Hong Kong Day 大嶼山 Lantau Island and 天壇大佛 Tian Tan Buddha 南平 Nan Ping
Day four, we got up very early and took the metro to Tung Chung station. We arrived about 30 minutes before the gondola service to Tian Tan began, so we waited in line. I definitely recommend getting there early. We were one of the first groups allowed onto the gondola, and it felt like we had the place to ourselves once we arrived at the top of the mountain.
The day was incredibly foggy, but we were afforded some amazing views of Hong Kong before our cable car disappeared into the fog. It was pretty cool to see the cable car floating along, seemingly without being attached to a cable, due to the intense fog. The return ticket cost $125 HK dollars approximately $25 CAD.
Where the gondola lets you off, there is a little village with shops and restaurants. If you walk through the “village” you will begin to see the Tian Tan Buddha (depending how foggy the day is). The main attractions on Lantau Island are the Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. We decided to start with the Buddha, and purchased our tickets to climb the 268 steps to get to the monument. As we climbed, the Buddha became more visible through the fog.
I really like that you are able to climb right up into the Buddha. There was an impressive exhibit of traditional art inside the Buddha as well.
At the bottom of the steps there is a square that leads back to Nan Ping Village and to the Po Lin Monastery. Along the walk to Po Lin there is a giant archway!
The Po Lin monastery was my favourite part of the island. We were in Hong Kong during the Chinese New Year, so I suspect that there were more people making offerings at the monastery due to the holiday. We just sat and watched the endless stream of people make offerings and light giant sticks of incense. There is a beautiful golden room back beyond the main courtyard, an incredible site to see! I was unsure about taking photos, so opted to just observe the monastery instead.
Within the monastery there is a vegetarian restaurant, however we decided to walk back to the Nan Ping village to eat lunch. We slowly walked back to the village, and stopped along the way to buy a shirt. While waiting outside the shirt shop, a cow wandered up behind the park bench we were sitting on!
We decided on Indian food for lunch, and sat down at a patio table just outside the restaurant to eat. As we were eating, a group of people began setting up for a dragon dance ceremony. We had front row seats!
We decided to take the gondola back down the mountain and go explore the re located walk of fame in Kowloon.
The Hong Kong walk of fame has been temporarily relocated due to renovations. I believe it will be a few years before the walk of fame sees its new home. However, we had a very easy time navigating to the temporary walk of fame. There are lots of signs showing the direction to go. If you walk along the Kowloon side of the harbour, you will certainly find the walk way.
After we had explored the walk of fame, we decided to walk back to the Night market for another round of street food dinner before calling it a day.
Here is the video we made whilst in Hong Kong….