Ngong Ping, Tian Tan Buddha and Din Tai Fung
06.02.2015 - 06.02.2015 17 °C
Big sightseeing day yesterday: off mid-morning to take a series of trains over (well, under the sea) to Lantau Island. On the way we saw the special Disneyland train with Mickey Mouse shaped windows, tee hee 😊. We weren't on Lantau for Disney, though, we were headed for the Big Tian Tan Buddha and the 5.7km Ngong Ping cable car ride to get there.
Through a big open plaza next to an imposing-looking mall, the obligatory highrise apartments on one side and the airport around the corner. Over to the big cable car station, up the escalator... and onto the end of a very long line. Never mind, the weather was cool and Plane Boy had the aircraft flying by to peer at through the light fog.
One hour later, we finally clambered into a cable car and were off. Spectacular! Despite the fog Plane Boy had a bird's eye view of Hong Kong Airport for about 10min of the 25min ride up and over several densely wooded hills. After a while the Big Buddha could be glimpsed between the peaks, and eventually we reached the tourist haven that is Ngong Ping.
Time for a late lunch at one of the touristy restaurants, but turns out they do good dim sum so this was far better than might be expected. Wandered through the complex, inexplicably skipping the Hong Kong action movie stunt show; Plane Boy then waited while Nerdia climbed the steps (Lonely Planet guide tells us there are 268 of them) to the base of the statue. It really is huge. Walked around the base and through the weird museum; watched gaggle of people excitedly chucking coins at the smaller statues surrounded by signs asking people not to throw coins; took photos of someone's drone buzzing around Buddha's legs. Done!
No queue for the chairlift ride back, all very efficient. Then it was back on the trains and time for dinner.
Nerdia was itching to try some more dim sum so we trooped over to Din Tai Fung, a fancy-looking chain restaurant in the adjoining giant shopping centre. Once we found it, tucked away on the lowest floor, we took a ticket and joined the growing throng of prospective diners waiting for seats. They don't mess around here, the formidable young lady on the front desk calls out the ticket numbers as the previous diners leave, and if your party isn't ready 5 numbers later you lose your place in the line. We waited about half and hour but it was worth it! Fabulous dim sum dishes of all sorts, really enjoyed our meal and we can now say we've dined in a Michelin star restaurant!