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INSIDE: Roam the Gnome’s ride on a Ngong Ping Crystal Cabin to the GIANT Buddha in the mist! 

One of the places high on our bucket list of family-friendly things to do in Hong Kong was to visit Ngong Ping 360 and take the cable car up to Ngong Ping Village.

It’s here that tourists and locals can visit the Giant Buddha in Hong Kong, and see the famous Po Lin Monastery.

If you are in Hong Kong for 12 hours or less lay-over, Ngong Ping 360 and the Giant Buddha is the closest tourist option for you from the airport.

Take a sneak peek at our video, and find all you need to know below!

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, we may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you.

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Hong Kong & Giant Buddha 

Getting to Ngong Ping 360 is simple.

Catch the train (clean, super fast, not crowded in the slightest) from Central on the Orange Line – Tung Chung line.

Stay on until the last stop, Tung Chung, about a 30 minute ride.

To get from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping, start by walking across the giant plaza from the station to the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car building (Lower Terminus).

ngong ping lower terminus flickr by randy escalada

Image credit: Randy Escalada via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Hong Kong Cable Car Lower Terminus building

This is the place to buy Ngong Ping tickets for the HK cable car, and embark on this adventure up into the clouds!


Ngong Ping Crystal Cabin Tickets 

We bought the 1+1 Standard & Crystal Round Trip Cable Car tickets, at a cost of $375 HK for me (approximately $49 US) , and $210 HK dollars ($27 USD) for Ned.

Jack, being under 3, was free to ride the Ngong Ping 360 Crystal Cabin. 

This gave us the opportunity to take the standard Ngong Ping cable car up, and the Ngong Ping crystal cabin on the way back.
ngong ping 360 roam gnome and kids

Ngong Ping Cable Car Journey to Ngong Ping Village

Hot tip:  The entire journey to Ngong Ping is 6 kilometres long, and takes about 25 minutes!

Don’t do as we did on this cable car ride in Hong Kong, and stand up to hop off at the first stop!  

This is where the cable car changes direction 90° towards the giant steep mountains of Lantau and the journey REALLY begins.

(Felt like twats, we did!)  

At first, it was clear skies and just a little bit of drizzle.

ngong ping cable car pic by achim hepp

Image credit: Achim Hepp via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Changeable Weather at Ngong Ping 

But proving the theory about the weather in Hong Kong in Spring, the mist started rolling in halfway up, and it cooled down incredibly.

Bring a variety of clothing to cope with the changing conditions, including:

  • sweaters/jumpers
  • wet weather gear – mackintosh/raincoats/water resistant jacket
  • hats and beanies 

ngong ping village entrance by edwin 11

Image credit: Edwin.11 via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Ngong Ping Village in Hong Kong

By the time we arrived at Ngong Ping 360, we could barely see a few metres in front of us.

That didn’t bode well for our chances of seeing the Giant Buddha in full glory, but such is the luck of the traveller.

But in our eyes, ALL travel is good travel.

Weather doesn’t bother us in the slightest.

Rain and mist can be quite a bit of fun in fact.

ngong ping 360 signboard

What to do in Ngong Ping

Hot tip: There’s a Ngong Ping village map as you exit the upper terminus.

You can also find a virtual Ngong Ping map here. 

The map lists all of the activities and attractions at Ngong Ping you can enjoy. 

ngong ping village by edwin11

Image credit: Edwin.11 via Flickr CC BY-2.0

What to do at Ngong Ping Piazza

Stepping out from the Cable Car into the manufactured ‘theme park’ style world of Ngong Ping 360 Tourist Village was a little strange:

  • a row of touristy shops
  • souvenir shops
  • food and drink stalls including noodle cafes and
  • a teahouse.

There’s a Starbucks AND Subway. 

Ngong Ping 360 village was NOT what I expected.

It’s very, very kitschy

But very clean and full of festive decorations.

Although a misty day, there was still some street entertainment and we’ve heard there’s often performances, workshops, and stall games during peak visiting times.
There are also three “touristy” entertainment shows on offer in Ngong Ping 360 village too, but we didn’t visit as Jack was a little bit small to sit for too long.

walking with buddha show at ngong ping by jirka matousek

Image credit: Jirka Matousek via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Ngong Ping Shows

No.1: Walking with Buddha Show

For those interested, there’s Walking with Buddha, an immersive multimedia attraction that showcase the life of Siddhartha Gautama (the man who became Buddha) and his path to enlightenment.

No.2: VR 360 

There’s six different VR experiences you can try.

The scariest is the high altitude ropeway, where you believe you are walking the tightrope, high in the air. 

It’s a fun attraction for tech fans. 

No.3: Motion 360

Motion 360 is the third choice of entertainment activity.

Choose your choice of 3D film, either:

  • “Discover Lantau” where you’ll fly over the Big Buddha, swim into the habitat of Chinese white dolphins, and travel through the Wisdom Path, or
  • “Little Ants Adventure”, where you’ll immerse into the world of the little ants, and embark on their thrilling journey on a leaf.

We just walked right on through the village to get to the cultural stuff on the other side, but it’s a good stop for a quick snack with kids. 

tian tan buddha at ngong ping by travis

Image credit: Travis via Flickr CC BY-2.0

Giant Buddha and the Guardians Walk

The walk to the Giant Buddha and Monastery passes through the 12 Guardians.

Each one of these statues represents a different Chinese year, and also a time of day, eg 7am to 10am.

The stories of each one’s backstory are fascinating (and intriguingly, somewhat familiar!) and I kept the kids close, by reading a bit about each one to them.

njong ping 360 stroller

Ngong Ping Flags

When you reach the flags, it’s time to “choose your own adventure” by picking the direction you will go first. 

Right to the Buddha, or straight on to the Monastery.

We went to the Monastery first, to try and give the weather a chance to clear up before our ascent to the Buddha.
ngong ping 360 monastery flowers

Po Lin Monastery

Strangely, the mist cleared for a moment to allow us to see the Monastery in full blooming colour, and hear the ever present birdsong.  

This Po Lin Monastery was once remote, hidden by the mountain scenery, and it was only the construction of the Giant Buddha in 1993 that brought it to people’s attention.

It’s one of the most important Buddhist centres in the world now, and pilgrims (and tourists alike) come from all over Asia and the world to visit.

As it is a religious site, it is important to keep the kids contained and somewhat quiet out of respect to others who visit to pray and be reverent.  

Many visitors (worshippers) light incense in small bundles and the kids loved watching the people use their hands to waft and wave the smoke over their faces and bodies, a practice is said to purify the surroundings, bringing forth an assembly of:

  • buddhas
  • bodhisattvas
  • gods
  • demons, and
  • the like.

The Po Lin Monastery entrance fee is free. 

Po Lin Monastery is open from 8 am to 6 pm. 

Hot tip: You can eat a vegetarian lunch at the Monastery. Details below under “what to eat”. 

ngong ping 360 monastery

Hong Kong culture 

In front of the monastery, there’s also a bit of joviality as people try their luck on throwing a good luck coin into a giant vessel, and bang on the giant drum gongs.

A local told us that banging the drum is part of a ritual to help people to ‘wake up’, both literally (as in rising in the morning) and figuratively,  to stay conscious in daily life, as well as a signal for meals, and bedtime.

I’ve also heard stories that if you listen carefully to the beating of the drum, you can hear the sounds of wind, rain, and thunder.  

This signifies good weather and therefore national prosperity, so banging the drum is something the kids can join in too.

ngong ping 360 jack walking up stairs

Ngong Ping Big Buddha

Finally, we headed to the Buddha.

I admit I felt stark terror at the prospect of carrying Jack in the ergo up 268 steep steps but luckily for me, his independent streak won over and he wanted to climb.

And climb he did.


Slowly going of course, but he made it, with me close behind.  

ngong ping 360 giant buddha

How do you get to the Big Buddha in Hong Kong?

The only way is to head to Ngong Ping, walk through the village, and UP these steep stairs.  

A word of warning – be careful on those steps up to the Buddah temple in Hong Kong.

They can be VERY, VERY slippery.

Hold on tight to the handrails where you can.
 ngong ping 360 buddha in cloud

Hong Kong Buddha View

When we got there, THIS was our view.

A bit misty, but not completely hidden.

We walked around the base and the kids conned me into a lolly pop from one of the convenience shops underneath the Buddha for their stair-climbing efforts!

Hot tip:  Park your stroller

Staff are happy for you to leave your stroller near the “Charms and Offerings” counter at the base of the steps.  

Be grateful for their generosity.  

You couldn’t lug it up there if you tried. 

big buddha ngong ping 360 hong kong

Fun Facts about the Ngong Ping Buddha

No.1: How tall is the Big Buddha in Hong Kong?

The Tian Tan Buddha is a large bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni, completed in 1993.

The Big Buddha sits 34 meters high (112 ft) and faces north to look over the Chinese people.

No.2: How many steps are there in Big Buddha Hong Kong?

268 steps in total. It’s a slog!

No.3: How long did it take to build the Big Buddha in Hong Kong?

According to Discover Hong Kong, “the eyes, lips, incline of the head and right hand, which is raised to deliver a blessing to all, combine to bring a humbling depth of character and dignity to the massive Buddha, which took 12 years to complete.” 


Ngong Ping Cable Car Ride back to Lower Terminus

Once you’ve climbed back down the stairs, there’s plenty of room in the grounds for the kids to run off a bit of steam.  

We also encountered our first non-western toilet.

Feet on either side of a hole type thing, a bit of a novelty event for them.

Jack and Ned shared the stroller for the slow walk back to the Cable Car.  


White out!

As luck would have it, the mist had become a complete white-out for our Crystal Car trip.

We couldn’t see a thing!  

But they thought that being enveloped in white cloud was just about the best thing ever.

Especially looking down.
ngong ping 360 crystal cabin with ned on the floor pic

How to get down from Ngong Ping

You can ride the cable car down, or you can walk down the Ngong Ping trail.

The trail is 5.7km long. Allow 3-4 hours. 

Towards the bottom, the mist began to clear and we could see land, including the bush walking tracks that criss-cross to the top of the mountain.

We could see people walking on the Ngong Ping trail too, far below.

Those people have stamina (or a death wish), that’s one thing for sure.

But if hiking is your thing, it’s one for the bucket list. 

Can you ride the 360 crystal cable car if you are scared of heights?

I’m normally a bit queasy with heights but this experience was not too scary at all.

The wind, however, was a different story.

Swaying from side to side, while the wild winds scream past you as you hang way up high was NOT my idea of fun.

I had to keep taking deep breaths but the kids weren’t bothered at all.

We’d definitely recommend buying tickets for the Crystal Car for at least one way of the trip.

It’s an added extra that really does make a difference to the level of FUN to be had!
ngong ping 360 pressed penny coin pic

Hong Kong Ngong Ping souvenirs

There’s a souvenir penny (pressed penny) machine near the back entrance to the shop and top terminus of the cable car.  

As Ned collects these, we always stop to make one.

We’ve since discovered you can buy a little book to keep them in so this makes for a cheap and lightweight souvenir if you are travelling long distances and don’t want to lug too many things about.

You can also buy: 

  • cable car souvenirs
  • Ngong Ping tshirts
  • magnets, postcards, stationery
  • miniature ornaments

PIN ngong ping crystal cabin 800

What to eat at Ngong Ping 360

Caramel Popcorn

Caramel popcorn.

Need I say more?  

Do buy a caramel popcorn before you embark. It’s super delicious and worth the investment to make the journey even more peaceful.

Available in the main ticketing area.

(Even though you are not supposed to eat in the cable car, no-one bats an eyelid.)

BYO Snacks & Drinks

Take snacks and drinks with you for the visit. It’s fine.

Book Vegetarian Lunch at Po Lin Monastery

You can eat a vegetarian lunch at the Po Lin Monastery but with kids, I wasn’t sure this was a good idea for our little tribe (as much as I wanted to go) so we skipped it.

The vegetarian kitchen is open from 11.30am to 4.30pm. 

Head to the dining hall. 

Ngong Ping Garden Restaurant

Try authentic Cantonese dim sum, Chiu Chow sweet and sour noodles, and taichi soup at this Ngong Ping village restaurant. 

AOK Hong Kong Cafe

Stop by to eat some of the must try foods in Hong Kong including:

  • signature milk tea
  • coffee
  • pineapple bun with a cold thick slice of butter
  • specialty snacks like Egg tarts

food republic foodcourt in mall after ngong ping 360

CityGate Food Court

We decided to eat lunch at the food court in the Outlet Mall, “City Gate”, which you pass on your way back to the train at Tung Chung. 

There were plenty of options for both asian and western food, and reasonable prices too.

ngong ping village entertainment by edwin.11

Image credit: Edwin.11 via Flickr CC BY-2.0

THE INSIDE SCOOP: Ngong Ping Cable Car & Buddha

Correct at time of publication on Roam the Gnome. Please check with venue for updates. We apologise in advance if there have been any changes we are unaware of. All prices in US/HK dollars, unless otherwise stated

Address: Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal is adjacent to MTR’s Tung Chung station. 2 minutes walk from Exit B of the station. 
Telephone: (852) 3666 0606
Website: Click here

Ngong Ping 360 operating hours: 

  • Weekdays 10am to 6pm
  • Weekends and public holidays 9am to 6.30pm 

ngong ping souvenirs by constanting agustin

Image credit: Constantine Agustin via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Ngong Ping 360 Ticket Prices 

The Ngong Ping cable car cost for a round trip is:

  • Standard cabin HK$235 adults (HK $211.50 online)  – approx $30 USD full price
  • Standard cabin HK$155 senior (HK $139.50 online) – approx $20 USD full price
  • Standard cabin HK$110 children 3-11 years (HK $99 online)  – approx $14 USD full price
  • Crystal Cabin HK $315 adults (HK $ 283.50 online)
  • Crystal Cabin HK $235 seniors (HK $211.50 online)
  • Crystal Cabin HK $190 children (HK $ 171)

Mix and match your Ngong Ping cable car price with two single one way trips:

  • Standard cabin HK$160 adults, HK$75 children 3-11 years, Senior over 65 HK $105
  • Crystal cabin HK$215 adults, HK $135 children 3-11 years,  Senior over 65 HK $160

Ngong Ping discount tickets

Get a 10% off coupon for a round trip cable car ticket by subscribing to the Ngong Ping 360 newsletter.

This e-coupon can be redeemed for a 10% discount on any type of Ngong Ping 360 tickets at the Ticketing office at Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal during the valid redemption period.


How to get to Ngong Ping in Hong Kong

By MTR: Catch the MTR from Hong Kong Station (or any train station on the Tung Chung line) all the way to Tung Chung, the last stop.  It is a 5-minute walk from Exit B of the station.

By Bus to Ngong Ping:

There are regular bus services to Ngong Ping. Click here for details. 

By Car:  Click here to add your location to google maps for driving instructions.


24-hour car parking service is available near Ngong Ping 360 Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal, and at City Gate Mall. 

Facilities at Ngong Ping

Ngong Ping 360 has Wifi, and battery charging services.

Map of Ngong Ping Lantau Island

Toadstool Rating: 

Riding the Hong Kong gondola is a chance to rest for a moment while the kids are “contained”.

Hong Kong is pretty busy wherever you go, and keeping an eye on the kids on busy streets and in markets is exhausting. Enjoy a bit of downtime.

Also, one visit is enough.
ngong ping REVIEW

Looking for More Things to Do in Hong Kong with Kids?

Click the blue links below for more Hong Kong attractions on Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, The New Territories and Lantau Island

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