I recently traveled to Israel and, on my way there, had around 14 hours to kill during my stop in Hong Kong. I’ve been to Hong Kong before so I didn’t feel the need to go far from the airport. Here are things I did and considered for my recent stop in Hong Kong.
What will I do with my luggage?
I used two different airlines – Cebu Pacific Air for Manila-Hong Kong and Cathay Pacific Airlines for Hong Kong-Tel Aviv. This meant that my luggage was not checked all the way to my final destination.
When faced with this kind of situation, I usually look for a bag storage facility so I can leave my bag (for a fee) and go on exploring. Baggage storage is available in Hong Kong International Airport on Level 3 of Terminal 2. Here are some details about the facility:
- Operates daily from 5:30 to 1:30 of the next day.
- Hourly rate is HKD 12 (~USD 1.53) per piece.
- Daily rate is HKD 140 (~USD 17.87) per piece.
- Standard rates are for “items not exceeding 30kgs in weight or the total dimensions not exceeding 199cm (Length + Width + Height).” Oversized items will incur additional charges.
- Pay upon collection using cash or card (Visa, MasterCard, or UnionPay)
A bag storage is another cost that would have been included in my budget. Thankfully, I didn’t need to! Cathay Pacific has self check-in and self bag-drop facilities in Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). That made things convenient for me. Visit this page of Cathay Pacific to learn more on its self-service facilities.
I arrived and finished immigration procedure in HKIA at around 9:00 or 9:30 in the morning. I then went straight to Cathay Pacific’s self service facilities in aisle C of Terminal 1 to get rid of my luggage. My next flight is scheduled to depart at 1:00 AM the next day.
Where will I go?
I didn’t want to go downtown anymore so I decided to just stay in Lantau Island and visit Ngong Ping Village. I’ve visited it before in 2010 but I didn’t mind paying it a visit again. Besides, I wasn’t able to go all the way up to the Big Buddha before.
HKIA to Ngong Ping Village via Cable Car
I took Bus S56 from HKIA to Tung Chung Cable Car terminal. It’s a short ride and the fare was only HKD 3.50 per person. Passengers can pay in cash or using octopus card. If paying in cash, note that no change is provided so better have an exact amount with you. If you want to have an octopus card, you can get one from the Airport Express ticketing counter in terminal 1.
Funny experience – I wasn’t paying attention to the stops and I eventually realized that I missed my stop. So I took Bus S56 and went on a circular tour going back to the airport. I took it again and got it right the second time 😂
I booked my cable car ride online a day ahead in order to avail of the 12% online discount for the round trip ticket (crystal + standard cabins). Mobile ticket will be sent which can be used to go straight to the boarding area in Tung Chung Terminal. It’s a good way to avoid the queue at the ticketing area. You cannot avoid the boarding queue, though 🙂 I queued up at the boarding area for about 30 minutes before I was able to ride a crystal cabin going up to Ngong Ping Village. There are separate queues for standard and crystal cabins.
Crystal cabin passengers are given a paper bracelet at the boarding area entrance. Queues are also marked to differentiate the line for standard from the line for crystal. Do read markings provided in the terminal so you won’t end up in the wrong queue.
The cable car operates daily – 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays, 9 AM to 6:30 PM on weekends/holidays. When booking your ticket online, the time slot you choose doesn’t matter. Your mobile ticket will be honored any time on your selected date. Visit Ngong Ping cable car’s website for more details.
Ngong Ping Village
My plan was to go up to the Big Buddha and then visit the Wisdom Path. I made it up to the Big Buddha but I didn’t make it to the Wisdom Path. I was very sweaty when I finished going up 268 steps to the Big Buddha and my backpack (which has my laptop) started to feel heavy on my back.
I just spent time going around the small museum and looking up close at the Big Buddha and other statues then I finally went down the 268 steps. I rested for a while at the shaded seating area in front of the Po Lin Monastery and spent my quiet time people watching 🙂 When I felt well rested, I headed to the cable car terminal and took the standard cabin going down. I decided to kill the rest of my time at the airport by watching shows in Netflix. If you’re curious on other things you can do in Ngong Ping, check-out the suggested itineraries in Ngong Ping 360’s website.
Below are some photos I took that day 🙂
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Took 268 steps to see the Big Buddha closer. Surrounding it are these statues. The Big Buddha can be visited for free. You'd only part ways with your money (HK$ 110) if you want to take the meal served upstairs. • • Tian Tan Buddha (Big Buddha), Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong • 20 Aug 2018