“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
To tell you honestly, I’m not a fan a big cities. Sure, I like how efficient their transportation systems are and how pedestrian-friendly their sidewalks can get, but I don’t like how cities like these lose their heritage — it’s like they don’t have identities of their own!
That’s one of the thoughts racing on my head when we booked a flight to Hong Kong, but the fare was irresistibly low. Who can say no to PHP 2000 (about USD 50) tickets from Manila to Hong Kong and Macau to Manila? I was not going to pass up that opportunity. Hence, off we were to Hong Kong!
We had 4 days in total for this trip — three in Hong Kong and one in Macau. Of course, being the short trip that it was, we have to maximize all the time we were there. As I said in my previous post, Hong Kong has different areas: Lantau Island, Hong Kong Island, Kowloon peninsula, Outlying islands, and New Territories. Lantau basically boasts two attractions: Hong Kong Disneyland and Ngong Ping 360. Add to that the Citygate Outlets if you love to shop. Logically, since the airport is located in Lantau, we decided to head up to one of its attractions before checking in to our hotel in Hong Kong island.
Tip: Buy your octopus card in the airport. It allows you access to the subway and the buses. It’s like the EZ-Link card in Singapore and the yikatong in Beijing.
From the airport, take bus S1 to Ngong Ping 360. It’s easy to know when it’s time to get off the bus when you already see the Citygate Outlets. Mind you, there was a very long line for the cable car ride in NP. We were lucky that we booked online for our tickets, though we still had to queue (a very short one) for our tags. I thought we already skipped the lines, but lo and behold, there’s a long line in riding the cable cars too!
Our tickets for one-way crystal cabin and one-way standard cabin were priced with HKD 190. The crystal cabin offers a glass bottom so that you can see what’s below you directly! It was a long cable car ride, and the view was stunning. I never imagined that Hong Kong would be this green – mountains surrounding you and the bodies of water were pretty clear.
We walked around the Ngong Ping village a bit, then headed up to the Giant Buddha. The buddha statue was indeed huge! Perhaps it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen in my life.
We went down the hill, then visited a temple in Ngong Ping Village. There are a few more attractions in NP 360, such as the Walking with Buddha exhibit, Wisdom Path, and Tai – O that we weren’t able to visit anymore. We’re already content with what we saw and decided to head to the city already.
Overall, our NP adventure was fun. It was so much more touristy than I expected, but it allowed us to see a lush Hong Kong instead of just a city carved with a lot of modern buildings and various Chinese signage.
More on our Hong Kong trip next time! Happy travels!