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In Lantau Island

May 3rd, 2009

Now we go to the other part of Hong Kong, Lantau Island. There are 2 attractive sites: Ngong Ping Village with the Giant Buddha, and Disneyland! Because we wanted to see the great Disneyland fireworks at 8 PM, so first we went to Giant Buddha in the morning. Giant Buddha is located in Ngong Ping village, where we only can reach it safely by cable car. I said safely, because actually there is another way to reach the village which is located quite high on the hill. From above I could see some people do tracking to go there.

Around 8 AM we started to go out. From Mong Kok MRT Station to Tung Chung Cable Car Terminal only takes 45 minutes. Opening hours of this terminal is 10.00 am – 6.00 pm on normal days, and 9.00 am – 6.30 pm on weekend and public holidays. We bought round trip ticket of Standard Cabin Cable Car, each HKD 96. There are 2 types of cabin, the standard one and the crystal cabin has transparant glass in the bottom part. Can you imagine that, like you’re standing in the air. Since it’s more expensive and I am not brave enough for taking it (maybe I would close my eyes along the way haha), my friends and I took the standard one. It takes about 25 minutes to get to Ngong Ping village. Along the way we can view Hong Kong International Airport, Tung Chung Bay, Lantau North Country Park, and of course the Tian Tan Buddha.

We walked through chinese restaurants, vegetarian stalls (the way Buddhist monks eat), Buddha souvenir shops, and fake Bodhi Tree (where Buddha spent his meditation). Like Borobudur in Indonesia, we need to climb the stairs to reach the statue. It’s quite high (wiki said 268 steps) but not too tiring, even aunties and uncles can climb well and fast, d’oh. We climbed at almost noon, so it’s VERY hot, sisters and brothers, you should bring your umbrella, hat, handy fan, water, sunglasses, or anything that can make you feel cool and chilly a little bit!

After taking pictures for a while, we turned down to visit Po Lin Monastery temple. At that time, there is a celebration of Shakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday, so it’s fulled with banners, flowers and smoke of sticks (hio) when some visitors are praying.

We had lunch in Food Republic at Citygate Tung Chung. This mall contains of branded factory outlets, so everything must be very cheap. But since we’re in a rush to get to Disneyland at noon, we skipped shopping there. To get into Disneyland, transit in Sunny Bay MTR Station which is only 1 station ahead from Tung Chung, then take this cute train (bonus: a masked guy)!!

Yep, the window shape is Mickey’s head. Once you get off the train, you come into Disney worlds, you don’t realize that you’re in Hong Kong anymore. “Here you leave today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow and fantasy”.

Like I said in previous posting, there’s a discounted Disneyland tickets from our hostel. So we bought the tix there the morning before we went out. HKDL Opening Hours: 10.00 – 19.00 on weekdays, 10.00 – 21.00 on weekends and holidays. On the gate, our bags were checked by security. Water is not allowed to be brought in from outside, they will take it. First, my friends and I took a tour in HKDL Railroad Train from Main Street Station, which is going around park to see the whole part. The park is actually not too big because HKDL Railroad finished to take us around only in 15 minutes.

(While I am writing this, I listen to Disney songs to remind me of my journey back there). There are 4 parts of HKDL: Adventure Land, Main Street, U.S.A, Fantasy Land and Tomorrow Land. Recommended attractions not to be missed:

1. Festival of the Lion King
It is located in Theatre in the Wild, Adventure Land. A musical colorful pageant inspired by animated film “The Lion King” lasts for 30 minutes live. You will find familiar songs of Lion King like Hakuna Matata, I Just Can’t Wait to Be King, Can You Feel the Love Tonight. And the dances are awesome!

2. Jungle River Cruise
Still in Adventure Land, we can take the adventure of humorous tour for 8 minutes to sail the mysterious river full of wild animals. Tours are offered in Cantonese, Putonghua (standard Chinese language) and English, you should line up in the right queue.

3. Day Parade Performance
It’s daily parade on 3.30 PM. The best parade viewings are around Main Street, U.S.A and in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. All Disney characters will come out to parade with dances and songs.

4. Mickey’s PhilharMagic
An amazing 3-dimensional screen that showcases some of the most memorable moments in Disney animated films. Well in my case, they showed Donald Duck’s stupidipity. It’s like real, when Donald get wet in the screen, water from somewhere spotted my face. When Donald swing on the air by Aladdin’s carpet, wind blew my face. It is hilarious.

5. The Golden Mickeys
It is located in Disney’s Storybook Theatre, Fantasy Land. A beautifully decorated theatre showcases a live “awards” musical. This 30-minutes show has all our favorite Disney characters. I love Beauty and the Beast!

6. Space Mountain
Located in Tomorrow Land, a thrilling high-speed journey to the far reaches of the universe and back on this interstellar roller coaster. Enough to make me nauseous.

7. Disney in the Stars
Fireworks are held daily near the closing time of the park, lasts about 20 minutes, transforms the sky above Sleeping Beauty Castle into a stunning evening spectacle. In the same time, on walls of the castle we can see picked out of animated magic Disney films, like Aladdin, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast along with the soundtracks.

I had soooo much fun!! Nice to be child again 🙂
After fireworks, we went back to Kowloon… to shop in Ladies Market. Yes, the day is not finished yet. Ladies Market opens until 11 PM, there we can find Hong Kong souvenirs and cheap KW bags (pirated branded bags) like in Mangga Dua Jakarta.

OK, that’s it for today.

(*)Courtesy to Arie for some pictures. Click the images for bigger view.


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