Tips and Tricks to Visiting Ngong Ping Village on South Lantau!
Living on South Lantau means it’s a bit of a struggle to get anywhere, but one place Allen and I have always enjoyed visiting is Ngong Ping Village. Not only is it easy to get to when we had a car, but the wide open spaces means it doesn’t feel so cramped, despite all the visitors. But there’s one part we never did in our 4 years in Hong Kong… Ride the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. And we finally did! Scroll down or click here to see the Vlog!
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What is there to do and see in Ngong Ping Village?
While technically none of these options, but the shops, restaurants, and theatres are Ngong Ping Village, it’s all part of the one experience.
Tian Tan Big Buddha Statue
Big Buddha is the largest sitting outside Buddha in the world. He is made of bronze and it took 12 years to create him. He can be seen sitting high on Mount Muk Yue, even across the Shek Pik Reservoir. On a clear day with blue skies, a rarity in HK, it really is a sight to behold. And luckily for me, it’s one I have a chance at seeing every day on the bus ride home.
I’ve only climbed the 268 stairs up to the top once. When I was trying to jump-start my labor with Boogie… It didn’t work. Insert big sob here because that wasn’t easy at 41 weeks pregnant! So while something I highly recommend doing… it wasn’t something we felt the need to do this last time lol!
To read more about the Tian Tan Buddha see their website… though it is in need of an update!
Po Lin Monastery
Originally named the Big Thatched Hut, it was renamed Po Lin Monastery in 1924. The fact that this place not only existed but was a school for monks that far back astounds me! I mean it’s not the easiest place to get to with only a cable car and one road in! There are many buildings you can tour in this section including the Grand Hall of 10 Thousand Buddhas and a koi pond! And if you’re hungry they do have a vegetarian restaurant to check out! If you time it right you may even be able to observe the monks in action!
The Wisdom Path
Admittedly we haven’t done this. We tried looking for it once, but I think we went the wrong way and we had the stroller so weren’t being very adventurous lol. But from what I understand it’s a calm path with tall stone pillars with carvings of Buddhist pearls of wisdom.
If you want some of those kitschy Hong Kong items to take as souvenirs or gifts for family back home, then this is the place to get it. You can find it for about half the price you would pay in the Ladies’ Market! There are even some stalls that sell traditional street food, but to be honest, their prices have gone up recently.
Ngong Ping Village
This is the cutesy section of the area filled with restaurants, shops, and even a theatre with films about various things including “Walking with Buddha”. There are also experiences you can sign up for like the Motion 360 virtual reality experience or the one I wished I could have done, Chocolate making!
In this picture is 8 months old Boogie eating at Ngong Ping Garden Restaurant. We enjoyed eating on the top floor (there’s an elevator on the other side of the street next to the bridge) because it was quieter. Food was delicious but more expensive than places for locals.
For the full list of current restaurants, offerings, and seasonal activities (lots of fun additions for different seasons!) go to their website here- https://www.np360.com.hk/en/explore-np360/ngong-ping-village
Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car
This is now my second favorite part of Ngong Ping Village… right after the lack of feeling so crowded lol. We had put off doing the cable car for so long because 1) it’s not very cheap, and 2) the lines we saw in Tung Chung were always ridiculous and we didn’t want to deal with them. But now that we’re leaving Hong Kong for good it was time. And I’m so glad we did!
The best way to experience the Ngong Ping Cable Car
So as I said, the lines to the cable car get ridiculous fast! Seriously, watch the video below and see how it snakes up and down and all the way down the road. Not my cup of tea. Luckily, I know the tricks of skipping the big crowds!
- Go early. And by early I mean 9:30-10am as that’s when most things open up. You may be able to even go from Tung Chung that early… but don’t hold your breath.
- Buy ahead. Buy your ticket ahead of time so you can skip that portion of the line and go straight to waiting on your carriage.
- Crystal Cable Car. Yes it’s more expensive, but not only do you get to see through the floor, but the line is also shorter as well. You can find the prices here- https://www.np360.com.hk/en/ticketing/ticket-tour/ticket/single-round-trip-cable-car-ticket
- One-way. As nice as the ride is, and it is nice, go with a one-way ticket instead of a round trip. It means you get to skip the Tung Chung line and you’ll want to see other areas of South Lantau since you’re already there!
- Go against the flow. While most get off the MTR in Tung Chung and go straight to the cable car, my suggestion is to take a bus (11) to Tai O early (again around 9:30) and wander there for about an hour or so, then take a bus (21) to Big Buddha/ Ngong Ping Village and spend another hour or so there. Then take the cable car back to Tung Chung from Ngong Ping Village. Your wait time will be about 5 minutes versus over an hour or two!
Have you checked out our visit to Tuen Mun Park yet? It has the best playground in HK!
Have questions? Let me know in the comments and I’ll update the post!