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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Ride » Discover the Breathtaking Iron Birds of Hong Kong

Distant view of Giant Buddha from cable cars
I was a little bit wobbly when I first hopped in. Excited and nervous.

Then, few meters away from the Tung Chung entrance platform, I caught a glimpse of those soaring beauties, gliding in the fog like suspended birds in trance, delicate and downright dangerous.

Riding these cable cars is the kind of thing I look forward on our visit in Lantau Island in Hong Kong, aside of course from seeing the Giant Buddha. I must say the cable car ride itself is surely worth the visit.

Up in the air, I am in awe. Wide eyed, so to speak, because the metal towers seems to be well built —but too thin. I hear myself wishing for a calm wind, since the only thing keeping us from crashing downward to the mountains are thin metal cables. We are hanging by a thread, literally.

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car hanging in on thin cable
Hanging by a thread

It is like riding a Ferris wheel, only it’s horizontal. Each cabin crawling on a bi-cable ropeway connected to a tower sitting on a mountain peak then another tower on the next peak and so on.

Cable Cars crossing Tung Chung Bay
Amazing view from Cable Cars passing Tung Chung Bay
It is amazing how the rig can sustain more than a thousand pounds of pressure, the cabins rolling, revolving again and again passing each other in a formation like sleeping giant birds, the whole scene turns surreal.

Maybe this is how it feels like being a kite.

Cable Cars suddenly appearing inside the thick fog
From the thick fog, they are magically appearing one by one

Ngong Ping Cable Car Experience


Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car Central Station
Ngong Ping 360 starting station at Tung Chung
Our trip to Ngong Ping village, a culturally themed village high atop a mountain plateau on Lantau Island, started with this 25-minute cable car ride. 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.

Cable cars ticketing counters
Ngong Ping 360 ticket counters
According to the Hong Kong tourism board, this 5.7 km bi-cable ropeway is the first of its kind in Hong Kong. I definitely enjoyed the best aerial views during this breathtaking 25-minute ride: the vistas of the distant and vast South China Sea and the rolling grassland slopes. Also visible from afar are the tall Hong Kong buildings and the hustle and bustle of the city.

Cable Cars Starting point
Tourists queuing for their car at the starting station in Tung Chung 
Ever-changing panoramic views also include the Hong Kong International Airport, verdant, mountainous terrain of Lantau Island, the reservoirs and the sea, and glimpses of the mighty Tian Tan Buddha Statue.

Cable cars passing the bridge highway
Cable cars passing a bridge connecting the islands
We took the regular cable car because we are on a tight travel budget, as always. But if you want a little luxury ride, you can opt to experience the 360 Sky Lounge. This is a private luxury cabin decorated with crystallized Swarovski elements – so much for a sparkling luxury eh.

Cable cars passing the giant Buddha sitting on mountain peak
Glimpse of Tian Tan Buddha Statue upon approaching Lantau Island
Oh and by the way, did I mention the Ngong Ping 360 Crystal Cabin? Yes, you can ride it for additional price of course. These cabins have transparent glass floors, and it is just simply brilliant. It is designed to feast your eyes, literally for a “bird's eye view” of the boundless sea and the rolling grassland slopes right underneath your feet. They say riding it is like you are flying on your own, but I guess that’s too much for me. 

Human genius


View of Tian Tan Buddha Statue at Ngong Ping 360 initial approach of Lantau Island
Crawling cable cars circling the Tian Tan Giant Buddha Statue as if on a pilgrimage 
Seeing such fluid display of human genius in contrasts with the natural world is wondrous. Iron birds suspended in the air – an arresting and thoroughly new age art.

When I am up there riding the metal bird, and watching other tourists staring in awe, I feel like I am part of that piece of art: the many wonders of human genius.

I am really happy to experience such breathtaking aerial connection between me, nature and the powers of technology – a total travel experience.

Hong Kong is truly Asia’s world city.


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References:
» “The Moving Experience Begin” The NP360 Experience. Ngong Ping Cable Car. Ngong Ping 360 official website. [Retrieved: 27 March 2012]
»  Hong Kong Tourism Board. “Ngong Ping 360” [Retrieved: 27 March 2012]
» Ngong Ping 360. Wikipedia Entry [Retrieved: 27 March 2012]
» Related News: Cagape, Elmer W. “HK: Ngong Ping 360′s latest mishap” Asian Correspondent.[Retrieved: 27 March 2012]
» Related Travel Experience: Cagape, Elmer W. “My Ngong Ping 360 Trip” [Retrieved: 27 March 2012]







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About the Blogger

Yodi Insigne
Yodi de Veas Insigne is one of those delusional sorts who imagines himself a useful contributor to the greater blogosphere (Well, that's what he's trying to accomplish).

He started blogging for three reasons:

1. He always felt he has something important to say,
2. Books can make him cry,
3. He want to sleep at night.

He is a certified bookworm, travel junkie, shutterbug, movie freak, Mangyan freethinker who sleeps a lot and think a lot. He got a little vice, which is black coffee and cashew nuts. He got colorblindness on yellow and green - and he freaking loves it!

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