Don’t get the crystal cable car if you are scared of heights, and don’t take the bus up unless you have a sturdy stomach!
This scenic cable car connects Tung Chung, on the north coast of Lantau, with the Ngong Ping area in the hills above. This is where the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha statue are found, but prior to the cable car they had only been accessible by a rather hairy mountain road. The length of the cable is a huge 5.7 kilometres and it takes roughly 30 minutes to spirit you up the mountainside.
During the ride there are panoramic views of the North Lantau Country Park, the steely South China Sea, the Tung Chung valley, and Ngong Ping Plateau. Some of the cars even have a glass bottom, so you can watch the deep blue sea and lush green forests roll by below your feet. Just by the end terminal, Ngong Ping Village is in tune with the cultural and spiritual dimensions of the area: traditional Chinese architecture reigns. Keep your eyes open for the street performers and their spectacular Kung fu and acrobatics demonstrations.
Barely a five minute walk from the village you will find the Po Lin Monastery, a place of immense significance for Buddhists in Hong Kong. You can file in alongside the devout monks to experience the singular tranquility of their gardens, which cut a serene contrast with the bustle of the city below. Looming above, the Tian Tan Buddha is often known quite fittingly as Big Buddha; it is 34 metres tall and weighs some 250 tons. Stand there and contemplate its immense, peaceful gravity.
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