Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Ngong Pin 360 Hong Kong: View From The Top

AND I'M BACK! It's been a long time since my last blog entry and I missed this so much. I miss traveling, miss the FEELING of traveling, and I miss sharing my experiences and tips as well.

Since September is the start of the -BER months and Christmas is just around the corner yet again...it made me realize that I haven't finished blogging my Christmas travel to Hong Kong and Macau last year! I have almost a year of back logs yikes! I'm so ashamed of myself but here I am again, starting my -BER month right!

Just a re-cap, last Christmas my mom, sister, and sister in law went to an all expense paid trip c/o my ever loving Father. He wanted us 4 to bond and there's no other perfect holiday than to spend it in Hong Kong and Macau. We shopped, revisited the Stars Of Avenue, non-stop eating soy chicken and Delicious Kitchen's signature dish,  got all cozy and warm in our mini hotel and visited Ngong Pin 360 to appreciate Hong Kong's view from the top.

Actually this is my second time visiting Ngong Pin. The first time I went there was last 2010 for a business trip with my family! haha so it does not feel like a business trip at all :)

Ngong Pin 360 is one of Hong Kong's "must see" tourist attraction in Lantau Island. It is a natural ecological environment featuring the culture of the said Island and Buddhism. Ngong Pin 360 is also the home of the tallest seated outdoor bronze Buddha, the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. It's a thrilling experience to visit Ngong Pin because it's refreshing to the body and enlightening to the mind.

I remember we left our hotel early in the morning to go to Ngong Pin 360 before lunch. I suggest you do the same because queue could pile up and it can waste 1-2 hours of your precious time. That time, there were a lot of foreginers visiting the island that's why we waited for almost an hour to get to the ticketing booth. 

How to get there? To go there via MTR is the fastest and most efficient way for me. Just go to Tung Chung Station and walk towards Exit B which is just about 2 minutes. Tung Chung Stations is very near the Disneyland Resort and the International Airport but quite far from the main city.
Ngong Pin Cable Car for me is the highlight of the day. The 5.7km cable car journey is such a feast in your eyes and senses. You're actually traveling between Tung Chung Town Center and Ngong Pin on Lantau Island. Some of the sceneries you' will be seeing are the following: the panoramic view of Hong Kong International Airport, South China Sea, the Tian Tan Buddah Statue and the flora and fauna of North Lantau Country Park.
There are three kinds of cabin to choose from--standard, private, and crystal. Standard is when you're with other people inside one cabin. Maximum per cable is about 8 so in our case we're just 4 and we were joined by 1 more family of 4 who were foreigners as well. Private cabin is of course private! and crystal cabin is pretty scary since all sides are glass--no chairs and no view distractions. If you're the adventurous type then go and buy the crystal one but for budget conscious, stick to the standard it's okay only difference is the glass bottom anyway.

Visit the Ngong Pin website for ticket options. If you can, better to book your tickets online to avoid the long queue. You get additional discounts as well if you do. Click here.

Before your cable car leaves, make sure you take a quick photo op from the official photographer and wait for your photo at the end of the ride. There are options for printing. You can have it printed in a shirt, mug, put it in a frame, keychain or just print it out in a card board. It's a nice souvenir you can take home. 
 You'll definitely enjoy the cold weather up there! 
My Mom surprisingly enjoyed the ride :) She's really scared though and hates cold weather but for us, she's game for anything! And look! very Pinoy...may baon na bread and some snacks in a plastic bag haha cute!

View from the top ;)
The Majestic Tian Tan Buddah Statue
This is the whole Ngong Pin Map. It takes one whole day to visit every area in this Island but you can just go to the usual tourist spots like the shopping strip, temples and the Buddah which will probably take you half day. I learned you can opt not to ride the cable car and instead walk/jog on the Ngong Pin trail or go there via bus but again it will take a lot of time unless you're that type of traveller.

It's nice to go here during the Christmas holiday too because it's very festive. Look at that cute snowman!
Ngong Pin is about the Chinese culture catered to tourists. You will learn a lot about Buddhism and get a chance to make a wish on the famous Bodhi Wishing Tree. So far, most of my wishes came true after visiting this tree the first time in year 2010.
Shop for novelty items here some are expensive though but unique :)

To go up the Big Buddah, you need to climb 268 steps to be exact. Going up is the hardest especially because it's chilly up there so don't forget to bring a bottle of water with you. 
There were statues offering gifts and blessings to the Buddha.
Going up is a nice experience and going inside the Buddah is another. If you're into fengshui like me and my sisters then you'll love the stores inside. We bought a lot of gem bracelets because the quality is really nice plus a bonus that all items were blessed and cleansed by the monks personally.

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