[travel] Now that’s a huge Buddha: Tian Tan Buddha @ Ngong Ping, Hong Kong

Finally, after ~1 month staying in Hong Kong, I did something every tourist in Hong Kong should/must/feels inclined to do: checking out the big Buddha at Ngong Ping village. I never put trust in overpopular places, and the mere thought of having to queue to get in the cable car, of taking photos full of other people’s ass just puts me off. But hey, I mean, I should do it, right? You know, it just feels weird if I don’t.

Well, there was a Buddha, that’s pretty much about it. Fortunately I didn’t put my hope high so I wasn’t terribly let down. The nicest part was riding the EMPTY cable car back, though. Cable car, which is the most popular means of transport to Ngong Ping (other options available are ferry and bus) operates from 10am to 6pm. My friend and I started queuing at 9:55am and it took us 25 minutes to be seated with other 6 people on a standard cable car. We chose standard cabin, “crystal” cabin is actually a cable car with see-through deck. No thank you. 135 HKD for a roundtrip ticket per adult.

The ride was smooth and quite fun. The only problem is that Hong Kong sky never ever gets clear. It is usually smogy, dull, gloomy. If it’s sunny, the temperature rises and I wish it wasn’t sunny. But wait, things get better. It is when we rode the cable car back ON OUR OWN. 2 people in a cabin on a 5.7km ride — how cool is that? Of course, we took a hellot of pictures, and it was when we felt like the ticket was worth it.

Overlooking the sea & Hong Kong airport:

Do you see the hiking trail? Looks tempting!

Ugh the smog:

On the way to Buddha:

Hi….

Quite cool:

On the way back…

I highly recommend you get there before 10am to avoid the huge crowd of eager tourists and Hong Kong residents. When we came back at 11:30pm the queue was crazy long. I estimate that it’d take you at least 2 hours to be seated if you start queuing at that time. In any case, avoid weekends, holiday, and arrive early. Such advice always saves you from trouble and annoyance.
And should you visit Ngong Ping? I’d say, no. If you have money to waste on cable car, then go ahead. It’s not that great actually. But it’s weird to not visit such a popular place, right?

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