Tours and Neighborhoods
One Day Tour
Morning: Peak Tower and Peak Tram
Lunch: Cafe Deco at the Peak
Afternoon: New Territories, Ten Thousand Buddahs Monastery
Dinner: Yung Kee, famous Cantonese restaurant
Evening: See the Nightlife in Lan Kwai Fong
First-stop on your one-day tour is The Peak. The best way to conquer Hong Kong’s most famous mountain is via the Peak Tram. Reach the tram by first taking the MTR to Central and then follow the signposts up to Garden Road and the Peak Tram terminus.
Servicing the peak since 1888, the tram goes up the hill at what seems like an impossible angle that will require you to keep one hand on your camera and another one on the kids. Despite the death-defying angle, the tram has recorded zero accidents since its inception and the ride is almost as enjoyable as the Peak itself. Perched above the city, over 3 million visitors clamber up to HK’s biggest tourist attraction each year, and not without reason. Awaiting you at the top are some of the most breathtaking vistas in the world, as cloud piercing skyscrapers bolt out of the sprawling landscape below. It is advisable to check the Hong Kong weather before climbing the Peak, as views are much diminished on cloudy days. Also at the summit is the newly renovated Peak Tower, which contains an Asian Madame Tussauds; hosting the likes of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, as well as Hong Kong’s former owner HM the Queen and Barrack Obama.
One of the best ways to take in the view is at one of the restaurants or bars inside either the Peak Tower or Peak Galleria. A restaurant that continually elicits positive reviews is, Café Deco, in Peak Galleria, which offers an arsenal of tasty international cuisine served against a stunning backdrop.
Mountainous adventure complete it's time to escape the big city and head for Hong Kong’s other jungle; The New Territories. To make your way off the Peak; take the number 15 bus, this departs from underneath the Peak Galleria, to Admiralty MTR station. From here take the MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui, where you can transfer to the regional KCR west rail at Hung Hom – destination Sha Tin. At the end of the 30 minute journey to Sha Tin awaits the Ten Thousand Buddahs Monastery, which is visible, and just a short walk from the station. This is undoubtedly the most impressive temple in Hong Kong, and the temple is actually underselling itself as in reality it boasts 12,800 miniature Buddha statues and images. Hong Kong temples are quite relaxed in regards to rules and regulations, however there are some Temple Customs to follow.
On arrival bad news awaits via a 431 step climb to the temple, and unlike the rest of Hong Kong there’s no escalator. At the top you’ll find the temple entrance guarded by a number of gods you wouldn’t like to meet in a back alley. Once you’ve negotiated your way past these guardians you’ll enter the complex, flanked on all sides by jungle. A beautiful red and gold pagoda reaching nine storeys in the air is at the heart of the complex, and despite being built relatively recently, 1960s, is one of the best of Hong Kong's ornamental temples. The main temple hosts the 13,000 gold and black Buddah, which are all around a foot high and posed in different positions; they impressively fill a domed room nearly 30ft tall.
If the physical exertion has eaten into your lunch, food options at the complex are limited. A few snack stalls offer reasonably appetising vegetarian food, however if you can wait until dinner, a Chinese treat awaits.
Chinatowns around the world were created by the expatriating Cantonese and with them they brought their cuisine – making Chinese takeout one of the most popular foods in the western world. Hong Kong Dim Sum has also become a well known and enjoyed routine for many around the world. Hong Kong is the home to this food and just like all national cuisines it tastes better on home turf. The best place to refuel, for Cantonese food, or otherwise, is the deadly combination of SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong, both just above Central MTR and well signposted from the station.
SoHo has a wide variety of restaurants from different cultures. Top-notch Cantonese cuisine can be had at any number of restaurants in the city, but a solid recommendation is Yung Kee, at 32-40 Wellington Road. The restaurants neon façade hides some of the best Cantonese cooking in the world. Yung Kee are masters of most Cantonese dishes but their most famous dish is the delicious Cantonese classic roast pork- a must try.
To party through the night, make your way to LKF (Lan Kwai Fong). It is literally around the corner from Yung Kee and you'll find endless entertainment at the night clubs, the bars, and people from all over the world who have gathered to unwind.
The Big Buddha on Lantau Island is the biggest sitting Buddha statue built outdoor. This majestic statue sits atop the peak of Mount Muk Yue. Po Lin Monastery has taken 12 years to plan and build this bronze Buddha statue that symbolizes the stability of Hong Kong, prosperity of China and peace on earth.
The Big Buddha Statue has become a major landmark in Hong Kong, attracting numerous local and overseas Buddhists and visitors. It is not only a remarkable work project, but also an outstanding piece in Buddhist sculptural art in recent history. It is a valuable heritage of mankind.
For more information: http://www.plm.org.hk
There are 5 ways to get to the Big Buddha:
1) Take Lantau Bus No. 23 at the bus station outside Tung Chung MTR Station to Ngong Ping Bus Terminus (traveling time: about 45 minutes).
2) Take Ngong Ping Cable Car at the Cable Car Station outside Tung Chung MTR Station (traveling time: about 25 minutes); take an additional 10-minute walk to the Monastery.
3) Take First Ferry from Central Pier to Mui Wo, and take Lantau Bus No.2 to Ngong Ping Bus Terminus (traveling time from Mui Wo to Ngong Ping: about 35 minutes).
4) Take Lantau Bus No. 21 at the bus stop in Tai O to Ngong Ping Bus Terminus (traveling time: about 15 minutes).
5) Take a Lantau Island taxi.
Telephone: +852 2985 5248
Address: Po Lin Monastery, Ngong Ping, Lantau Island