Ride the Cable Car to Ngong Ping then hike back

Big Buddha cable car

Looking for something to do with the kids in Hong Kong? Take advantage of the missing tourists and become one yourself! Guarantee the kids will love the Cable car to Ngong Ping, topped off by an interesting hike back through the forest on the Rescue Trail. A 5.7km trail full of ups and downs.

Start your journey at the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

While you can hike this trail either way (or both ways for the die-hards!) the easiest and most scenic is to ride the Cable Car from Tung Chung one way to Ngong Ping and hike back. 

Start your day at Tung Chung, if arriving by MTR the directions are well signposted for the short walk to the Cable Car. 

Tickets

Check out the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car website for the current ticket prices. 

If you search online, there are a few options for discounted tickets (around 10-15% off). Klook have some good package deals, however, for one-way, they only offered tickets for Crystal Cabin (glass floor). Some credit cards also offer deals on tickets. Bear in mind though that most aren’t able to be purchased on the day, need to pre-purchase.

Or take the bus

Bus #23 from the Tung Chung Bus Terminal will take you to Ngong Ping via the south side of Lantau Island in approximately 1 hour. You can find more details here.

Enjoy your glide over the mountains

Whether you choose a Crystal Cabin or regular, there is no denying the ride, and in particular, the view is superb. A unique opportunity for a birds-eye view over Hong Kong International Airport will raise many questions from the kids. From the fuel farm to the freight terminal, the maintenance hangars to the taxiways, be sure to explain to them all the facets that make an airport work.

Pay your respects to the Big Buddha

Opened in 1993, the Tian Tan Buddha, known as the Big Buddha due to its enormous size, is one of Hong Kong’s most famous landmarks. Standing at 34m tall, the bronze statue of Buddha Shakyamuni is well worth the 268 stairs to reach. 

From the cable car, walk through the Ngong Ping Village, past Starbucks and continue to the Piazza where you’ll see the huge staircase to reach the Buddha. 

A visit to the Po Lin Monastery is also a must while here.

Start your hike

After ensuring the kids are fed and watered, it’s time to hit the trails! Make your way back to the Cable Car station, down the stairs and head back towards Tung Chung. You’ll find the entrance to the Lantau Trail signposted, which leads you along a concrete path. This is the start of the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail.

After a few hundred meters take a right turn to continue on the Lantau Trail.

The Lantau Trail veers up the stairs to the right. You need to continue straight ahead on the Nei Lak Shan Country trail.

Cable car hike distance posts

Along the trail, you’ll see these distance markers. Starting with 30 at Ngong Ping, they count down to 0 once you reach the bottom of the rescue trail (not Tung Chung!)

Stay on the concrete path which will lead you to a great vantage point under the Cable car tower. Once underneath the towers, you’ll notice some tracks leading to a short climb to a small hill which is a great spot for a picnic, offering superb views. It’s quite open here though, so would be quite hot in summer.

The never-ending stairs!

The only way is down from here on. Spare a thought for the masses you’ll pass going up, it’s a brutal climb for them! The trail does get more interesting though, with some great elevated wooden platforms through quite a dense forest.

* Be sure to hold onto your kids as most of the platforms don’t have barriers on the sides and the stairs can be very steep.

Expect a short climb up these stairs before making your way down a mountain of stairs over the other side. The views will make any whinging by the little ones worthwhile!

That's all the hard work done

Congratulations, you’ve now finished with the stairs! Turn right here and the trail is a flat path taking you towards Yat Tung Estate. If you still have some energy, take a detour to the Tung Chung Fort. Originating in the 12th century, the Tung Chung Fort served in various battles yet still stands today.

From here to Tung Chung MTR is a 2km walk or a short taxi ride should there be a high chance of whinge. If you are unable to find a taxi, try the Hk Taxi App.

Check out our Hiking Tips for Families page for some great tips before you set off!

 

Lamma Wind Turbine Hike – take the Adventurous Route!

Lamma Island Power Station
Lamma Island wind turbine

For those looking to go off the beaten path, the Lamma Wind Turbine hike, while slightly more difficult than the Family Trail, is still quite an easy day out. This was our 5-year-olds first proper hike in Kong Kong, whist a little bit whingy was certainly achievable.

Getting to Lamma Island

Lamma Island Ferry MapThe only way to reach Lamma Island is by ferry. You have two main Ports on the Island served by the ferries. The hike takes you from one port across the island to the other. The options are from

• Central Pier 4: Most frequent services run to Yung Shue Wan. Services also operate to Sok Kwu Wan.
Timetable from Central

• Aberdeen: Yung Shue Wan only (via Mo Tat Wan) approximately every 90 minutes.
Timetable from Aberdeen

Both options are quite cheap, with different timings during the week compared to the weekends. If boarding via Aberdeen, you could always combine the trip with a Sampan ride through the Aberdeen Marina. The kids will love it! 

Choose your Starting and finishing locations

This walk across the island is about 5km in length. You have the option of walking in either direction, however, there are far more dining options in Yung Shue Wan, so plan your hike to either start or finish there based on your eating schedule. On the other side, Sok Kwu Wan is home to some fairly well-known seafood restaurants, however, expect to pay through the nose for some underwhelming options there. The only upside being some of these restaurants offer a free Ferry service back to Central.

Get off the concrete and onto the Trail

Kamikaze Cave
Kamikaze Cave

We chose to start from Sok Kwu Wan, should you start from Yung Shue Wan just reverse the directions.
Make your way along the Lamma Island Family Trail. The first point of interest is the Kamikaze Caves. A series of caves built by the Japanese during WW2 to hide their ‘kamikaze team’ of boats.

Lamma trail directions
Find the thin bush trail

After passing the Lookout Pavillion, take the next trail to the right. Head up along this concrete path up the hill for 200m. Keep your eyes peeled at this point for a thin trail cutting through the bush on the left. From here you’ll make your way along this fairly thin track traversing across the center of the Island. You’ll find great views of both sides of Lamma, with fish farms on one side and the Power Station on the other. Due to being a bush track, and having a few steep sections I’ve categorized this one in the ‘Little bit Whingy’ section. 

Lamma island hike Fish Farms
Fish Farms
Lamma Island Power Station
Lamma Power Station

After approximately 1 hour you will reach the Lamma Wind Power Station. Constructed in 2006, this single Wind Turbine was the first of its kind in Hong Kong. Generating enough electricity to power 250 homes, the kids will love getting up close to these massive 50m long blades.

Time for a swim?

From here you are back on the concrete, following the signs downhill to Yung Shue Wan. If the kids are screaming for a swim, it’s not far to backtrack to the Hung Shing Ye or Lamma Power Station beaches for a swim and ice-cream.

Should the little ones whinge? Be sure to arm yourself with the Geocaching App. Find out more here.

Hope you enjoyed the Lamma Wind Turbine hike, leave your comments or tips below.

Lamma Island hiking map