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BELOW : To see my YouTube clip of the cable car descending towards the lower station ,
CLICK HERE. Near the end of the clip you will see fuel tanks for the Hong Kong airport, and some of the planes at the airport.
BELOW : Today I have travelled on the MTR train to Tung Chung station. Looking across from the train station exit I see the lower terminal for the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. My aim today is to visit the Tian Tan Buddha (also known as The Big Buddha) amidst the hills in Ngong Ping village. You can travel up by bus if you have an aversion to cable car travel. It’s about a 50 minute bus ride.
BELOW : There are various options for ticket prices, depending on what extras you choose. I, of course, choose the cheapest option, which entitles me to a Standard Round Trip. This ticket allows a standard cabin return trip on the cable car, and when you get off at the top, you take yourself on a self guided tour of the village and surrounds. I paid cash for this ticket, HK$235, (about AUD$45). As you can see there are more than a couple of other tourists who are also interested in procuring tickets for this experience. The queue was orderly, but long, as you snaked your way closer to the ticket counter. In total it was about a 25-
BELOW : Once aboard, one of my fellow passengers was kind enough to record photographic evidence of my participation in the experience. I obviously had not showered as well as I had thought this morning ! The distance travelled is 5.7 km, and the travel time is around 25 mins, for a one way journey. On average the cabins move at about 4 metres per second.The altitude at the top station is around 500 metres above sea level.
BELOW : Looking back from inside the cabin, number 1 = starting point of the cable car, then it runs across the water (parallel to the bridge) to tower 2 = where the cable turns about 60 degrees, to begin the uphill ascent across Tung Chung Bay, and towards Ngong Ping.
BELOW : There are a total of 109 cabins, rated to carry 10 seated and 7 standing per standard Cabin; and 10 people, seated only, in the Crystal Cabins. At maximum capacity the system can move 3,500 people per hour (in each direction). Crystal Cabins have a see through glass floor.
BELOW : On the day of my journey visibility was a bit limited at certain stages along the route. We passed in and out of mist/fog, at some points along the way.
BELOW : A cabin passing us going in the opposite direction. It just appeared out of the mist one second, and then disappeared back into it within seconds.
BELOW : I am just exiting at the upper cable car station at Ngong Ping, and I see that recycling is practised in these parts, using more artistic flair than in my own home town.
BELOW : As I mentioned earlier the mist/fog was a changing factor, and I passed in and out of it as I walked through the Ngong Ping village, on my quest to see the Buddha.
BELOW : It is a nice flat walk through the village to get to the base of the Buddha, only about a 10 minute walk from the upper cable car station at Ngong Ping.
BELOW : I am starting to wonder if I am in the right place today . . Have I possibly taken a wrong turn, am I about to see Gorillas In the Mist ?
BELOW : My legs are beginning to question my decision to get ‘up close and personal’ with the Buddha, but I reach an agreement with them, that ‘slow and steady wins the race’. The Buddha stands 34 metres high, is made of a bronze outer layer and an inner steel framework. In total it weighs around 250 tons, and was completed in December 1993.
BELOW : Well, teamwork has won the day . . WE made it ! (Me, My Legs and I )
It was not until I got home that I noticed the swastika like symbol on The Buddha’s chest. Subsequent Googling revealed that this symbol on his chest dates back thousands of years for religious themes much more to do with the harmony of things. The Nazis hijacked the basic symbol, and rotated it 45 degrees, and gave it a completely different meaning. There are many religious variations on this symbol, in Asian/Eastern and European cultures, that deserve more reading.
BELOW : Surrounding the Buddha are six smaller bronze statues known as "The Offering of the Six Devas" that are posed offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. These symbolise the Six Perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary for enlightenment. (Description Source = Wikipedia)
BELOW : Looking down from the Buddha viewing area, across to the Po Lin Monastery.
BELOW : The mist is still hanging around on the hilltops, and is about 1:30 pm.
BELOW : The Po Lin Monastery.
BELOW : Coming back down to the base of the staircase which leads to the Buddha. You may notice in the fence at the bottom of the steps (RH lower corner of the photo) , again there is the symbol which is on the Buddha’s chest, integrated into the design of the fence. (Another sighting Mr Observant made, only AFTER returning home and viewing the photos !)
BELOW : As I was departing, the mist rolled in yet again, and slowly the Buddha was disappearing before my eyes.
BELOW : Some of the colour to be seen walking through Ngong Ping village, on the way back to the upper cable car terminal.
BELOW : Still walking through the village.
BELOW : Getting closer to the cable car terminal.
BELOW : Another of the buildings along the way.
BELOW : Close to the terminal you can pass between 2 rows of 4 drums, placed opposite each other. The eight Blessing Drums, have the words of blessings such as Success, Fortunes, Health, Luck, Propitiousness, Auspiciousness, Happiness and Peace. The yellow tag on the left of each drum is a sign which says “Please do not tap”. (I imagine, for many people, this is like a sign which says “Wet Paint”. It could give a whole new meaning to the term ‘Tap and Go’ ! )
Many of the visitors had a photo taken, possibly hoping for some future blessings.
RETURN TO DAY 4
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ON TO DAY 6
BELOW : Well here we are, back at the upper cable car terminal.
BELOW : An incoming cabin, passing above some Ngong Ping 360 signage.
BELOW : Well, the queues for the downhill return on the cable car are virtually non-
BELOW : The mist/fog factor is still in play as I begin the return journey back to Tung Chung.
BELOW : The white cylinders you can see in the top left of the photo are fuel storage tanks used to supply the Hong Kong airport.
BELOW : Almost at the lower cable car station at Tung Chung.
BELOW : The building under the white roof in the foreground is the Tung Chung Swimming Pool (indoor area). It has a 1,000 seat spectator stand in the main pool building. The pool you can see outside the building, is the training pool area.
BELOW : Back in the MTR train station precinct, you can see a few of the different dining choices. On the lower level you can see the familiar Starbucks signage.
BELOW : As is so often the case in Hong Kong, many apartment buildings are within a very close proximity to the MTR station. I will board the train here to travel 25 mins back to Hong Kong station, where I will then walk to Central station, and join a train on the Island Line, to travel back the 3 stops to Causeway Bay station. Total travel time will be about 50-
BELOW : I spy with my little eye . . . Something beginning with . . ‘B’. . and I am only 268 steps away from my meeting with the Tian Tam Buddha.
To see my YouTube clip of the Big Buddha, CLICK HERE.
HONG KONG 2019 -
If you are viewing using a device with a mouse attached, the photo above can be ‘zoomed’. If you move the mouse pointer to within the ‘red perimeter’, you should see a magnified image appear of the photo. Whichever section of the photo you are pointing at will be magnified. You can increase/decrease the magnification level by using the ‘scroll wheel’. Move the pointer around the photo to magnify any section. For best results, have the top of the photo located near the top of your screen before ‘pointing’ on the photo. (Zoom and read the yellow tag for yourself.)