Hong Kong: Crystal Cable Car & The Big Buddha

Hong Kong, December 2011

Finally I made it to the Big Buddha in Ngong Ping village! It's kinda embarrassing to say that I've never visited this place before. Even though I've been to Hong Kong for countless times and even lived there when I was a baby. Anyway, I'm glad I finally did last year.

There are 2 options to reach the Ngong Ping village which are by taking cable cars or public transport through Tung Chung road. I chose the cable car because I wanted to ride the crystal cable car with a glass bottom that allowing you to have bird's eye view. I was excited and scared in the same time. What to expect? I'm a combo of acrophobic and aerophobic! I needed to go to the loo every 5 minutes before the ride and my palms were sweating for nervous. Turned out it was a thrilling ride or that's what I tried to put on my mind to keep myself at ease. I mean seriously, the scenery was breathtaking as long as I didn't look down to the glass bottom that made my heart skip a beat.

Ngong Ping Cable Car

the Big Buddha from afar

glass bottomed cable car.....I tried to smile

arriving at Ngong Ping terminal
The journey took about 25 minutes from Tung Chung terminal to Ngong Ping terminal. I wandered around the pretty Ngong Ping village, a culturally themed village with some western outlets (Yes, they have Starbucks and Subway there). I love the wishing tree at Bodhi wishing shrine. You can buy a wishing card and write your wishes on it then attach it to the board. There is a legend saying that wishes made under the Bodhi Tree will come true.

Bodhi wishing shrine

After about 30 minutes wandering around some shops in the village, I arrived at the gate which leads to Tian Tan Buddha. There are statues of 12 Divine Generals which each of them represents a different time of day and a different part of the Chinese zodiac. The scenery is so beautiful there, surrounded by green hills and the Big Buddha that towers overhead.

the gate leads to the Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery
the general Pajra represents 7am-9am of the day and Dragon of the Chinese zodiak

240 stairs
I was at the bottom of the stairs and looked up, it was quite crowded that day. I'm not sure if it's always like that though, since it's one of the main attraction in Hong Kong. So I started climbing the 240 stairs to reach the Buddha statue. It was getting harder after half way to the top, luckily the weather was cool so I didn't get tired easily. Good exercise for the bum and legs!

almost there
And....finally I reach the top of the stairs, under the Big Buddha statue. There are six smaller bronze statues known as "The Offering of the Six Devas" and are posed offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. These offerings symbolise charity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary to enter into nirvana. Tian Tan Buddha is a 34 meters tall bronze statue and it sits on a lotus throne on top of a three-platform altar.

Tian Tan Buddha

a large bronze statue of Buddha

statues with offerings for the Buddha

If you plan to visit Ngong Ping by cable car, please make sure to book the ticket online through their website. Trust me, it saves a lot of queueing time. I've booked my ticket in advance yet I queued for about 1 hour before getting to the cable car. And I saw the crazy lines for those who haven't booked the ticket, it would probably took them more than 3 hours in lines. Also it's better to visit in the morning, because the crowd gets worse in the afternoon.


  1. I've also been there, but didn't take the cable cars as it was closed :( but we had so much fun. The Buddha is really huge and looks so spectacular from a very close distance. You look so happy! Glad you liked the place as much as we did :)

  2. I didn't know you need to book the ticket online. Is it cheaper?

    1. I love it there, the scenery is beautiful and the Buddha is indeed spectacular:)
      Booking the ticket online is not cheaper but it will save a lot of queueing time. I'm glad I did otherwise I'd have wasted so much time in lines

  3. Wow, what amazing pictures. That cable car looks TERRIFYING! How brave are you. I went in a cable car over a rainforest in Australia and I was absolutely terrified and ours didn't have a glass bottom. I can't wait to visit Hong Kong.The Buddha is breathtaking. xxxxx

    1. Actually I was terrified too, but was trying to enjoy the ride. Yes, you should visit this place when in Hong Kong :)

  4. I guess it's scarier to ride the sky lift in Taman Mini in the 80s Deb, since sometimes you can see the sky from the bottom too, and it's not glass they used :|.

    1. Eek ! that's too scary, I wouldn't dare to ride those lift, lol

  5. Wow, aku liat pemandangan ini dari sebuah acara Korea dimana mereka kesitus kebudayaan di Ngong Ping ini. Katanya, lantai cable carnya transparan ya? Wahhh, berasa berjalan di udara ya. Kayaknya waktu itu, aku melihat sebuah patung Naga. Apakah bener ada patung naga besar Mba Deb? Wah, aku bisa-bisa ga keluar dari Blog ini, menikmati setiap tulisn dan foto-foto Mb Deb :)

    1. Serem dan seru campur aduk waktu naik cable car yang lantainya transparan. Kalau patung naga kok aku ga liat ya, mungkin karena aku ga sempat explore seluruh wilayah sih :p

  6. Wahhhh will be there next month. Bedanya jauh ga yg kaca sama yg biasa kak?

    1. round trip beda sekitar HKD 85. tapi seruuuu naik yg crystal, jarang ada soalnya cable car yg transparan gini :D
      Btw mending beli tiket online dulu n datang sepagi mungkin. Soalnya antri disana bisa mengular sampe berjam2 lho


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