When we started planning our trip to Hong Kong last year I knew there would be no way we would be able to get to see everything this amazing cosmopolitan city has to offer. After all, we would only be there for 4 days and the lists of top 10 things to see seemed to include way too many picks. After perusing several blogs and travel guides we realized that the only way we could see every single kid-friendly venue would be if we actually moved there so right then and there I decided to just choose one or two “must see” places and play it by ear for the rest. We knew that we had to visit Hong Kong Disney and that we wanted to at least visit one outdoor park considering that in Jakarta we rarely got to play outside.
After looking at the brochures at our hotel and talking the concierge we opted to do the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. We though that would satisfy at least the boys demand to do something related to a mode of transportation and my craving for some fresh air and good old walking.
The Ngong Ping is easily accessible by MTR and the signs leading to the ticket booths are very clear and self-explanatory. Although we arrived about 20 minutes after they opened, the lines were already long. It is obviously a very popular tourist destination so much so that the parking lot nearby was replete with tour buses. Perhaps it was bad timing, but we were already there and we were determined to get on that cable car.
We were given the choice to buy “crystal” and standard cabin tickets. The crystal cabin has a glass floor. We opted to buy the round trip that included the crystal cabin on the way up and the standard one coming down. About an hour and a half, two hot dogs and a few hot teas later, we finally boarded our pod.
I was so excited for this journey and was curious to see how the kids reacted. As soon as we boarded, the kids were surprised to be able to see right through the floor! Evan was concerned that we might fall through and Josh was scared and didn’t want to even step on the floor for the first few minutes.
As our “flight” commenced, I couldn’t help but look out the side windows. The bottom window was pretty cool but the scenery was just beautiful. I think I hadn’t seen so much green in a long time. The views of the bay and the far a way urban landscape were just beautiful.
A few minutes into our ride, the boys started getting more confident and less scared and started being silly. We had so much fun just taking pictures and doing silly things. At some point Evan said he was flying and Josh followed suit. I think riding the crystal cabin was totally worth it.
When we arrived at the Village we were pleasantly surprised to find so many things to do. The place was beautiful. To me, it looked like a Chinese village taken right out of a Disney fairytale. Everything was extremely clean and well maintained. The restaurants were fabulous, the bathrooms were clean, even the brick roads looked perfect. We really enjoyed walking all over the place.
One of the main attractions in Ngong Ping is the giant Buddha. If you are in a hiking mood you can go up to pay him a visit. In fact there are tons of things to do at Ngong Ping. From visiting a fishing village to taking a Tai Chi lesson at the cultural center and going on a boat tour, you can pretty much spend all day in Lantau and Ngong Ping. We didn’t do it since we thought the kids were too young to enjoy it and we wanted to make the most of our short time in Hong Kong.
After a few hours walking around and indulging in the sweet smell of fresh air, we started heading back to the cable cars not without taking a few last pics and chasing the boys around one more time.
Visiting Ngong Ping is a great option for families with little ones. The cable car ride is an adventure by itself and just being to let the kids walk around without worrying about cars driving by or any other danger is a treat for those of us living Asia’s urban jungles.
- Buy your tickets online! We made the mistake of not doing that since we hadn’t been home for a while but I really wish I had avoided the long line.
- Be aware that if you have a small party and it is very busy you will share your cabin with other guests. On the way up we shared the cabin with a couple but coming down we flew solo.
- Several restaurants are available at the Ngong Ping Village. From subway and a Mediterranean fast food restaurant to nicer higher end spots (and a Starbucks), you can be sure to find something you and your little ones will be willing to eat.
- The Village is pretty stroller friendly so if you can fit it in the cable car, you can bring it up. It was nice to have the stroller for Josh since he fell asleep.
- There are several souvenir stores there. I think you can get better (and cheaper) stuff at the street markets but you can still find a few unique things. We got the cutest panda-shaped espresso cups. Every time I use them I’m reminded of our super fun trip.
- If you feel like shopping, there’s a huge “outlet” mall right between the cable car station and the MRT. Although the prices are not as low as I was expecting, some stores had wonderful sales and I was able to buy a few outfits for the boys. The food court there was one of the best ones I’ve ever seen. I had an amazing fresh juice and ramen, the hubby had Cantonese food and my mom opted for Thai food. Definitely worth stopping by if you are in the mood for some awesome Asian fare.