One of the top things to do in Hong Kong is visiting the Big Buddha on Lantau Island. This is especially fun to do with kids as there is something for everyone! My husband and I were here years ago when we vacationed in Hong Kong and we knew we wanted to bring our girls here as soon as we could.
WHAT IS THE BIG BUDDHA?
The Big Buddha is technically called Tian Tan Buddha. It is a huge bronze statue that faces to the North towards mainland China. You can climb the stairs to the top for amazing views of Lantau Island. The Po Lin Monastery is also located here. People travel from all over Asia to visit this religious site. It’s quite moving to see large groups of people come and pray together.
HOW DO YOU GET THERE?
Honestly, it depends where you are coming from and what your time frame is. If you have the time and want to make a day trip, you can take the ferry from Hong Kong Island to Lantau Island. Once you are there you can get a taxi or catch the bus to get to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. I believe you can also take the bus almost the whole way, but the cable car is so much more fun, especially with kids!
If you decide to take the cable car up, I highly suggest getting in line early as the lines can get very long to buy tickets. You can also buy tickets in advance. If you have it in your budget, opt for the glass bottom cable car, also called the crystal cabin. Like I said, getting there is half the fun! The ride is 25 minutes and sometimes you luck out getting the whole cable car to yourself! Usually the line for the regular cable car is very long. Olivia loved the glass bottom ride and we took a million pictures on our way up and down!
WHAT IS THERE TO DO?
So the cable car ride up is by far our favorite part of the trip. Once you get up to the top you arrive in Ngong Ping Village. This is very touristy with a few little shops, a Starbucks and a few places to grab a quick lunch. From here it’s just a few minutes walk to get to the Big Buddha. Olivia is about 3.5 years old and was perfectly fine walking from the cable car all the way to the Big Buddha and back. Since London is still a baby we just carry her in the carrier. You can bring a stroller along if you need to but you will need to leave it at the bottom of the statue before you begin all the stairs.
On your walk to the Big Buddha you will see some random animals walking around. We saw a bunch of cows and some wild dogs as well. It’s best to keep your distance as they are wild, but still such a cool thing to see… especially for kids!
THE BIG BUDDHA
Walk the 268 steps to get to the top. The views are amazing! It is free to get to the top and totally worth the work to get there. There really isn’t a lot to do at the top except take in the views and enjoy the peace and tranquility. People travel from all over Asia for this experience so sometimes there will be tour groups up at the top as well. Just enjoy being in the moment but remember this is a place of worship so be respectful.
This is such a great day trip for kids of all ages! You really get to take in the beauty of Hong Kong without all the hustle and bustle of the city. There is so much to offer in this amazing city!