Today we took a trip to Lantau Island to see the Big Buddha at Ngong Pong village. To get there we caught an MTR train to Tung Chung and then the Ngong Pong Cable car. This is a 5.7 km ride over bays, hills and forest that ascends to the top of the 6th highest peak in Hong Kong before descending to Ngong Pong village – the site of the Big Buddha.
We decided to leave early and get to the ticket booth for the 10am opening as we had heard that this is a very popular attraction and the queues can be very long. On arrival there was already a lengthy queue however we were able to go the head of the queue (accompanied by many quizzical looks from those standing in the slow moving queue) as we had pre booked our tickets the night before. The main point of this post is to let you know that if you ever visit this attraction pre book through Klook. The benefit is two fold – (1) you save at least 30 minutes to an hour of queuing to buy a ticket and (2) the tickets are at a reduced rate. We were able to purchase 2 return tickets for $240 HKD ($48 AUD) as opposed to the normal rate of $370 HKD ($74 AUD).
Once we had purchased the tickets we still had to queue for about 25 minutes to get on a cable car but by the time we boarded the queue behind us was substantially longer. The weather was not ideal as it was very hazy and the ride took about 25 minutes. It is quite spectacular with views over Tung Chung Bay, the Hong Kong Airport and forested hills.
On arrival at Ngong Pong village we walked directly to the ‘Big Man’ and took the usual array of happy snaps (see below). As we were some of the first arrivals it was not too hectic and we were able to enjoy wandering around without hordes of people.
We then took a walk on a trail to the Wisdom Path – an array of tall timber pylons with Chinese symbols carved into them. Not sure if we left any wiser!!!
Final stop was the Po Lin Monastery which has a temple with 10,000 buddhas. It was this group of monks who conceived and oversaw the building of the big buddha.
We caught the cable car back down and the wait for the return journey was only a few minutes. On arrival back at Tung Chung the queues had grown insanely long and I would estimate that the wait to buy a ticket was probably a few hours and then the wait to board the cable car was probably an extra hour. The fast track queue was empty!! Even if you forget to pre book you could do it whilst in the line via the Klook mobile app.