Just as I planned before coming to Hong Kong, exploring Ngong Ping 360 is the first on the itinerary. From the hotel where I billeted, I took an mtr from Chai Wan station of the Island (blue) line to Central station then transferred to Tung Chung (orange) line and alighted at the end of the line station Tung Chung. The Cable car terminal is adjacent to the mtr station but about a two minute walk from exit B of the station. The bus station is at the foot of the terminal too. I took the cable car, and the ride cost HKD275 two way.
Ngong Ping 360 is a main tourist attraction in Lantua Island. It consists of Ngong Ping Cable car ride experience, Ngong Ping Cultural Village, and home to Po Lin Monestery, and the Tian Tan Buddha.
The Ngong Ping Cable Car is a 5.7km bi-cable ropeway that travel over the Tung Chung Bay, the rolling grassland slopes of Lantau Country Park, the city skyline, the panoramic view of the HKI Airport. As the car completing its 25-minute travel, it offers 360-degree view of the Ngong Ping plateau. And the glimpse of the seating Tian Tan Buddha statue from afar as the car approaches the terminal is simply enchanting.
Right outside of the cable car terminal is the Ngong Ping Village. The 1.5 hectare cultural themed village has two attractions, Walking with Buddha and the Monkey's Tale Theatre. I was able to catch only the Walking with Buddha show as it is the only one opened during that day. I was informed that my cable car ticket entitles me to watch both shows that happening every 30 minutes. The monkey theatre never opened that day. The Walking with Buddha is a multimedia show which allows visitors to an immersive journey of how the man named Siddhartha Gautama became Buddha. After the multimedia showing, it continued to the Hall of Bodhi Leaves and be invited to pick a leaf from the Bodhi Tree which inscribed with a Bodhi Thought and fed it at the seating Buddha statue. The left I had picked inscribed with "The one who choose to believe what is he choose to believe will never know the truth" or to that effect, cant very be sure now the exact wordings. The Walking with Buddha experience ends with a stroll along the Path of Enlightenment, that showcase the origins of Buddhism and Buddha's teachings.
There were no street performances that day except for the photo op stall, I got no courage to do so. I was hoping to see kung-fu demonstrations or jugglers or even a Chinese acrobatic show but there was none also.
Moving further inwards, the next phase of attraction is the Cable Car Gallery, where a replicate of cable cars that being use in other countries were on display in an open setting. I did not pay much attention on each one of them but simply glance randomly as I passed by.
The Bodhi Path is next that follows after the open gallery. In here twelve Divine General statues stood, six on each side of the path. I have no idea what they represents, my assumption is that they were there as honor guards of the Tian Tan Buddha, correct me if I am wrong heheh. I think but not sure that they were holding each a different type of weapon. By the way each phase of the attraction is separated by an archway.
After passing by the Generals, is an open square in which it is circular in shape. Flags of different designs adorned the square and encircled by potted plants. A good spot for photo op, it is also at this spot were you decide which first to go, climb the Giant Buddha or proceed first to the Po Lin Monastery. In my case I climbed first to the Giant Buddha.
While stepping on the steps, I was determined to count how many steps there have but upon reaching the top I lost count. I was totally captivated by the number of tourists and the statue itself that diverted my attention. Reaching the top was a different experience. Up closed the statue appears to be blessing each one who ever climbed the top. And to add the view from top is simply breathtaking. Inside the statue were galleries, which I was not able to explore because I don't have a ticket. Aside from the seating Buddha, there are Devas statues in smaller scale. They were coined as The Offering of the Six Devas, each kneeling and holding offering that represent the teachings.
After coming down I proceeded to Po Lin Monastery. There were on going ceremony that day so the temple is full of devotees. I was able to enter at the courtyard only and briefly observed the ongoings, and decided to leave.
On the way out I rest for a while at one of the cheap eatery at the Bodhi Path area, because I got curious why it was a bit crowded. They selling the local version of pinoy taho heheh, I don't know the name but I just point it upon ordering, and it was good that I was tempted for another order but had enough.
Summing up, the climb to the Giant Buddha and the cable car ride were more than enough to compensate the cost and the distance travel. It is the journey more than the destination that governs my Ngong Ping experience.