From the Big Buddha to the fishing village

A scenic way to go to see The Big Buddha statue on Lantau Island is via the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. I was thankful my friend (of Hong Kong origin) suggested getting a ticket online in advance. When I got to the entrance, there was a long queue to buy tickets and only one person serving them. I went into the fast-track queue, showed my QR code, and was ready to jump on the cable car. I’d opted for the “Crystal+” experience: cable cars with glass bottoms.

When you’re up in the air, looking down at water or forests or mountains, it’s unnerving. You don’t want to walk on the glass floor — because your brain is telling you that you’ll fall. It was a spectacular journey with stunning views all around. This was an unusual instant where “360” was appropriate. We could see Hong Kong airport and the Hong Long-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. It’s a bridge-tunnel, 55km, consisting of three bridge sections and an undersea section. You can see the bridge disappear in the photo below!

On disembarking, I walked to the giant Buddha, sitting 34m tall.

From there, I also went to the two other famous spots: the Po Lin Monastery then the Wisdom Path, which is an installation of wooden columns inscribed with the calligraphy of the complete verses of the Heart Sutra.

My friend had suggested going to an old fishing village after leaving the Big Buddha. Hong Kong had many such villages at one point but now they’re gone. My journey to this one, Tai O, was 20 minutes.

The village itself now consists of a market and some viewpoints. At the pier, I saw that someone had placed a fishing rod and tied it to a pole to stop it falling into the water should a fish be caught. It was a pale shadow of what would have been a vibrant village, coming alive daily with each fresh new catch brought in by boats.

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