Tian Tan The Giant Buddha

After dangling in the sky for around 5 km in your crystal cabin and magnificent views of the South China sea you eventually catch your first glimpse of Tian Tan the giant Buddha.  Built by the Po Lin Monastery he sits proudly on the peak of Mount Muk Yue symbolizing the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on earth.  Tian Tan is not the only attraction at the end of the 360 cable car, it’s also  where you will find Ngong Ping Village and the Po Lin Monastery.  If you have a half day to spare in Hong Kong this is a great place to go especially if you are in between flights as the 360 cable car is only a 20 minute drive from the airport.

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Tian Tan the giant bronze Buddha 

Ngong Ping Village is quite cute, it has a few tourist shops selling all kinds of souvenirs, restaurants and a Chinese movie theatre.  An impressive gateway followed by a path that is lined with Chinese warriors takes you to the monastery and the 600 step climb to the base of Tian Tan.   It was such a hot humid day especially after climbing 600 steps but the views were stunning and why come all this way to just stand at the bottom of the stairs.

There is something quite calming about this place, perhaps it’s Tian Tan overwhelming presence that gives this piece of Hong Kong such a chilled out and peaceful vibe.   Even the random cow I passed on the pathway to the steps of the Buddha was chilled out.  No one seemed to fussed as he wandered pass just like the rest of the tourists.

If Buddhas are your thing you may also want to visit the monastery where they have the room of 1000 Buddhas.   After the climb and heat I was ready to head back to my hotel and swimming pool to get in a quick swim before my 6pm flight to Amman.  A trip to Tian Tan was the perfect way to spend some down time in between flights.

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Ngong Ping village located at the end of a 5.7km cable car ride

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Hong Kong City of Lights

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Hong Kong at night is pretty but they must clock up a pretty impressive electric bill as the city is lit up like a christmas tree and at 9pm this christmas tree city is set to music.  You can watch the light show from the pier or jump on one of the many cruise boats floating around the harbor.  There are a variety of boats to choose from, launches, floating restaurants, the old junk boats with the red sales look really cute but watching them float pass and listing in the light swell on the harbor kind of put me off.  My boat was a much sturdier vessel with a nice open deck on the roof and bar that included drinks as part of the ticket.  The light show starts at 9pm and goes for about 15 minutes but the cruise itself is much longer as it takes you around the harbor where you get to see Kowloon Island from all angles.  So pretty and a great way to see the city at night, I love that I had the chance to visit.

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How To Be Fearless In A Crystal Cabin

It’s good to be a little fearless in life, that way your life will always be an adventure.

When it comes to heights I am a bit of a wuss, but keeping true to my “be fearless”  philosophy I decided to tackle my fear of heights with a ride in the crystal cabin on the island of Lantau, Hong Kong.  The 360 cable car is a popular tourist attraction that takes you on a 5.7km cable car ride over  Tung Chung Bay and up over the North Lantau Country Park to the village of Ngong Ping.  It takes about 25 minutes and in that time you will be treated to spectacular views of Lantau Island, the busy Hong Kong airport and the South China Sea.

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Citygate shopping center, Lantau Harbor
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Higher and higher to wear only birds fly
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Busy and beautiful South China Sea
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At this point the cabin begins to sway as a light wind blows through the valley, fearless..

You have two options to consider when you take the 360 cable car, standard or crystal cabin.  The reason it is called a crystal cabin is because you are practically inside a glass box.  A glass box dangling in sky for 5.7km, it’s like having an extra window except it’s underneath your feet.  Apart from the extra window another great reason to take the crystal cabin is that the line is much shorter than the standard cabin.  The 360 cable car is quite popular and queues can get quite long.  I went early to try to avoid the lines but at 9.30 a.m there were already about 300 people queuing.  They run a pretty smooth operation so the queue moves quite swiftly I only waited in line for about 30 minutes.  The first 15 minutes in the cable  car is a bit daunting but once you get over the unnerving feeling of having nothing under your feet but air you start to feel brave, well I did anyway.  It’s a great feeling to conquer a fear even if it’s just a little one.  Just take a deep breath, smile and stand up, it’s just like flying.

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Standing fearlessly and smiling while I do it
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Birds eye view of the Lantau National Park