On our last day in Hong Kong, we went on a day trip to Lantau Island. We planned to visit Ngong Ping Village, the Po Lin Monastery, the Tian Tan “Big Buddha”, and the Tai O Fishing Village.
Lantau Island is almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island and is one of the best-loved outlying islands. Moreover, with the development of Ngong Ping Village, the island has become a major attraction in Hong Kong.
Ngong Ping Cable Car Station
Our tour bus picked us up at a local hotel and drove about 45 minutes to the Ngong Ping Cable Car station.
The quickest and most fun way to get to Lantau Island is a 25 minute journey on the Ngong Ping Cable Car. At 5.7 km in length it is the longest bi-cable ropeway in Asia. It is a smooth and scenic ride and you can even choose to experience the “Crystal Cabin”, a glass bottom cable car that provides a very interesting perspective!
Our tour included “skip the line” access to the cable car, so there was no waiting in the long line!
Ngong Ping Village on Lantau Island
Once we arrived at the Ngong Ping Village, we had opportunities to eat, shop, take photos and visit the Big Buddha, Po Lin Monastery and more. You can find more details on all the activities available at the Ngong Ping Village here.
Po Lin Monastery
We headed over to the Po Lin Monastery to take a tour of the beautiful temple.
The Po Lin monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks visiting from Jiangsu Province on the Chinese mainland and was initially known simply as “The Big Hut”.
At the Po Lin Monastery, we enjoyed lunch and were served Chinese vegetarian cuisine, which is a culture heritage from ancient China. Po Lin Monastery is famous for providing high quality Buddhist vegetarian cuisine in Hong Kong. And we can attest that it was quite tasty!
Tian Tan Big Buddha on Lantau Island
After lunch, we headed up the 268 steps to visit the Big Buddha, also known as Tian Tan Buddha, the second largest outdoor bronze seated Buddha. If you can’t climb the steps, no worries, there is also a road you can take to drive up around the back side of the monument.
At the base of the Big Buddha is a three-story museum and exhibition hall presenting a number of invaluable Buddhist items, including Buddha’s relic.
We saw six smaller bronze statues known as “The Offering of the Six Devas” surrounding the Buddha. They are posed offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha to symbolize the Six Perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary for enlightenment.
Tai O Fishing Village
After a short bus ride from Ngong Village, we visited the Tai O Fishing Village. Tai O is home to the Tanka people, a community of fisher folk who’ve built their houses on stilts above the tidal flats of Lantau Island for generations.
Included in our excursion was a boat ride around the old fishing village. A highlight of the cruise are the stilts houses: unusual, interconnected structures on the water that form a tightly-knit fishing community for villagers to live in.
Our boat proceeded out to the bay where we searched for pink dolphins. Unfortunately, none were to be seen that day. After our boat docked, we walked around the small town to experience the small shops and street food stalls along the way.
Despite the rainy overcast weather, we had a very enjoyable time. We met some great people, had a delicious lunch and had a pleasant time seeing the sights. We highly recommend this tour.
Comment below and let us know if you have been to Lantau Island and what the favorite part of your visit was.
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The excursion we went on was offered through our cruise ship. There are a variety of similar tours to visit Lantau Island available to book at Viator.com: