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Instagrammable

Ngong Ping: picturesque plateau on Lantau Island provides enlightening spiritual home to Big Buddha statue

Written by South China Morning Post ( Morning Studio )

Ngong Ping plateau, at the foot of Lantau Island’s Lantau Peak, is the ideal Hong Kong setting for a spiritual walk to experience Buddhist culture and the beauty of nature. It’s home to the 115-year-old Po Lin Monastery, featuring temples and halls with designs inspired by Song (960–1279), Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasty architecture — and the iconic giant Big Buddha bronze statue. Hike in the hills above for a bird’s-eye view of the plateau, marvel as you wander through a master Chinese calligrapher’s enlightening ‘Heart Sutra’ installation, and enjoy a breathtaking cable car ride, offering stunning Lantau Island and Tung Chung Bay sea views.

Refuel

There are plenty of places in Ngong Ping selling food, snacks and drinks to help you refuel.

  • Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

    The hilltop Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Terminal is a good starting point for any visit to Ngong Ping. The 25-minute, 5.7 km cable-car ride from Tung Chung offers passengers impressive, unobstructed views of Lantau North Country Park’s rolling terrain, the coastal areas of the Tung Chung Bay and aircraft taking off and landing at Hong Kong International Airport.

    Get me there
  • Ngong Ping Village

    This culturally themed village was built with traditional Chinese architectural elements that complement Ngong Ping’s natural landscape. The two-storey complex features more than 20 shops and restaurants, where visitors can choose from a variety of dining options and find an enticing range of souvenirs including jewellery and Chinese arts and crafts. The village offers several good locations for taking Instagram-worthy photos, such as the rows of eight blessing drums, displaying the Chinese characters for positive ideas such as happiness and success, and the ‘Tree of Awakening’ or Bodhi tree, with numerous wishing placards hanging from its branches. It also features two immersive multimedia attractions — the Motion 360 theatre and Walking with Buddha experience. The newly renovated Ngong Ping Nature Centre provides interactive exhibits, guided tour services as well as map and hiking pole-lending services to enrich visitors’ travel experiences in Lantau.

    Walking with Buddha are both temporarily closed. Please check the official website of Ngong Ping 360 for details. For more information about the Ngong Ping Nature Centre, please visit the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s website.

    Get me there
  • Po Lin Monastery

    Po Lin Monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks from the Mainland’s Ch’an (Zen) School in Jiangsu province, who used a small stone house as the site for teaching Buddhist practices in Ngong Ping. Its symmetrically arranged complex of buildings, including the Main Shrine Hall of Buddha and the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and bell and drum towers, features assorted architectural designs inspired by the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. Many visitors stay for lunch at the monastery’s dining hall, where they can enjoy a selection of different vegetarian dishes and a pot of Chinese tea.

    Get me there
  • The Big Buddha

    The Big Buddha statue, also known as Tian Tan Buddha, on top of the 479-metre-high Muk Yue Shan, beside the monastery’s main square, is the world’s largest seated outdoor Buddha. The 34-metre-high figure, created from 202 pieces of bronze weighing a total of 250 tonnes, symbolises the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on Earth. Construction of the project began in 1981 and was officially opened in December 1993. Energetic visitors can climb the 268 steps to visit the hall inside its base, and also enjoy the impressive view as they look back down at the monastery.

    The Big Buddha is currently undergoing renovation and areas in the vicinity of the Big Buddha statue are closed while the work is being carried out. Please check the official website of Po Lin Monastery for the latest arrangement.

    Get me there
  • Wisdom Path

    The highlight of your spiritual visit to Ngong Ping — and a must-see place for Instagram enthusiasts — is the ‘Wisdom Path’, a large-scale outdoor installation featuring calligraphy carved into 38 wooden columns, which stands at the foot of Lantau Peak. Visitors can follow a winding path beside the huge columns, standing between 8–10 metres high, which were erected in 2005 to resemble the bamboo tiles used for writing in ancient China. They are inscribed with simple, but profound calligraphy of the ‘Heart Sutra’ by the late Jao Tsung-I, an internationally renowned Hong Kong calligrapher and artist, and arranged in a figure-8 configuration to symbolise infinity. The installation’s eye-catching location, dynamic design and enlightening message of ‘non-attachment and unhinderedness of the mind’ ensures it remains a hugely popular Ngong Ping destination among visitors — and regularly features in Instagram posts.

    Get me there
  • Dining Option
    Tung Chung Town Centre

    Visitors who make afternoon visits to Ngong Ping may consider returning to Tung Chung for their evening meal. If you need a quick meal, look no further than Citygate Outlets, the shopping mall next to MTR Tung Chung Station, which offers more than 30 different restaurants serving a selection of Chinese, Western, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisines. There is also a food court for people in a hurry.

    Get me there

Transport

Getting to Ngong Ping

Ngong Ping 360 Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal is just a five-minute walk from Exit B of MTR Tung Chung Station. From there you can take a cable car to Ngong Ping in about 25 minutes. The cable car service runs from 10am to 6pm. Alternatively, take bus 23 from Tung Chung Tat Tung Road Bus Terminus, which will get to Ngong Ping in about 50 minutes.

Leaving from Ngong Ping

You can take the cable car from Ngong Ping back to Tung Chung, or return on bus 23.

More Routes

Instagrammable

Ngong Ping: picturesque plateau on Lantau Island provides enlightening spiritual home to Big Buddha statue

Written by South China Morning Post ( Morning Studio )

Ngong Ping plateau, at the foot of Lantau Island’s Lantau Peak, is the ideal Hong Kong setting for a spiritual walk to experience Buddhist culture and the beauty of nature. It’s home to the 115-year-old Po Lin Monastery, featuring temples and halls with designs inspired by Song (960–1279), Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasty architecture — and the iconic giant Big Buddha bronze statue. Hike in the hills above for a bird’s-eye view of the plateau, marvel as you wander through a master Chinese calligrapher’s enlightening ‘Heart Sutra’ installation, and enjoy a breathtaking cable car ride, offering stunning Lantau Island and Tung Chung Bay sea views.

Refuel

There are plenty of places in Ngong Ping selling food, snacks and drinks to help you refuel.

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

The hilltop Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Terminal is a good starting point for any visit to Ngong Ping. The 25-minute, 5.7 km cable-car ride from Tung Chung offers passengers impressive, unobstructed views of Lantau North Country Park’s rolling terrain, the coastal areas of the Tung Chung Bay and aircraft taking off and landing at Hong Kong International Airport.

See more...
Get me there
Ngong Ping Village

This culturally themed village was built with traditional Chinese architectural elements that complement Ngong Ping’s natural landscape. The two-storey complex features more than 20 shops and restaurants, where visitors can choose from a variety of dining options and find an enticing range of souvenirs including jewellery and Chinese arts and crafts. The village offers several good locations for taking Instagram-worthy photos, such as the rows of eight blessing drums, displaying the Chinese characters for positive ideas such as happiness and success, and the ‘Tree of Awakening’ or Bodhi tree, with numerous wishing placards hanging from its branches. It also features two immersive multimedia attractions — the Motion 360 theatre and Walking with Buddha experience. The newly renovated Ngong Ping Nature Centre provides interactive exhibits, guided tour services as well as map and hiking pole-lending services to enrich visitors’ travel experiences in Lantau.

See more...

Walking with Buddha are both temporarily closed. Please check the official website of Ngong Ping 360 for details. For more information about the Ngong Ping Nature Centre, please visit the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department’s website.

Get me there
Po Lin Monastery

Po Lin Monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks from the Mainland’s Ch’an (Zen) School in Jiangsu province, who used a small stone house as the site for teaching Buddhist practices in Ngong Ping. Its symmetrically arranged complex of buildings, including the Main Shrine Hall of Buddha and the Grand Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and bell and drum towers, features assorted architectural designs inspired by the Song, Ming and Qing dynasties. Many visitors stay for lunch at the monastery’s dining hall, where they can enjoy a selection of different vegetarian dishes and a pot of Chinese tea.

See more...
Get me there
The Big Buddha

The Big Buddha statue, also known as Tian Tan Buddha, on top of the 479-metre-high Muk Yue Shan, beside the monastery’s main square, is the world’s largest seated outdoor Buddha. The 34-metre-high figure, created from 202 pieces of bronze weighing a total of 250 tonnes, symbolises the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on Earth. Construction of the project began in 1981 and was officially opened in December 1993. Energetic visitors can climb the 268 steps to visit the hall inside its base, and also enjoy the impressive view as they look back down at the monastery.

See more...

The Big Buddha is currently undergoing renovation and areas in the vicinity of the Big Buddha statue are closed while the work is being carried out. Please check the official website of Po Lin Monastery for the latest arrangement.

Get me there
Wisdom Path

The highlight of your spiritual visit to Ngong Ping — and a must-see place for Instagram enthusiasts — is the ‘Wisdom Path’, a large-scale outdoor installation featuring calligraphy carved into 38 wooden columns, which stands at the foot of Lantau Peak. Visitors can follow a winding path beside the huge columns, standing between 8–10 metres high, which were erected in 2005 to resemble the bamboo tiles used for writing in ancient China. They are inscribed with simple, but profound calligraphy of the ‘Heart Sutra’ by the late Jao Tsung-I, an internationally renowned Hong Kong calligrapher and artist, and arranged in a figure-8 configuration to symbolise infinity. The installation’s eye-catching location, dynamic design and enlightening message of ‘non-attachment and unhinderedness of the mind’ ensures it remains a hugely popular Ngong Ping destination among visitors — and regularly features in Instagram posts.

See more...
Get me there
Dining Option
Tung Chung Town Centre

Visitors who make afternoon visits to Ngong Ping may consider returning to Tung Chung for their evening meal. If you need a quick meal, look no further than Citygate Outlets, the shopping mall next to MTR Tung Chung Station, which offers more than 30 different restaurants serving a selection of Chinese, Western, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese cuisines. There is also a food court for people in a hurry.

See more...
Get me there

Transport

Getting to Ngong Ping

Ngong Ping 360 Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal is just a five-minute walk from Exit B of MTR Tung Chung Station. From there you can take a cable car to Ngong Ping in about 25 minutes. The cable car service runs from 10am to 6pm. Alternatively, take bus 23 from Tung Chung Tat Tung Road Bus Terminus, which will get to Ngong Ping in about 50 minutes.

Leaving from Ngong Ping

You can take the cable car from Ngong Ping back to Tung Chung, or return on bus 23.

More Routes

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