Situated on the Lantau island of Hong Kong, Ngong Ping 360 is a famous cable car route that climbs the mountain from Tung Chung all the way to the Ngong Ping Village.
We all have this common belief that Hong Kong is an over-populated metropolis with unbearable air pollution. Part of it is true, but there is actually a vast less populated scenic area outside of the busy city.
Situated on the Lantau island of Hong Kong, Ngong Ping 360 is a famous cable car route that climbs the mountain from Tung Chung all the way to the Ngong Ping Village. During the ride, you can see the beautiful view of the Hong Kong Airport, a rare glimpse of the local natural environment, and the distant view of the famous Big Buddha. My friends and I gave it a try over the weekend and boy it was a fantastic, almost surreal experience.
There are two types of cabins – the normal cabin and crystal cabin. The crystal cabin has a glass flooring that lets you see through what’s underneath you, giving you an illusion of floating in the sky, whereas the normal cabin is just a normal cabin. There prices are similar so the fact that most people pick the normal cabin is beyond my understanding, and of course we pick the more exciting option. The ride was quiet, very peaceful and calm, reaching the mist of the mountain top, which would separate us from the crowd and the city.
A massive fog already formed around us by the time we reached the Ngong Ping Village. The visibility was so low that it was actually great for photos. The cable car service is often terminated during the extremely foggy days which I think is a huge mistake – the only time you should come up here is during a massive foggy day. Walking in the fog with your friends buried in the whiteness is a dreamlike experience. We did not waste any minute in the village and walked straight up to the buddha. The fog only got heavier when we hiked up more. By the time we reached the Big Buddha, we could not see anything but silhouette of not-so-distant view behind the milkiness. The 34 metres tall Big Buddha sat in the fog on top of 268 steps. There was a quiet and mythical aura around it (of course it was the effect of the weather).
We also visited the Tai O fishing town which could be reached by bus just below the buddha. You can easily rent a boat to visit the wild Chinese White Dolphin in the sea. During our visit, there was a school of dolphins hunting behind a fishing ship, we were delighted to see dolphins outside of the Ocean Park! Unfortunately (or fortunately) to avoid harming the dolphins our boat could not get too close to them so it was not the best photo time.
Our day did not end here, just when we were leaving Ngong Ping, a mother cow and her calf came out of nowhere in the mist. They walked out like how they introduce the characters in The Lords of the Rings. We were totally captivated to see two cows roaming in the parking lot just randomly looking for grass, after all we were only about an hour away from the city by subway!
Whether you are traveling or living in Hong Kong, pay a visit to this wonderful location (and pick a foggy day too). Another common belief is that touristic spots are mostly tourist traps but certainly not for this one.