While you could spend a third day -- and even a fourth and a fifth -- visiting more attractions and soaking up Hong Kong's lively street life, visitors with limited time in Hong Kong should consider an excursion to Lantau, home of a giant outdoor Buddha and adjoining monastery offering vegetarian lunches.

Start: Central Ferry Piers.

1. Ferry to Lantau

Though you can now reach Lantau via MTR followed by cable car, I recommend this old-fashioned method of transportation on your outbound journey; from the outdoor deck in deluxe class you're treated to great views. Aim for the 8:30am ferry departure to Mui Wo (9am on Sun).


2. Bus to Ngong Ping Plateau

Bus no. 2 from Silvermine Bay (Mui Wo in Chinese) hurtles around hair-raising curves through lush countryside on its 45-minute trip to Ngong Ping.

3. Giant Buddha

Built in 1993, this is the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha. Climb 260-some steps to the viewing platform for sweeping views from Ngong Ping Plateau, 738m (2,420 ft.) above sea level.

4. Wisdom Path

Large wooden pillars, placed in the form of a figure eight to symbolize infinity, display the Heart Sutra, a centuries-old prayer revered by Confucians, Buddhists, and Taoists alike.


5. Po Lin Monastery

Dining at this monastery was a draw long before the Giant Buddha and other attractions arrived. Choose from two fixed-price vegetarian meals, served daily 11:30am to 4:30pm. Don't miss the monastery's ornate temple, which houses three bronze statues of Buddha representing the past, present, and future. tel. 852/2985 5248.

6. Ngong Ping Village

Ngong Ping's newest attraction features Walking with Buddha, a multimedia experience relating Siddhartha's path to enlightenment, and Monkey's Tale Theatre, which presents the parable of a selfish monkey who learns a lesson about sharing and kindness; restaurants and shops can also be found.


7. Ngong Ping Skyrail

This cable car travels 5.7km (3 1/2 miles) in about 25 minutes, providing panoramic views of Lantau, the South China Sea, even the airport.

8. Citygate

The cable car deposits you at Tung Chung, where you'll find Hong Kong's only outlet mall offering discounts on international name brands.

Take the MTR to Central's Hong Kong Station.

9. Take a Break -- Lan Kwai Fong

It's a party scene every night in Lan Kwai Fong, Hong Kong's most famous nightlife district. Bars and restaurants beckon with open facades, and the action invariably spills onto the streets.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.