When planning our visit to Hong Kong, I was most excited about visiting the Tian Tan Buddha also known as Big Buddha. Big Buddha is 112 ft tall and made of bronze. It is located on the Lantau Island but don’t worry, it is very well connected by ferry and metro.
In my opinion, the best way to get to Big Buddha is the Ngong Ping 360 cable cars. The cable car ride offers unbelievable views of the world below. To go on the standard cable car it costs 165 HKD (21.30 USD) OR you can go on the crystal bottom cable cars for 255 HKD (32.90 USD). Because the line at the station can be quite long, you can also purchase tickets here.
If you’d rather not be suspended up in the air (I completely understand), you can always take the Central Pier 6 ferry to Mui Wo and then hop on the New Lantao Bus 2 to the Ngong Ping Village.
Up until the day we were departing to Hong Kong, we were back and forth about purchasing the cable car rides ahead of time. There is a lot of smog in Hong Kong and I was apprehensive that I wouldn’t be able to see anything if we chose the wrong day. Nevertheless, we decided to go on our first day in Hong Kong to ensure that we didn’t miss out on it due to any unforeseen circumstances. Of course, we didn’t buy the tickets in advance so we had to wait in the long line. It took about 40 minutes to get through the line and worry took over me because the smog was slowly hiding the peaks as time passes by. It’s safe to say I was almost in panic mode because I had such high hopes for this attraction. I’d like to apologize to The Mr for almost biting off his head in line. My bad.
We opted for the crystal bottom cable cars so we could see everything going on beneath our feet. The glass bottom cable cars isn’t for the faint of heart. I, myself, am terrified of heights but I was too mesmerized to even notice that we were hundreds of feet up in the air and the possibility of it crashing to the ground was very real. In fact, a cable car did fall! Don’t worry, it was empty so no one was hurt. But don’t let that one little snafu stop you from going! LOL.
Just outside the cable car terminal is the Ngong Ping Village. There are plenty of shops and restaurants in the village so you can spend several hours perusing the cute knick knacks and interesting art work.
Finally, we made it to the bottom of the Tian Tan Buddha and we were ready to scale the 268 steps to the top. I was so proud of Ittybot for climbing all those stairs! I feel like I was supposed to be at peace or somewhat of a meditative place while climbing those stairs but I was so focused to getting my butt up there without passing out, I just couldn’t focus.
Finally, we were facing the Tian Tan Buddha. The Buddha elegantly sits on top of a lotus flower and faces the beautiful nature below. Surrounding the statue are smaller statues with their offerings. The buddha is supposed to symbolize harmony between human and nature. They did a great job of preserving that ideology. There were trees as far as the eye could see mixed with aromas of burning incense. For a moment, I felt at peace. Then, as quickly as it happened, I was back to my shutterbug self.
We did a quick walk through the temples surrounding the area. It was so quick that I don’t even feel like I am experienced enough to talk about it.
Final thoughts: The Big Buddha should definitely be added in your “must see” column. It was such an incredible experience for us and we still talk about it to this day!