You don’t need to be a Buddhist to enjoy a morning at the Tian Tan Buddha, part of the themed Ngong Ping Village on Lantau Island.
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One of the largest statues of its kind in the world (the 112-foot tall, 250-ton bronze structure can be seen from miles around), it serves as much as a point of pilgrimage for monks and spiritual seekers as it does for those who relish nothing more than the thrill of the cable car ride up there or back.
The more rustic and rural parts of Lantau Island are known for their stunning scenery, so, if for nothing else, a trip here is worth just the sense of being away from the crowded streets that make up most of the rest of Hong Kong.
As a result, Ngong Ping Village has become one of the more popular destinations for tourists, especially appealing because there is more than one way to get there and back. It's best to start off from your hotel in the morning, but avoid going on a foggy or cloudy day. Figure on spending about five hours, door to door.
Once there, plan to spend a few hours within the themed village. Admission to some of these attractions is charged separately but prices are reasonable. Otherwise, package tours tend to include them.
For example, in addition to the visit to the actual icon, an animated movie that plays out in a foliage-lined courtyard is fun for first timers, and browsing through stores will yield quaint, hard-to-find chopsticks and tea sets. less «