How to get to the Big Buddha and Tai O by public transport: Lantau, Hong Kong
A day trip to the Big Buddha and Lantau Island is a must do on any Hong Kong trip. We prefer to travel independently and the availability of the MTR, public buses and the Ngong Ping cable car mean public transport is an excellent option for a Lantau day trip.
It’s possible to visit Tai O and the Big Buddha for less than US $20. Here’s our step by step guide to a budget friendly, do it yourself day trip to the Big Buddha, Tai O and Lantau Island. Happy travels!
Getting to The Big Buddha
1 | Take the MTR to Tung Chung
Take the MTR to Tung Chung and leave the MTR Station at Exit B. Tung Chung is a hub of transport options to Lantau with both the buses and the Ngong Ping Cable Car departing from the square at Tung Chung.
From Tung Chung there are two options to get to the Big Buddha: public bus and cable car. The queues for the bus and the cable car can be long (we had to abandon our trip on our first attempt as the queues were over an hour!) so go early to try to avoid this!
Cost: the price of a single fare MTR varies but it is typically between HK $5 to HK $20.
2a| Take the 23 Bus to Ngong Ping
The bus terminal is directly across from the Tung Chung MTR station and is easily accessible by leaving the station at exit B. Bus 23 goes directly to Ngong Ping Village which is home to the Big Buddha and the journey takes approximately 50 minutes.
Cost: New Lantau bus fares range from HK $3.1 to HK $43.0
2b| Take the Ngong Ping Cable Car to Ngong Ping Village
To access the Ngong Ping Cable Car station leave the Tung Chung MTR station at Exit B. The Ngong Ping Cable Car also departs from Tung Chung and goes directly to Ngong Ping Village which is home to the Big Buddha. The Ngong Ping Cable car operates between Tung Chung and Ngong Ping and takes about 25 minutes each way. There is a choice between a more expensive glass bottom crystal cabin and a standard cabin. We took the standard cabin and it was great.
Opening hours: The cable car runs from 10am to 6pm on weekdays and 9am to 6:30pm on weekends. Note: there are a number of scheduled maintenance days so do check the website for details if your heart is set on the Cable Car.
Cost: A single trip on the cable car costs HK $115 for a standard cabin and $180 for a crystal cabin. A return trip is priced between HK $165 and HK $230 depending on the cabin.
Getting to Tai O
It’s also possible to make a trip to Tai O, Hong Kong’s oldest fishing village. The slow paced village is in complete contrast to the hustle, bustle and craziness of Hong Kong.
3 | Bus to Tai O
There are two bus routes which allow the inclusion of a visit to Tai O on a Lantau day trip.
3a | Tai O followed by the Big Buddha
The first option is to go directly to Tai O from Tung Chung (bus 11) and then take a second bus (bus 21) to Ngong Ping and the Big Buddha. From there, take bus 23 or the cable car back to Tung Chung.
3b | The Big Buddha followed by Tai O
To visit the Big Buddha first follow step 2 above and then, from Ngong Ping, take bus 21 to Tai O. To return to Tung Chung, Bus 11 travels from Tai O to Tung Chung.
Cost: Bus fares range from HK $3.1 to HK $43.0
A boat ride!
Let’s face it, we all love a good boat ride on a vacation and it’s entirely possible to incorporate some ferry action into a Lantau day trip. Hop off the MTR at Hong Kong Station and take exit E1 to Central Pier 6. Take the ferry to Mui Wo and, from there, Bus 2 departs to Ngong Ping Village, a 40 minute journey.
Cost: The ferry costs HK $13.20 and the bus fares range from HK $3.1 to HK $43
So there you have, a do it yourself day trip to Lantau from Hong Kong. By using a mix of the MTR, the ferry and the New Lantau buses it is entirely possible to make the trip cheaply from Hong Kong. The cable car is a more expensive option but it’s an awesome way to travel between Tung Chung and Ngong Ping!