Tai-O Rular Committe Historic & Cultural Showroom is a short walk from the Tai-O Bus Station in one of the buildings in downtown Tai-O. It is a small showroom display the history, custom and culture of the people in Tai-O. Most of the display items are contributed by the local residents to commemorate their fishing lifestyle of the past. You will see fishing tools, old baskets, cooking tools, costume, traditional Mooncake mold, and etc.
Operation Hours: 12:30pm - 5:00pm (Closed on Monday).
It is free admission. So, don't miss!
Tai-O Village is my favorite place to visit in Hong Kong. It is located in the western side of the Lantau Island. It is a little town with most of its residents living by the ocean. Tai-O is not over developed like other places in HK, it still remains its old cultural charms like the local living lifestyles, buildings, and the beautiful seascape of the village. If you are bored with the shopping malls and the crowds in the city, this is a great getaway destination that you don't want to miss. Despite it is famous among tourists especially weekends and public holiday, but the atmosphere remains calm and relaxing for everyone to enjoy.
During my visit, I enjoyed looking at old houses built along the waterfront. Then, we had to pass through the local shops selling mostly local made food productions like the salted fishes and the shrimp paste. There are all sorts of seafood in the market from fresh fish or shrimp to smelly salted fishes hanging along the street. We stopped by places for food like the Dou Fau or Tofu Pudding and Sweet Ball With White powders. Then, we walked along the Shek Tsai Op Street and stopped at The Tai-O Heritage Hotel for a late lunch. It serves great fusion food that blend with local taste like the local shrimp paste mixed with the thousand island sauce make it a great tasty sauce for the food. Lastly, we stopped by the Rural Committee Historic and Cultural Showroom to see the display of old articles of the Village.
Also, read The Fishing Lifestyle in Tai-O.
Lantau Island is the largest outlying island in Hong Kong, which is 147 square KM almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island. It is located west side of the Hong Kong Island. The HK International Airport is located on the north side of the island. Other famous destinations including Disneyland, %L[Ngong Ping 360], and the Tai O fishing village. You can visit the island by ferries, MTR trains, buses, taxis and a cable car. I have written a simple steps traveling to Lantau Island by pubic transportation.
Lantau Island was originally just a local fishing village, most residents relied on fishing, producing homemade seafood product and making boats for local fisherman. Due to HK modern development and tourism, Lantau Island is slowly developed as a tourist destination for both locals and tourists for signseeing and leisure. People can come here to see the magnificent view of the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, enjoy the scenic views of the ocean and mountains, taste the traditional snacks and seafoods in Tai-O village, feel the charm of the traditional fishing lifestyle, hike the Lantau Peak to get the best Sunrise and Sunset view of the harbor and mountain. The Tai-O Heritage Hotel, the former marine police station, would be a great stop to catch a brunch or tea break. If you are lucky enough during your visit, it is possible to see a red douphin at nearby ocean.
The white colonial building was first built in 1902 as one of the earliest police stations on the outlying islands of Hong Kong. The police station was mostly as an administrative office for the police to safeguard the island despite the island was safe as comparable to the city. The polices usually serves the community with small matters like family disputes, arguments between villagers and etc. Later, the officers of Tai-O police station changed their role as marine police officers as mainly to patrol the surrounding island by sampan. So between 1996 to 2002 , this building was used as a patrol post.
In 2009, through the partnership between HK Heritage Conservation Foundation Limited and The Development Bureau's Revitalizing Historic Buildings, this building was restored and conserved as a heritage hotel in Tai-O.
During my visit, I first noticed the lift that can lift passengers up the hill to the building. The views surrounding the building are stunning. We entered the dinning hall , Tai-O Lookout, with glass windows and roofs, that we felt the comfort like dinning outdoor.
There is a gift shop with a jail preserved from the old police station. It is located at the end corner of the building. Don't miss!
The Heritage Hotel is open to the public between 11am to 6pm daily.
If you are planning to stay overnight, check out the website for reservation.
The Shek Tsai PO Street is located on the southwest of Tai-O. It is a street along the waterfront from Tai-O town to the Heritage Hotel, where you can get the best view of the island. Tsim Fung mountain is the background of the of view. Don't miss the views by walking another 10-15 minutes from Tai-O town.
The Tian Tan Buddha Statue or also known as The Big Buddha is the most impressive religious statue in Hong Kong. It is 112 feet (34 meters) height with a weight of 250 metric tons. The statue was completed in 1993 as one of the symbolic structures of Hong Kong. It is a bronze statue of Buddha Amoghasiddhi.
You can visit the Path Of Enlightement with admission charge. Otherwise, you can simply walk around the park, and look up the artistic detail of the Buddha and other Buddhistic statues.
I visited inside the Buddha. It is a hall that has boxes that put the ash of the deaths. This is where the people visit their dead friends and relatives. The ash of Anita Mui, popular HK pop singer, is placed in this hall.
Taking photographs is not allowed inside the hall.
From Ngong Ping Village, you will pass through The Twelve Divide Generals before reaching the main arch of the stairs to see the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. There are total 240 steps to reach the Buddha. It has a nice scenic views along the way.
Ngong Ping Village is hillside village was built for the purpose of tourism while visiting the Tian Tan Buddha. When you arrive via a cable car or bus, you will walk pass the Ngong Ping Village with shops, tea houses, restaurants, cafes and the Bodhi path to the Tain Tan Buddha. There are a lot of photo opportunities in the village including the displays of cable cars from different countries, the Lucky Cat, the twelve divide generals, and the Buddha Statue.
Lantau Island is almost twice the size of Hong Kong Island but much more rural. Its impossible to describe Hong Kong without mentioning its massive population so I was surprised to read that only around 45,000 call Lantau Island home. Historically these locals lived mainly in the fishing villages that dot the landscape, the most well known being Tai O located on the western side of the island. If you are planning on spending the day on Lantau then a side trip to Tai O will give you an opportunity to view the stilt houses they still exist in the village.
Tai O is not accessible by MTR but can be accessed by bus from outside Po Lin Monastery or Mui Wo Ferry Pier. For the outdoors enthusiast there is a hiking trail between Tung Chung and Tai O offering great views. The trail is steep in parts and at least four hours should be allowed for the trip.
Tung Chung also evolved from a fishing village. Its development into a New Town was fast tracked in conjunction with the government's decision to relocate Hong Kong's Airport to Chek Lap Kok off the northern coast of Lantau Island. As well as the new Airport other transport infrastructure including the Tsing Ma Bridge and Airport Express train line were built.
Tung Chung is mostly built on reclaimed land and was originally developed as a residential area for airport workers but with the development of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car and other tourist attractions, Tung Chung is better known as the gateway to tourism on Lantau Island. For shoppers there is an outlet centre attached to the MTR station called Citygate. Along with the usual brands there is an excellent Esprit outlet and some great reasonably priced childrens clothing stores and a section called 10th Avenue which stocks mainly shoes.
The Ngong Ping 360 is an enclosed gondola ride linking Tung Chung with the purpose built Ngong Ping Village. The village itself is a bit too commercial for me but Ngong Ping is also home the two most recognised Lantau Island Landmarks - the Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.
The Tian Tan Buddha is more commonly called the Big Buddha and as well as being a popular tourist attraction is an important symbol for Buddhists in Hong Kong. The statue is reasonably young only being completed in 1993 but exudes an air of serenity making it seem like it has been there forever. (see my review under HK "Things to do")
The adjacent Po Lin Monastery was built by three Zen masters a bit over 100 years ago. (see my review under HK "things to do").
If you are prepared to have a long day out and about it is possible to combine a trip to Lantau Island with Hong Kong Disneyland. The Disneyland complex is small and can easily be enjoyed in an afternoon and evening. I suggest seeing Lantau Island first and then taking the MTR from Tung Chung to Sunny Bay (1 stop), transfering to the dedicated Disneyland train for the short trip to Discovery Bay. From there its a short walk to the park entrance.
Ngong Ping 360, which consists of a cable car
journey and a themed village, is one of the must
see attractions in Hong Kong travel. Close to the
Hong Kong International Airport and only a few
minutes' walk from Tung Chung MTR Station, Ngong
Ping 360 is conveniently located at Tung Chung on
Ngong Ping Cable Car is a visually spectacular 5.7km bi-cable ropeway. As the first of its kind in Hong Kong, the cable car journey begins from Tung Chung, crossing Tung Chung Bay to reach the angle station on Airport Island and turning about 60 degrees in the air towards North Lantau. Visitors will enjoy some of the best views during their joyful 25-minute ride: the vistas of the distant and vast South China Sea and the rolling grassland slopes of North Lantau Country Park from the cable car slowly take over from the hustle and bustle of the city, to introduce our visitors to the serene and natural surrounds that Lantau is famed for. The journey also offers a breathtaking panorama of the Hong Kong International Airport, verdant, mountainous terrain of Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha and the 360-degree view of the Ngong Ping Plateau.
When you are standing in front of the Tian Tan (Big) Buddha is hard to imagine that this beautiful and serene statue is less than twenty years old. I definitely felt a hundred and twenty years old as I slowly trudged up the 260 steps to the viewing platform, but I tried to increase my pace after being overtaken by sprightly elderly Chinese ladies, who looked like they do the climb daily.
But it is worth it. Up close the Buddha is very impressive and you can go inside to view a display about the teachings of Buddhism and the significance of the Buddha to the culture.
As a reward for climbing the steps the views over Ngong Ping Village, Po Lin Monastery and the hills surrounding Lantau Island are lovely, on a clear day. The majestic figure seems to be watching over Lantau Island and is the worlds largest sitting Buddha.
Each aspect of the bronze figure has a symbolic meaning. The right hand is raised signifying compassion. The left hand resting on the lap signifies that the Buddha can grant happiness to all. The lotus position of the sitting Buddha indicates purity and peace. The kind face of the statue symbolises wisdom, virtue and joy. This is one big bronze statue that is well worth making the trip to see and be inspired by.
The adjacent purpose built Ngong Ping Village was created to cater for the tourists arriving by cable car from Tung Chung and has a very commercial, almost Disney feel to it. It didnt really appeal to me but the adjacent Po Lin Monastery, which is the centre of Buddhism in Hong Kong is worth visiting. You can buy coupons to have a vegetarian lunch while you are there.
The best experience I've ever had...its like a kid made his/her dream come true if he/she experienced this wonderful and fantastic theme park...I admit during i went there ,inside the train going to Disneyland i was very anxious to see what Disneyland looks like in personal, i was more than excited compare with my kids lol...Never miss this excitement park if you visit HK ( Applicable who haven't been to Disneyland)
5 thumbs up to this place
I took the MTR to Lantau Island it’s where the cable car and Giant Buddha are, I changed 2 stations then I finally arrived to Ngong ping 360! I took the cable car and the view was spectacular its breath taking the journey last for 45 min then I reached Ngong ping 360 village from there you can walk to the giant Buddha they call it walking with Buddha and the road of enlightenment ! Well walking with Buddha is full of franchising corporate there were Starbucks, MacDonald, Italian ice cream and restaurants, subway and much more!! Anyway to get to the statue you have to take the stairs and its only 260 steps :( and I did it but it’s the first and last exercise I’ll have for the next 10 years! It was exhausting! The souvenirs shops there were amazing it’s everything I dreamed of. afterwards I visited the monastery then I returned back and went to city gate mall
Since opening in 2006 the NP360 Cable Car gives visitors to Lantau Island a different and scenic way to arrive at the Big Buddha. The cable cars offer 360 degree views from the large all glass cabins. There is an option to purchase a slightly more expensive ticket in a Crystal Cabin. This adds an extra dimension to the viewing space as the floor is a full width single piece of glass.
The 5.7km journey takes approximately 25 minutes and offers nice views over Hong Kong Airport and Tung Chung Bay to the green expanses of Lantau Island.
There are a number of different packages for people wanting to combine the Cable Car ride with attractions in Ngong Ping Village. A standard return Adult ticket costs HK$125. A Crystal Cabin return Adult ticket costs HK$188.
The Ngong Ping 360 terminal at Tung Chung opens at 10am on weekdays and 9am on weekends and public holidays. From experience I can say that the queue may build up very quickly so I would advise to arrive prior to the opening time. You may be lucky enough (like I was) to have just a handful of people sharing your cabin. On busy days however the cabin may be filled with up to 17 people. A number of these people would have to stand for the entire journey and this would spoil your enjoyment of the views a little I expect.
The cable cars are equipped to cater for people with disabilities. Wheelchairs can easily go onboard. Its also a good idea to check the website to make sure your visit doesnt conflict with scheduled maintenance days or other unscheduled closures which happen from time to time such as the most recent one between the end of January and the beginning of April 2012.
If arriving at the Tung Chung Terminal by MTR allow 30 minutes for the trip from Central and a little less from Tsim Shai Tsui.
This is a world class cable car running some 25 minutes/5.7 km. to Ngong Ping providing spectacular panoramic views on route. It starts from Tung Chung Town Centre down to Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. Encompassing bird's eye views of South China Sea and Tung Chung Bay, Scenic Mountains, the Hong Kong International Airport, the whole North Lantau Country Park introducing the Ngong Ping Village where you can visit the Tian Tan Buddha Statue and Monkey’s Tale Theatre. The cost of a return ticket is H$88.00 and the ride is open from 10am to 6pm most days
From Hong Kong International Airport, get on the Airport Express Trains. It will take around 24 minutes to reach downtown at Hong Kong MTR Station (HK$100). It operates almost 24 hrs from 5:50 am to 01:15 am daily at 12 minutes interval. From Hong Kong MTR Station, take the Tung Chung Line / Disneyland Resort Line a 28 minutes ride all the way to the last station, Tung Chung Station(HK$23) and find Exit B.