Our first trip to Hong Kong was a struggle. It was our first time to explore a different country, and our itinerary back then is hmm, how do I put this.. not so well-made. Assuming that you only have 3 full days to stay here and are planning to thoroughly explore the theme parks, which probably is the case, then chances are you’ll only have a day to explore the rest of Hong Kong. In this mini guide, I want to help you guys get the most out of that 1 precious day before you kiss Hong Kong goodbye.
1) Explore Lantau Island
Lantau is accessible via two options: one is through the cable car ride, and the other is through the bus ride. I personally recommend the cable car ride to reach this. I mean, how often do you get to see a giant Buddha on top of a mountain while having a bird’s eye view of the forest below? Also, this option saves you more time. More time = more places to see. So yeah, definitely go for the cable car ride. If by any chance you are unlucky enough to have the cable car ride maintenance timed on the same day you went here, you could always go for the bus ride. The surroundings to see while riding the bus could be fascinating too, but it would take about 50 mins to get to the top.
Places to see/ Things to do:
A) Explore the plaza, browse the souvenir shops, and take an epic photo with the sitting Buddha at the background. (30 mins to 1 hour)
The plaza has some of the best spots to take photos. Its area is huge probably to accommodate the crowd who wants to take a photo of the Buddha at the background. There are also food and souvenir stalls here. If you are planning to climb to that Buddha, then you better get some snacks here. Food stuffs are not allowed as soon as you start the climb.
B) Burn those fats and make your way to the Tian Tan Buddha (1 hour)
Your trip here at Lantau Island will never be complete without seeing the giant sitting Buddha up close and personal. This massive bronze statue is impressive as it is from afar- but even more so up close! The surrounding fog also adds an awesome touch to it which makes everything look cooler. I could even imagine myself meditating to this kind of atmosphere. haha.
C) Feel at one with humanity at the Po Lin Monastery (1 hour)
The smell of burning incense and the sound of monks mumbling their daily prayers definitely gives that temple atmosphere as soon as you enter the area. The place is open for tourists, but make sure to observe all the regulations imposed by the authorities. Oh, and try their home made dumplings while you’re at it. I swear- its delicious.
D) Be enlightened as you trek the wisdom path (1 hour)
This is the most relaxing experience I had during my whole stay in Hong Kong. The wisdom path is actually a trek through a forest near the Tian Tan Buddha. I don’t know why but out of all the crowd visiting Lantau Island, we only encountered a handful of tourists exploring the wisdom path along the way. At the end of the path is the heart sutra written in huge stone tablets. Too bad there were no English translation that time. It would be awesome to gain knowledge from those enormous stone slabs.
How to get here:
- Ride the MTR Tung Chung Line
- Alight at Tung Chung
- Access the cable car ride at Tung Chung station OR
- Access the bus ride at Tung Chung station
- Round Trip cable car standard cabin= HKD 210 ($26.88)
- Round Trip cable car crystal cabin= HKD 290 ($37.12)
- Single Trip cable car standard cabin = HKD 145 ($18.56)
- Single Trip cable car crystal cabin = HKD 200 ($25.6)
- Tian Tan Buddha entrance fee (with free snacks at Po Lin Monastery) = HKD 78 ($9.98)
2) Temple Street Night Market
The temple street night market is the perfect place for dinner after all the exploring at Lantau Island. Be amazed on how the place slowly come to life once the clock hits 1700H. This night market is famous for its vast number of stores selling all the kinds of souvenirs you could think of. The selection of food could also be quite overwhelming so make sure to empty your stomach as soon as you leave Lantau Island. Some of the restaurants found here even displays fresh sea food, and allows you to choose which one you would like to eat. The Temple street night market is truly heaven for those people with adventurous taste buds.
Things to do:
A) Food Trip to your heart’s content (1-2 hours)
The hunger felt like a torture after feasting my eyes on all the fresh ingredients the restaurants in temple street night market has to offer. Something new and extraordinary will surely be there wherever I look. Take your time in tasting all the food you could eat or at least up to what your stomach could tolerate. Most of the food here is not your typical burger or sandwich.
B) Test your haggling skills at the souvenir shops (1-2 hours)
The good thing about night markets is that the price of the items being sold is flexible. You could test your skills here at haggling for lower prices for the items you want to buy. Just make sure not to push it too hard though- the vendors need to make a living, too you know.
How to get here:
- Take the MTR
- Alight at the Yau Ma Tei Station
- The temple street is just a couple of minute’s walk from the station
I hope you enjoyed my mini Hong Kong guide! Did you visit Hong Kong already? How was your trip like? Let me know in the comments!