I had an afternoon and nothing to do on a Sunday in Hong Kong. So, I dragged travel buddy to go visit the giant Buddha in Ngong Ping.
There are several ways to get to Ngong Ping but if you want to have a really good experience with some money to spare, we suggest that you take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car, but not just any cable car, take the crystal cabin! It’s a bit pricey at 255 HKD per person for a round trip, but it’s waaay better because you don’t have to line up for an hour just to ride. Plus the glass bottom view is worth the price. You also get to have the cabin all to yourself! So you can do all the silly photos you want (photo included as proof) without feeling self conscious. Going back, you have to share the cabin with other people though.
The giant copper Buddha has only been a recent addition to the outer tourist attractions in Hong Kong, being opened in 1993. Climbing up what seems to be a million steps for someone like me who does not exercise will be worth it, believe me or not. The view of the entire village and the beautiful mountain is worth every agonizing step. Bring water though, you’ll need it.
After visiting the Buddha, you can head on down to the temple and offer some prayers and light some incense. I suggest you purchase the incense at the stores just outside the temple. It’s twice as expensive inside. Say your prayers, give your thanks and ask for blessings.
There is also the Po Lin monastery where you can partake of a vegetarian meal and maybe even take a moment to have some introspection.
Going back? The last cabin leaves at 6:30 PM but if you bought a crystal cabin ticket, no worries. Your lines are extremely shorter and you don’t really have to rush that much.
I suggest you visit at around 3 PM and leave at around 6 PM. This will give you an opportunity to take photos during the golden hour and on the way back, show you the beautiful lights.
You can do so much more if you were to get there earlier. You can visit the fishing village and go on a boat tour and maybe even see some pink dolphins.