If you are visiting Hong Kong and have more than one day, I highly recommend spending one of those days getting out of the city to explore Hong Kong’s quieter side. Hong Kong has so much to offer outside, whether it be fantastic hiking, beautiful beaches, or a day trip to the quaint fishing villages.
It’s pretty easy to make a day trip to Lantau Island combining excursions to Tai O Fishing Village together with a visit to the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha (the “Big Buddha”) via the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car (the longest bi-cable ropeway in Asia). Ngong Ping Village and Tai O are only separated by a 15 minute bus ride, so it’s easy to visit both in one day.
The views from the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car are stunning and I would highly recommend it.
The brand new Hong Kong – Macau – Zhuhai Bridge just opened at the end of October and it was cool see it from above. If you look closely, you can see the bridge go underground and come back up. This is the longest bridge in the world.
I just love this view so much, where you can see mountains in the back and the various bridges in the distance.
Hong Kong International Airport from the sky! Isn’t it crazy that this is all landfill?
The Ngong Ping 360 ropeway is quite popular and lines can grow pretty quickly.
I highly recommend buying your tickets beforehand. I bought them directly from the Ngong Ping 360 site, but I think you can get more discounted tickets by purchasing through a site like KLOOK. If you buy directly from the Ngong Ping 360, you can walk right up to the gate and scan your electronic QR code (which is emailed to you). If you buy from KLOOK, you have to go to the KLOOK stand to exchange your voucher for a real ticket. It’s not a big deal, but it’s an extra step that has the risk of another line.
Another way to avoid lines is to purchase tickets for the more expensive glass-bottomed crystal cabins. The last time we went, we noticed the standard cable car line was a bit long but there was virtually no one waiting in line for the crystal cabins.
Finally, we noticed people don’t like to get up early in Hong Kong, so you can almost certainly avoid lines if you show up early. We showed up right at 9AM and walked right onto the cable car. When we returned around 11:30AM, the line to get onto the cable car looked massively long.
I’ve ridden both types of cabins. The views are similar and if you don’t look down at all, there’s no big reason to opt for the crystal cabins unless if you want to avoid the lines. I think the standard cabins can fit up to 17 people (10 sitting, 7 standing) while the crystal cabin only fits 10. Other than that (and the glass bottomed floor), they didn’t feel super different. Perhaps I was fortunate in that my standard cabin ride only had 8 people.
We decided to try the crystal cabins when Bryan’s parents were visiting. It was so fun!
Us sitting in a crystal cabin.
Aren’t the views just spectacular?
If you dare, lie down on the glass bottom! (don’t worry, they clean in between each ride)
The cable car will drop you off at Ngong Ping Village, a small village full of restaurants and various cultural activities. In the distance, you can see Tian Tan Buddha (the “Big Buddha”).
A series of about 200 steps lead up to the Big Buddha, a bronze statue which was completed in 1993. Lots of people climb to the top to explore the statue from up close and see the pretty views of the surrounding areas.
It’s actually not too bad of a climb, but it does require a basic level of fitness.
From the top, the views of the surrounding are is really beautiful.
The whole region. You can see Po Lin Monastery in the distance.
After exploring the area for a bit, consider hopping on the number 21 bus which takes you to Tai O, a quaint fishing village with stilt houses and a fishing industry that still reflects an older Hong Kong way of life.
I love gorgeous scenery and ropeways, so I am probably biased in saying that riding the Ngong Ping 360 cable car is one of my favorite activities in Hong Kong. I love seeing Hong Kong from a different perspective, especially one that’s hanging over bodies of water while facing mountains. Ngong Ping Village is lovely (especially if it’s not crowded, like in the morning), and it’s so easy to take the 15-20 minute bus ride from there to Tai 0 Fishing Village, another really fun place to visit.
This is the fourteenth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.