IIn a failed attempt to locate and access the trail to Sunset Peak, we discovered something beautiful in visiting the Big Buddha and the surrounding area on Lantau Island. Most locals refer to Big Buddha as Tian Tan.
Cable Car to Big Buddha? Hey, Why Not?!
It really is a nice ride up the mountain and fun to wave to the people in cable cars going the opposite way and see the people who were hiking on the trails below.
At this point we heard some of the park employees informing the Subway employees that they recommend coming down the mountain early as protests may cause delays if they waited to long. After hearing this we decided to abandon all hope for the sunset peak and just enjoy the sites of the area including Big Buddha and the Wisdom Trail.
We walked passed all the shops and museums, theaters etc and chose to head up to Big Buddha first. Apparently there is an option to eat food in the base of the Big Buddha as they offered us tickets but we declined. From this point to the Buddha there are 268 stairs. Not going to lie, we definitely stopped for a few “picture breaks” on the way up.
At the top Big Buddha is most certainly BIG. You can walk the entire way around and enjoy the views of both Buddha and the surrounding scenery. There are restrooms at the stop for a quick pit stop and entry points that take you to what we believed to be where the food was served.
We spent time walking around and taking in the views and then decided to head back down. Going down 268 stairs is way easier than going up! Of course at the bottom there’s a small gift shop.
After Big Buddha we decided to follow the signs and venture to the Wisdom Trail. You can read about that here.
We gave ourselves a time limit to spend at the top of Lantau Island before we wanted to turn around and make our way back down. We knew we wanted to head down while it was still light out incase we had any issues with the protests. We had also only bought one way cable car tickets since we thought we were hiking to a different point so we needed to allow time to work this out.
Walking back through the small town, it seemed like there were even fewer people than before which seems not possible. We stopped in one very cute gift shop and by the time we came out it seemed as though we were the only ones left at all. We heard an announcement about the last cable cars leaving so we headed to the ticket booth as quickly as we could. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t allow us to buy another ticket back down as they were worried about protestors in the train stations at the bottom.
Luckily, we found one single taxi that was driving around the parking lot, our saving grace! He drove us down that mountain as if we were in The Fast and The Furious and we laughed the whole way as our little sweaty butts slid across that leather seat. We didn’t have enough Hong Kong money left so the driver was kind enough to walk Jess into a hospital, find and ATM and help her use it. Successful trip to visit Tian Tan, indeed.
Moral of the story, your plan for the day might not always work out but there’s always another adventure to be found!
- Cable Car to Top is $160 HKD for One Way Ticket
- Plenty of Restaurant Choices at the Base of Big Buddha
- Plan Extra time for museums, films and shops below Big Buddha
- Watch out for wild cows
More Hong Kong Fun Below: