Day 7. NGong Ping and the Po Lin Monastery

This morning we took the MTR to Tung Chung so that we could take a ride on the NGong Ping 360 Cable Car to visit the Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha.  The MTR was crowded with commuters but queues are orderly and trains run at one minute intervals.

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NGong Ping 360 Cable Car
The cable car station is adjacent to the MTR station but when we arrived at 9.50 am, ten minutes before the booking office opened, there was already a lengthy queue building up so it was almost an hour later when we boarded the cabin.  We bought single tickets at HK$160 each as we intended to return via a different route.  The journey to NGong Ping Village takes 25 minutes and dramatic views of Lantau Island, Hong Kong’s Chek Lap Kok airport and the South China Sea can been seen.  As the cable car reaches its highest point the famous Tian Tan Buddha more commonly referred to as ‘Big Buddha’ comes into sight majestically sitting at the top of Mount Muk Yue Peak.  The Big Buddha faces north to look over the Chinese people.

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Steps up to the Big Buddha
After leaving the cable car we walked through the touristy ‘village’ from where we could see long flights of steps leading up to the Big Buddha.  We climbed the 268 steps to admire the bronze Buddha which stands 34 metres tall.  Inside the pedestal we looked around the museum of Buddhist relics before returning down the steps to visit the nearby Po Lin Monastery which is a world renowned Buddhist sanctuary.  It’s an architectural delight, adorned with flowers and even has its own popular vegetarian restaurant where we stopped for cold drinks.

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Po Lin Monastery
Near the cable car station lies the bus station and from here we caught Bus 21 to Tai O village, a 15 minute journey.  We paid using our Octopus cards but please remember if you pay in cash to have small coins as no change is given.

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Entrance Gate to Po Lin Monastery
Tai O is a small fishing village built on stilts centred around a creek.  As we walked down the narrow streets the smell of pungent fish filled the air as almost every stall sells dried fish hanging from hooks or displayed on large trays.

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Tai O Village
Small boat trips are available and depart every few minutes.  We took a 25 minute tour (HK$20 each) with only four other people on board.  I highly recommend these boat trips as we were taken along the creek and could observe local village life with their wooden homes propped up on stilts over the water.  The boat then left the confines of the harbour, gathered speed taking us out to sea for some dolphin watching.  We were fortunate to be able to see some but you will have to take my word for it as they moved too quickly for me to photograph!

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Typical Tai O Village Homes
Leaving the boat we were feeling hungry so we bought some delicious coconut buns from the local bakery and sat on a bench in the village square to eat them.  Some more exploring around the village followed before catching Bus No.1 to Miu Wo ferry terminal, this journey taking 40 minutes and passing through some splendid scenery on the edge of the Lantau Country Park.  Arriving at Miu Wo we noticed a ferry already docked on the pier so we ran to the terminal to catch it but it wasn’t due to depart for a further 20 minutes so there was no need to rush.

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Fast Ferry back to Central
We returned to Central on the fast ferry, paying using our Octopus cards. The seats were comfortable airline style so it was nice to sit back and relax awhile taking in the stunning views as we neared Hong Kong.

I have divided today’s post into two parts – our evening activity follows shortly!

 

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27 thoughts on “Day 7. NGong Ping and the Po Lin Monastery

  1. Pingback: Day 7. NGong Ping and the Po Lin Monastery | Blogging about all things

  2. Starting off with a cable car and ending with a boat – sounds like another great day!! The boat ride sounds wonderful, I love being able to watch people go about their everyday business and then after that dolphins – wow!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So lovely to read your adventure and see your photos. It reminds me my own experience while visiting the Big Buddha. We were going up on a very windy day, so it was quite exciting in the gondola and up there also ! We didn’t go to the fishing village. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to reminisce about places we’ve visited and view them from someone else, I like to do that as well. Do try and visit the fishing village if you ever return as it doesn’t take long to get to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely read once again ❤ those Octopus cards sure are handy! I am quite sure I've been on that cable car and seen the Buddha. I hope to be able to go back one day, HK seems to have a lot to offer. Yay, that you saw dolphins, that's always a magical moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been reminiscing while reading your post as we did almost exactly this day trip last summer. I now regret that we didn’t do the boat trip from Tai O village – your account sounded so interesting. And dolphins as well! The cable car ride to the Big Buddha really was marvellous!

    Liked by 1 person

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