess it’s because every place is new to me. I was looking out the bus window the entire time. The view is just breath taking. We passed by beaches, cliffs and lots of trees. It’s still raining, though. When we drove over a long bridge crossing into Lantau Island, it somewhat feels like we’re entering another dimension. It’s like we’re going back in time! This part of Hong Kong is very beautiful. I wonder how nice it would be to live here. The bus stopped and just like that, we were told we’re in the vicinity of Ngong Ping Village.
I took some time to feel the ambiance, and Ngong Ping Village turns into a place of spirituality. The nature is here, too. I didn’t expect Hong Kong to have a place like this. I thought this is just one big, modern city!
We then saw the long, high steps leading to the Giant Buddha or what the locals call the Tian Tan Buddha. I read that the giant Buddha is supposed to symbolize the harmonious relationships between man and nature, people and faith. No wonder there’s this spiritual feel to the place. You feel like the Tian Tan Buddha is watching over all of Ngong Ping village.
It’s still raining. Good thing we brought umbrellas. I was first worried about climbing the stairs while raining. I don’t want my parents, especially my mom, tripping and having a hard time. But it seems like they’re ready for anything. I can see they’re both excited, it’s infectious, so we decided to make the most of the experience and climb the stairs up to the top where the Giant Buddha sits.
Once we got to the top of the stairs, I was surprised on how big the Tian Tan Buddha is up close. I thought it was just a trick of the mountain that it looks huge, but it really is a giant Buddha! The fee we paid for at the gate includes free ice cream and a pass to go inside the Big Buddha. Yes, it’s that big, you can even go inside it! But first, we strolled and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
When the rain poured harder, we then proceeded to go inside the Giant Buddha. The inside serves as a museum with relics and historical/religious artifacts. I was hesitant to go inside because there’s no one but us. We are basically by ourselves inside a Giant Buddha! Cool? I’m not sure. I got a little spooked, to be honest. But we paid for this, so mind as well go inside and try to enjoy. The moment you enter the door into the Tian Tan Buddha, you will see a stairs that you have to climb to get to the museum. We’re going to be inside the Buddha’s head. Natatakot talaga ako, wala kasing tao. Iba talaga ang feeling sa loob.
The inside of the Giant Buddha is one big circle. The walls are circular. There’s another flight of stairs that will lead you farther up. I got seriously scared when my mom said she felt “something“. The atmosphere is really heavy maybe because this is an old structure and we’re surrounded by old relics and scriptures and paintings that we don’t have any idea what they’re about. Some signs and symbols foreign to my eyes. It is a little confusing, especially when I can’t focus. Bakit ba kasi walang tao dito? Alam mo yung feeling na kapag may narinig kayo na yabag ng paa, sure na hindi tao yun. I tried going up the stairs that leads farther up to the inner chamber, which I found out is a bad idea. I was halfway up the stairs when I turned around and noticed that my mom and dad are nowhere in sight. Iniwanan ako ng mga magulang ko mag-isa sa loob! I quickly tried to find my way out of that circular maze. Yung takot ko! Once outside, I asked them why they suddenly disappeared. Yun na nga, si Mama ko may nararamdaman daw sa loob. Pero bakit nyo ako iniwan? Waaa.
We then visited the Po Lin Monastery, and it is an attraction in itself. From the beautiful garden, the intricate wood carvings and paintings, to the golden filigrees, the Po Lin monastery is an amazing place of worship. There’s lots of Buddha statues inside. I was happy to see real monks worshiping. I would have loved to take a picture with one, but they’re busy doing their thing. I don’t want be too touristy and disturb their little ceremony.
We left the Ngong Ping Village satisfied. Even though we didn’t experience riding the cable cars, the bus trip turned out to be a pleasant surprise and an experience a tourist should consider. We went back to the city via bus again. I can’t help but look back at the whole Ngong Ping area and marvel at the beauty and mystery the village brings one more time.
Ngong Ping Village
11 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China | 852-36660606