If you are in Hong Kong you have to see the Giant Buddha and the NGONG PING 360 Cable Car. I would suggest that you plan a full day for this excursion. The cable car will take you up in the “mountains” of Lantau island where you can see the Giant Buddha, NGONG PING Village and the Po Lin Monastery. It is really worth going there.
The view is breathtaking and there are also some geocaches hidden up on top, make sure you check the Geocaching website which caches are still active. You can either take a cable car round-trip or you can decide either to hike up or hike back down. The hiking trail is also very nice and enjoyable.
How to get there:
The easiest way is to take the MTR all the way to Tung Chung, which is near the airport. From the Tung Chung MTR station it’s a five minute walk on foot to the cable car terminal. The way to the terminal is clearly marked inside the station. Just follow the signs to NGONG PING 360.
Once at the cable car terminal you can buy your tickets inside. Get their early because it’s most of the time crowded, especially on weekends and during Chinese New Year. More information about prices and tickets are on the official website of NGONG PING 360. Remember the prices are in Hong Kong Dollar. If you want there is also a Sky-Land-Sea Tour (available as guided and unguided tour) available. I will try this one the next time I get back. It’s not really worth to pay for the glass bottom cabin, most of the time you look anyway to the left or right but you have your own line for this cabin and you can skip some of the queue.
Enjoy the view going up to the station. You can overlook Tung Chung, part of Lantau island and you get a good view on Hong Kong International Airport.
Once you get out of the cable car you get into Ngong Ping Village. With lot of options to dine, drink and hang out, also many souvenir stores are located there and a lot of historical information even with some small cinemas which show you the history of this place.
Keep on walking through the village to get to the giant Buddha statue. You have to walk up a long steep stairway to get to the buddha. Once there you can enjoy the view over the valley or head inside the bottom of the buddha for more historical information about budishm and the construction of the statue. Take your time and enjoy it up here.
Once you get down the stairs again you can visit the Po Lin Monastery. You can visit the temple and sometimes you will see monks.
There are also some hiking trails, you will find maps everywhere which show you the trails and signs to get to the trailhead. On the picture you can see part of the Lantau trail, which brings you back down to Tung Chung.
I enjoyed my day up there and I was sitting down watching a lion dance show for Chinese New Year and had a coffee. I got back down to Tung Chung on late afternoon after I found some caches up there.