I love cable cars. When I was a kid, I built simple models using string, wheels of discarded toy cars, little paper boxes (as the cabins – complete with drawings of windows and little faces), paperclips (to clip the ‘cabins’ to the string) and old shoe boxes (as the stations). The cable cars were suspended across the length of my room from the top of my cupboard to my desk. I played with my cable car model for hours and yelled at anyone who entered my room for fear of them walking into the ‘cables’! As I started to travel, I never missed a chance to go on a cable car ride whenever the opportunity arose. The Genting Highlands cable car in Malaysia was my first ride, followed by other spectacular rides in Cape Town, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Queenstown and many more. I had another great opportunity on my recent trip to Hong Kong: the thrilling Ngong Ping 360.
Ngong Ping 360
I first heard of the Ngong Ping 360 while watching an episode of ‘Extreme Engineering’ on the Discovery Channel. It was fascinating to see how this cable car was built and the challenges the engineers faced. When I arrived in Hong Kong, I knew that there was one thing I absolutely did not want to miss: the Ngong Ping 360.
This thrilling ride starts in Tung Chung on Lantau Island. There are two cabin options: regular and the Crystal Cabin. If you’re in for a thrilling ride, I recommend buying a ticket for the Crystal Cabin – it features a glass floor! The cable car takes visitors to dizzying heights as it climbs and then crosses the mountainous interior of Lantau Island before reaching the peak at Ngong Ping. Please scroll down for photos of this spectacular cable car ride. AND… don’t miss the video!
The ride up was truly spectacular. There were stunning views of Hong Kong International Airport, the South China Sea and the jungle-clad slopes of the North Lantau Country Park. Check out the 50-second panoramic video below:
Ngong Ping Village and the Tian Tan Buddha
After the thrilling 25-minute cable car ride, visitors disembark at the Ngong Ping themed village. The village is packed with shops and restaurants, including several notable Chinese handicraft stores. At the other end of the village is the entrance to two historic attractions: the Po Lin Monastery and the majestic Tian Tan Buddha – the world’s largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha. The monastery, Hong Kong’s largest and more than a century old, is absolutely worth a visit. If your knees are still quivering after the cable car ride, I suggest climbing the 268 steps to the Tian Tan Buddha.
Getting to Ngong Ping 360
Getting to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car terminal from central Hong Kong is easy – simply take the frequent 30-minute train (MTR) service from Hong Kong Station and disembark at Tung Chung. The cable car terminal is a two-minute walk from the train station. From Ngong Ping, you can opt to return to the Tung Chung terminal or you can take the bus to the Tai O fishing village (a quaint village built on stilts in the western corner of Lantau Island) or the Mui Wo village on Lantau Island’s eastern coast for a wonderful seafood meal. There’s a regular ferry service from Mui Wo which will take you back to Hong Kong.
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