Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hong Kong Part 2 – Lantau Island

We spent two days going to sights on Lantau Island; one day was devoted to Hong Kong Disneyland and another to Ngong Ping.

Hong Kong Disneyland

We took the MTR to get to Disneyland. From our hotel we walked to the East Tsim Sha Tsui station (purple line) to board the train going in the direction of Tuen Mun. We got off at Nam Chong station and transferred to the yellow line (going in the direction of Tung Chung) and got off at the Sunny Bay Station which then connects to the Disneyland line (pink). The air was already festive on board the Disney train; the train’s windows and ring handles were designed with Mickey ears.

Disney train

Disney train station

We arrived at Disney a few minutes after its 10am opening time and stayed for the fireworks at closing time. We made the most of our day and went on almost all the rides and watched the shows too. We were very disappointed though that Space Mountain was closed that day.

Space Mountain - closed for the day!

Ngong Ping

When we went to Ngong Ping, we basically followed the same MTR route; however, we went all the way to Tung Chung which was the end of the yellow line. We then boarded the Ngong Ping 360 cable car that took us to Ngong Ping Village. The 5.7 km cable car ride took about 25 minutes. From the cable car we had a magnificent 360-degree view (hence the name) which included the South China Sea, the rolling green terrain of Lantau Island, and the Hong Kong International Airport. As we approached the Ngong Ping Plateau, we could see the majestic statue of the Giant Buddha.

Ngong Ping Village is a culturally themed village; there are souvenir shops and places to eat. The Bodhi Wishing Shrine in the courtyard plays a central role in two of the village attractions (Walking With Buddha and the Monkey’s Tale Theater). From the village, it is a short walk to the base of the Tian Tan Buddha Statue (the Giant Buddha). Visitors have to climb more than 200 steps to get to the top; one is rewarded with a magnificent view. 

Visitors can also walk to the Po Lin Monastery. There are two temples there, one of which is reached by going up some steps; from the higher temple you can see the Giant Buddha. We had a vegetarian meal at their cafeteria.

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