Saturday, March 16, 2013

~ Hong Kong 2012 - Day 4 (Part 2) Wisdom Path & Ngong Ping 360 ~

Even though we have been to Po Lin temple many times, somehow we did not have the opportunity to visit the Wisdom Path due to shortage of time. Quietly tuck away in the woods, we took on a scenic walk which is about 15-20 minutes walk from the Big Buddha.

Following the sign boards along the way, we passed by a "Teahouse" and a tea garden. Continuing the nature trail through the woods was refreshing. We were rewarded with the beauty of the mountain scenary and the wooden columns standing tall before us.

Wisdom Path traces a series of 38 timber columns with inscription of the Heart Sutra; one of the world's best known prayers revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike. They have been arranged in a figure-of-eight configuration, "∞" symbolising infinity. The column located at the highest point of the hill is left blank to suggest the concept of "emptiness", a key theme in the Heart Sutra.

It started to rain shortly after we arrived, but we continued our climb up to have a good look at the inscriptions. Personally, I enjoyed the peacefulness and tranquility standing within the mountains. There aren't as many tourists here as compared to the Big Buddha and Monastery, but it is definitely worthy to take on the trail to the Wisdom Path.

It was a shame that the rain shortened our stay at the Wisdom Path but we managed to take some nice shots before making our way back to the temple.

We were famished after climbing 256 steps up to the Big Buddha and braving through the rain back from the Wisdom Path. Luckily, we purchased our vegetarian meal coupons from the ticket office (below the Tian Tan Buddha Statue) in the morning to save us the trouble of thinking where we could settle our lunch.

There are two choices of set meal available;
Deluxe Meal (HKD 110 per pax) - VIP room
General Meal (HKD 70 per pax) - Open seating area

Hubby opt for the Deluxe menu since we have not tried dining at the Monastery and for better comfort. Meal time starts from 11:30am onwards and we were taken to a table inside the air-conditioned restaurant.

We were one of the earliest diners to arrive and the food was served to our table very soon. Free flow of steam rice and tea are available but the 6 dishes were so filling that we can't even finish our own bowl of rice.

1. Mix Mushroom Soup - Appetizer of the day.
2. Deep Fried Bean Curd sheet with Lemon sauce - I love this dish the most!
3. Fresh Lotus with Potato Paste - We had a hard time finishing this dish due to the exotic taste and flavour. Gave it a miss.
4. Black Mushroom with vegetable - The mushrooms are tender and yummlicious. Vegetables are refreshing and nice.
5. Deep Fried Vegetarian Spring Roll - Denver & Gladys favourite dish!
6. Asparagus with Mix Mushroom & Cashew Nuts- a dish for all to enjoy with crunchy vegetables and nuts for the kiddos.

We are not fans of vegetarian meals and this is probably one of the super rare occasions where we are actually indulging in non-meaty food! We pretty much enjoyed our lunch (except for the lotus dish) and it was filling and satisfying. However, I find the pricing a bit steep especially for young children who are not big eaters and may not be able to appreciate an all vegetable meal.

Outside of the VIP room is the open air seating area for regular meal diners. We spotted a vegetarian dessert & snack counter at the end and could not resist walking over to take a peek. Despite stuffing ourselves with a super duper heavy lunch earlier, we bought egg tart, mango pudding and bao to share. I must say I am delighted with the vegetarian dishes that we have tried so far and will be back to try out other snacks on our next visit. :)

Exiting Po Lin Monastery, we headed towards Ngong Ping Village - a cultural themed village, incorporating two major attractions, Walking with Buddha and the Monkey's Tale Theatre. There are also various shops and dining options within the village.

Hubby spotted the banner of another stall (龙辉山水豆腐花) selling soya bean curb and we believe this could be the actual stall that we have patronised many years ago! The best way to confirm our doubts is to give its 豆腐花  a taste test.

Verdict : its soya bean curb is definitely much smoother and tastier. Although we did not see the Granny, we hope this is the one that we have been looking for all this while. There are many stalls selling 山水豆腐花, but according to some comments online, this may be the authenticate stall that uses 泉水 to make its soya bean curb.

It's time to make our way down from the Monastery. We bought our cable car tickets and hopped onto one of the cabins.

The view from the top is always so fascinating. Tian Tan Buddha looked majestic even from afar.

We can also get a good view of the airport from our cabin.

Citygate Outlets is a heaven for shoppers with more than 80 international brands (e.g. Esprit, Nike, Coach, Crocs etc) all under one roof. Cinema and F&B outlets are also house within Citygate, giving its visitors an all-rounded shopping experience.

There are so much to explore at Lantau Island. Apart from island hopping, shopping, visiting the Big Buddha, Disneyland (which we will be heading to next) is also located nearby. Planning your trip to Lantau Island well is strongly advisable to make your visiting experience a fruitful and enjoyable one. :)

Places of Interest 
Wisdom Path 
Ngong Ping 360

Address: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Outlying Islands How to Get there: MTR, Tung Chung Station, Exit B.

  • take Ngong Ping Cable Car, (~25 minutes). Walk for around 10 minutes to the Monastery.
  • take New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre, (~45 minutes). Walk for eight minutes.

  • Wisdom Path - From the Monastery, follow the signs to the Tea Garden and walk through the hiking trail from the Tea Garden's entrance for approximately 15 minutes.


    Citygate Outlet
    Address:  20 Tat Tung Road, Tung Chung, Lantau, Hong Kong  
    How to get there: MTR, Tung Chung Station, Exit B.

    Vegetarian Kitchen - Po Lin Monastery (寶蓮禪寺齋堂)
    Address: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong 

    Address: Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
    How to Get there: MTR, Tung Chung Station, Exit B.

  • take Ngong Ping Cable Car, (~25 minutes). Walk for around 10 minutes to the Monastery.
  • take New Lantao Bus 23 from Tung Chung Town Centre, (~45 minutes). Walk for eight minutes.

    rebecca said...

    great post. enjoyed reading your stay in hong kong. got lots of tips and ideas from your post. I am planning to visit hong kong with my teen boy this summer. Thanks to you, I am starting to have ideas of where to go and what to do.

    Phoebe said...

    Hi Rebecca,

    Glad to hear that you find the information helpful. :) Have a happy vacation in Hong Kong!


    Post a Comment