My friend and I recently visited Hong Kong and on our first day we got the Ngong Ping Skyrail over to Lantau Island to see the huge bronze seated Buddha. The cable car is an experience in itself, highly recommended. You travel 5.7km across Tung Chung Bay (great views of HK International Airport) to Lantau Island, and over hilly tree-covered parkland to the small tourist village of Ngong Ping. It is very commercial but charmingly so and well-maintained. There is a variety of shops selling promotional items of good quality, also cheaper stalls, plus a picturesque tea house and a variety of food outlets, incl Starbucks. It is a short walk from the village to the gateway entrance that leads to the Buddha statue and also the Po Lin Monastery. The day we visited, it was very warm and there were a lot of visitors, it is a popular tourist attraction for locals and foreigners. Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes and light clothing are essential if you are visiting in warmer months as you do a lot of walking. A light backpack is also useful for purchases. The gateway entrance and warrior statue promenade is a great photo opp. It is then a short walk to the many stone steps leading up to the base of the huge bronze Buddha statue, which looms over everything and is easily spotted in the distance as you approach Ngong Ping village by cable car. You need to be moderately fit to climb the steps to the Buddha, or else be prepared for numerous stops to rest as you ascend! It is worth the climb as once you reach the statue's base, you have great views of everything below. It does get busy though with so many people visiting this attraction, it is near impossible to take a photo without other people appearing in it! Admittance to both Ngong Ping Village and the Big Buddha are free, once you have paid to travel over by cable car. According to my HK Lonely Planet book, this attraction is open 10am-5.30pm and I would recommend getting there early rather than later to avoid queues and crowds. I would allow a full day as you have to travel by train to the cable car terminus at Tung Chung, queue for a cable car (recommend buy tix online), then travel 5.7km (25 mins) by cable car to Ngong Ping Village. Allow 30-60 mins to wander the village, a further 1-2hrs to visit the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery (incl vegetarian restaurants), a second look through the village on your way back (food/drinks/souvenirs), before returning by cable car, then train. When buying tix at the cable car terminus, we purchased 'cable car only' tix - there are many package deals to choose from too, that I found confusing. You also have the option of buying tix for Crystal Cabin cable cars (glass-bottomed) if you like the idea of a see-through floor!
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