We woke up early today to head to the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars and the Tian Tan Buddah on Lantau Island. My boyfriend struggled to speak Cantonese to the woman selling the tickets, so she ended up talking in English to us. I think my boyfriend was just a bit rusty, because he seemed to do a lot better later in the holiday. He got 10% off the ticket for being a Hong Kong citizen (bit jealous). There were two types of cable cars we could have taken; a crystal cabin with a see through floor or a standard cabin. The waiting time for a crystal cabin was 40 minutes, so we decided to go on the standard one (next time we’ll go on the crystal one!)
It took about 20 minutes on the cable car to get to the top. We went over the sea and a huge forest on the hillside. We also got a good view of the airport. Half way up, you could see the huge Buddha that we were heading towards in the distance, really showing it’s size! There were lots of shops when we reached the top which we walked through on the way to the Buddha. It really felt like traditional China which is something I really wanted to see coming to Hong Kong. It’s interesting to see this side of the Hong Kong culture, even if it is still very touristy.
Walking through the shops towards the Buddha
I’m not sure if we’re just very unfit but the walk up the steep stairs to the Big Buddha was a lot of effort. We had to keep stopping and pretending to take photos to have a break! It was a fairly warm day which made the climb even harder. Apparently there are 240 steps. Once we reached the top we got an amazing view of the Buddha, it really was huge! Apparently it can even be seen from Macau on a clear day. There was also an amazing view of the mountains, which really reminded me of Japanese landscapes in old paintings. Underneath the Buddha was was a room full of name plates of people, I assume Buddhists, who had died.
Statues presenting offerings to the Buddha
We headed back down. There were loads of stray dogs around (at least I assume they were stray) sleeping in the sun and begging for food. They were very cute but I felt sorry for them too. We then walked to the Po Lin Monastery which had lots more Buddha statues which I actually found a bit creepy. Lot’s of people were burning incense sticks, because they believe that the Gods consume the smoke. It’s a shame that they were doing building work on the monastery because it looked very spectacular, and very Chinese. We went back to the shops and had a look around, getting some ice cream on the way as it was so warm. We also found some Gashapon machines which we went a bit crazy over. I think by then end of the trip we had spent about £20 on them, mostly buying little pokemon figures. We took the cable car back down and in the shop at the exit, my boyfriend bought me a cute little panda toy which I have named Buddha Panda. It’s basically a cuddly panda with a Chinese style shirt!
More posts on my adventures in Hong Kong here: