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How to get there? + TIPS?!

Getting around Bohol Island? + TIPS?!

Place to stay? Henann Resort Alona Beach

Sights & Sounds on Bohol Island? Bohol Countryside Tour!

Dumaluan Beach

Manmade Forest

Chocolate Hills

Hanging Bridge

Hinagdanan Cave

Bohol! A little island province of the Philippines located in the Central Visayas region. Its capital? Tagbilaran City!

Since we were travelling around Cebu (which is another island province to the West of Bohol), we decided to spend a few days exploring this nearby area where the major geographic landmark attraction lies in Carmen, Bohol; the Chocolate Hills!

 

How to get there? + TIPS?!

Option #1: Cebu City to Bohol

If you are going straight to Bohol from Cebu city, then this is quite a hassle- free option!

Take a metered- taxi from your hotel stay in the city or from the airport and get the driver to take you to the ferry terminal. As there are a few ferry terminals in Cebu city, let the driver know you are heading to Bohol, so he could direct you to the right ferry terminal that actually has ferry services that operate from Cebu city to Bohol.

If I did recall correctly, the taxi ride costs about 60(ish) pesos from our hotel at Best Western Plus Lex Cebu to the ferry terminal. It was definitely less than 100 pesos for sure.

We were brought straight to the ferry ticketing booths. There were a few ferry companies to choose from, with a wide selection of timings (clearly pasted at the front booths), comfort levels (wider seats, etc.), and duration of the ferry journey.

We took OceanJet.

Since the ferry ride is at most 2 hours long, we weren’t particular about which ferry company to choose. As long as we could get to Bohol the quickest, we were pretty cool with any!

Option #2: Cebu City to Liloan (Santander) to Dumaguete to Bohol

So if you are already travelling around Cebu, and obviously deviating far from Cebu City, then this option is really feasible! I stand by this!

I usually do not like to retract my steps, and I would try to find all sort of ways not to do so, unless I really can’t find any viable option. But, fret not, in this case I have found it!

It really does save you a hell load of travelling time as compared to you heading back to Cebu City AGAIN (which, mind you, is an approximately 4 hours bus ride if you start from Santander- South end of Cebu island), and to take Option #1 when travelling to Bohol!

‘Cause is there a saying that goes something like this- if you are riding with the locals, then you ain’t doing it wrong?! Right? 😀

So here goes… …

If you are travelling from Cebu city to explore other parts of Cebu (countryside) along the way… …

Then, from your city accommodation, take a metered- taxi to the Cebu South Bus Terminal; located near Elizabeth Mall. Get the AIR-CON bus tickets as the price difference is really not that much anyway!

These bright yellow Ceres public buses are by far the cheapest mode of transportation around Cebu, and are really hard to miss! Get on the bus that is bound for Oslob-Liloan Terminal or Liloan Port (you can stop at small villages en route to Liloan). The place you should be looking to alight is at Liloan Port. This is a mini bus and ferry port a.k.a Puerto Del Sur Passenger Terminal, Lilo-an Santander Cebu. You do not need to be afraid as to where you should alight because this Liloan Port is the terminal end for the Ceres bus!

If you are travelling from anywhere else in Cebu, but not from Cebu city… …

Then, just make sure you take any Ceres bus that is bound for Liloan Port or hire a private driver if you really want to ensure you are heading the right way. Ask your accommodation staff or any locals for help on which bus to board, I am sure they would help.

Liloan Port where you can purchase your ferry tickets to Dumaguete! The ferry would disembark at Sibulan Terminal over at Dumaguete.

Click here for ferry schedule from Liloan Port to Sibulan Terminal (vice versa).

Do take advantage of the fact that you are already at Dumaguete, and spend a day exploring the city! Take the first (and probably the only) ferry out to Bohol the following day!

It’s a definite win-win situation! You get to explore more places, en route to Bohol, without even backtracking! Yay! 😀

To ensure you do not miss your limited ferry ride out to Bohol, check out the ferry departure timings and its prices for OceanJet here!

TIPS?!

1

Don’t buy ferry tickets in advance!

There may bound to have ferry cancellations for who knows what reasons; you never know right? Hence, I feel there is no need to purchase your ferry tickets much earlier, online or what not.

If you have the intent to leave for Bohol, then just purchase the tickets then and there.

2

Check ferry departure timings online first!

Ferry operating companies, just like any airline flight companies, usually have departure timing schedules and price quotations on their official websites, along with the dates you would like to board.

So double check the timings prior, and head down to the ferry terminal slightly earlier to purchase the tickets to avoid missing a ferry and having to wait a long while for the next one.

3

Bring loads of seasick candies!

If you are a person who is easily down with motion sickness like me, go get yourself a bag or two (or three even, you never know 🙁 ) of sour gummies- gummy bears, gummy worms, anything sour!

The ride may be only about 2 hours, but it could be the most antagonising 2 hours of hell if you are nausea throughout. What I like to do is force sleep if possible, and if it doesn’t work (which usually it does work), then sour candy stuffing is my next best alternative.

 

Getting around Bohol Island? + TIPS?!

Getting around Bohol is ain’t as cheap in my opinion as there ain’t many taxis available once away from the capital; Tagbilaran City.

Upon disembarking the ferry either coming from Cebu city or Dumaguete, you would be greeted very welcomingly by private tour representatives, private drivers, hotel transfer staff from various hotels around, etc. It was extremely overwhelming I would say.

We didn’t arrange any hotel transfer thinking we could definitely get a taxi somewhere near the wharf. Well, it turns out taxi drivers love quoting prices way over the roof, and they refuse to go by the metered pricing. And well, there ain’t that many taxis around either. So either you get into the overpriced taxi, engaged a private driver or get the hotel transfer which obviously ain’t cheap as you pay for security I guess.

So how to get a good cheap(er) deal?

TIPS?!- Getting CHEAP(ER) HOTEL TRANSFER!

The key lies in your observation skills! Look for OTHER hotel transfer drivers with signboard of their guest names. These are drivers on official work duty to pick their guests from the wharf and back to the hotel safely.

What you need to do is to speak with these drivers and tell them you are going to whichever hotel you have booked. They will then quote you a price, and obviously you will have to say a flat,’NO.’ Then, ‘walk over’ to another hotel transfer driver, and try again. Usually within the first try, the first driver you spoke to earlier would budge and deduce the price. And if you still find it too pricey, and you can reject. #actofhaggling

Usually you would not need to reject them at all, because what they quote the second time is usually quite reasonable. What they are doing now is earning a quick buck using the company car. So either way, it is a win-win for everyone! Plus, it’s a added win for you because you will obviously and definitely be the first to alight at your hotel/resort! I mean, the driver cannot possibly be seen with non-guests in the company car right?

So there you have it, cheap(er) rates for hotel transfer from the wharf. The driver wins with extra earned pocket money, and so do you!

1. Taxi/ Tricycle within the capital; Tagbilaran City ONLY

Whilst travelling through Tagbilaran City, we saw taxis and tricycles (motorbikes with an attached passenger seating) here and there. Though not a lot like what you would see in Bangkok, Thailand, but it was definitely more compared to the other parts on Bohol island.

Taxis here are not metered- taxis, so remember to haggle if you need to before getting into one. Usually they quote prices double the metered- pricing. Tricycles work the same way.

2. Rent a motorbike

If I knew how to ride one, I would gladly use this mode of transportation. It is so much cheaper, and it’s basically a road trip through Bohol on two wheels! Yes, please!

But, alas, I know nuts about riding one. Maybe I should really consider learning.

3. Engage a private van/car

This is by far the easiest, idiot proof way to go. Though pricey, it was the best and fastest mode of transportation, aside motorbiking of course.

How this works is that you engage a private car driver (or a van, if you have a group of people), tell him where you want to go, and he will take you there. Basically, you plan your own tour itinerary around Bohol countryside, with your own personal ‘chauffeur’.

The ‘chauffeur’ did tell us his recommended itinerary, however, we just eliminated those that we found not as appealing and replaced them with sights/spots we wanted. Hence, I find this very flexible. It’s like a road trip, just that you are not behind the wheels. Talk about having the ‘princess treatment’, which I clearly do not need, but oh well, blame it on me not being able to ride a motorbike! I guess there’s always a hefty price to pay for being a ‘princess’ with a personal ‘chauffeur’.

We jammed packed as much countryside seeing within the time frame we engaged the chauffer’, which is a whole day affair from 9 am – 5 pm.

More of the countryside tour is down below… …

4. Ride the public bus

Unless you have all the time in the world, I do not ever suggest this mode of transport. It would take you ages to travel from one attraction to the next. So really, don’t even bother.

Either you get yourself the ‘princess treatment’ and engage a private driver, or ride a motorbike! Or just go on one of those group tours, if you do not want to plan your own itinerary.

5. Walking burns calories

And if all else fails, then well, the cheapest mode of transportation is your legs. Haha! #workthosecalories

 

Place to stay? Henann Resort Alona Beach

Cleanliness of room

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Location of resort

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Facilities

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Service of staff

🙂

Morning buffet spread

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Overall Rating

🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

This is by far the most lavish stay we had when in the Philippines. Which honestly, it is worth every penny we chipped in. Putting their staff service aside, this resort left us in awe, and still do. With a massive resort layout, and way too many swimming pools (not complaining here) that just awash the ground level, this resort just makes you believe you are living in celestial heaven. Just ethereal!

This is a new resort. During our stay, there was an entire block of rooms still under renovation. The best thing is all the facilities are well and running, so it really doesn’t affect the guests at current. I reckoned it was why the rates we got for the room ain’t as expensive as it would be, since the resort is still in the midst of rolling out.

Room type we stayed in

Superior Room
Rate/night (USD $)

114.96

The triumph card this resort has, I would say, is its location. Alona beach is very strategically located at the resort’s very own ‘backyard’! With limited transportation available on Bohol island, oh man, this is a definite plus point!

We got to waste the afternoon and night away by the beach, and not worry about transport back. Furthermore, there are many seaside restaurants just within minutes of sauntering along the beach. Indulge in a seafood feast, or enjoy a nice pizza, there are way too many food options here to satisfy your dinner cravings!

And if you are lucky, night street flame performers would get your adrenaline pumping and totally knock your socks off in admiration! To add on to the fun, and if you are a real daredevil, just volunteer yourself to be part of the flame throwing act! Now, that would be an experience you would remember for sure! 😀

Well, I guess this is a classic case of minimal service, and yet customers/guests would still return for all the other ‘perks’ the resort offers. And by ‘perks’, I really do mean the awesome location!

Sights & Sounds on Bohol Island? Bohol Countryside Tour!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0KDYDVJwMY[/youtube]

Rate (PHP $)

2900/ hired car (4 seater)
Duration

09  00 – 17 00

 

Dumaluan Beach

Dumaluan beach was definitely more happening than over at Alona beach. Crazy as this sounds, but it was true. Happening in the sense that more people are swimming in the water, more children are playing by the coast, and well, the sum it all; the day vibe was just much more upbeat! However, if you prefer a more night party scene, then Alona beach is more your groove.

Personally, I prefer Dumaluan beach. I am more of a day person. Haha!

 

Manmade Forest

The manmade mahogany forest stretches across 2 km. It is located between Loboc town and Bilar town, and it is the main road way en route to the long awaited Chocolate Hills at Carmen town! Basically, this was more of a pit stop!

The tall, similar height and densely planted mahogany trees were the corollary of the 1960s National Reforestation Program! So I guess, the people of the present are indeed reaping the benefits of the past!

Once in the canopy of the mahogany trees, the view was pretty much surreal when looking up! And with very few cars passing, snapping pictures in the middle of the road was really pretty much just a norm! Haha! 😀

 

Chocolate Hills

Entry fee/pax (PHP $)

50

And the long awaited Chocolate Hills at Carmen town! I saw this on Google whilst researching, and this definitely got my heart intertwined!

I loved pictures of them when they were all stained chocolaty during the dry season (late November to May), and when they were lush green on wetter season. Either way, it was just perfect to be looking at them under the bright illuminating natural sunlight when I was there!

So obviously we had to work for our views, and climbed a long flight of stairs; which would then open up to the viewing point of the Chocolate Hills! Magnificent!

TIPS?!

We each had to pay the entrance fee before the car could even advance further for us to alight. A receipt, together with orange stamp-looking coupons, would be presented to you.

Keep the receipt as the ticketing guy would have already noted your hired car license plate number on it. After you are done swooning over the Chocolate Hills, you could present the receipt to the booth near the area you alighted prior. They would then alert your hired driver to come get you!

The area is kind of small for all visitors’ cars to be parking there, so they use this system of relay!

 

Hanging Bridge

Entry fee/pax (PHP $)

20

According to some websites, this bridge at Sevilla town (which in my opinion, is hugely misleading and exaggerating) is said to be the ‘most dangerous’ bridge to cross. Well… … I embarrassingly believed those websites, and thought to myself, “Oh yes! A little adrenaline rush? Why not? Let’s do this!”

Well, if I had knew it was going to be like how I had experienced it, well… … Let’s just say, I would not go back for seconds. #justsaying

I mean it’s not that terrible. It’s just a… … Bridge. That. You. Cross… … -.-‘

There are some minor pit holes which your slipper could get caught in, and when you walk through the bamboo deck, the bridge would sway. With added people on it, the swaying gets rougher. Oh yeah… … But that was just about it. Nothing too adrenaline-rush-worthy.

Not to mention, every step you take, the bamboo deck might cave in a little under your weight (which is pretty normal, unless you are weightless that is). So I really don’t see the deal here. I don’t know, that’s probably just me. Maybe to others, it is quite scary. After all, I did hear screams.

There are two bridges, which allows you to move only in one direction (to and fro).

One for you to cross over to the other side of the Sipatan River, where there is a mini shop selling souvenirs and fresh coconut water, and the other bridge is for you to cross back. This really reduces the human traffic on the bridge, which makes it so much safer.

So no worries! Pretty much safe! That is… … Unless you are afraid of dogs like J. Haha! I recall there was a brown spotted white dog, just aimlessly crossing the bridge to and fro, and that totally got J’s legs to jelly mode on the bridge. It was hilarious.

To think that she could still help me snap some shots; kudos to her for being such a good sport! I wanted to snap some of her but I guess she just wanted to get the hell off the bridge with her jelly legs! Haha! 😀

 

Hinagdanan Cave

Entry fee/pax (PHP $)

25 (without swimming)
Car parking (PHP $)

15/car

If you have been to caves in Vietnam, then you would know Hinagdanan Cave is not even close. However, I would say this is a humble substitute? There is an option for swimming in the lagoon, and the entry fee to that would be slightly more than PHP $25.

There would be local guides loitering around the entrance of the cave offering to take you for a tour in the cave. If you do not want one, then remember to politely decline, or else they will tag alongside you into the cave, and oh hey, you just might have gotten yourself a guide in the cave. Haha!

The cave is small to not get lost in, hence, in my opinion, there is no need for a guide at all. If you are planning for a lagoon swim, be prepared to be photographed by other visitors who are in there. There is no such thing as a private swimming affair in the small cave, just for you information.

Overall, I would say this limestone cave on Panglao Island in Bohol is a refreshing start to a series of cave exploration around the world?

Carpe diem, you never know what the future would bring, so remember to Travel Whenever and start exploring!

Dee

Route:

Pak Kung Au -> Lantau Peak -> Wisdom Path -> Ngong Ping

Distance:

4 km (2.5 miles)

Average Trekking Time:

~ 5.5 – 6 hrs (includes lunch & photo snaps)

Difficulty:

🙂 🙂 🙂

Scenery:

🙂 🙂

How to get there & back?

Trekking Route- Lantau Trail Section 3

After trek thoughts?

Attractions at Ngong Ping

TIP?

When people think of Lantau Island, they probably would be thinking of the Giant Buddha Statue (a.k.a Tian Tan Buddha Statue). Since the airport is pretty close by, people would actually replace their bore transit time (if they have quite a few hours (5-6 hours) to kill) in the airport and take a mini trip down to visit this renowned touristy site.

The 34- metres tall bronze statue faces the North, overlooking the sprawling land of Chinese people. This majestic statue is one of Hong Kong’s most famous tourist hotspot. People from land near and far, the East and the West, would come to this place and immerse in the most galvanising cultural experience of a lifetime.

 

How to get there & back?

Getting there – Pak Kung Au (starting point of the trek)

Nearest MTR station

Tung Chung

(Exit B)

Bus 3M

Take bus 3M from the bus terminal just next to the MTR station.

Bus ride is approximately 40(ish) minutes? I honestly cannot remember, as J and I were busy chatting away.

TIP #1?

There are time schedules for when the bus departs. It is located near the bus bay you are suppose to board at.

So look out for the digital time board, and if time permits, grabbing a morning bite or coffee at Citygate Outlets mall just adjacent to it; can make the morning wait so much more blissful. Haha…! #lifesimplepleasures

TIP #2?

There is no official bus stop shelter at Pak Kung Au, and if you are going there for the first time, you may not be familiar with the terrain.

So… In hindsight, inform the bus driver where you are intending to alight.

Also, sit close to the driver, so both of you can communicate. 😀

If I did not remember wrongly, the bus ride was paid using the Octopus MTR card (approx. HKD $17). But I reckon cash payment should be fine as well?

Getting back – Tung Chung MTR station

Option A

Bus 23

Walk pass Bodhi Path with the ‘Twelve Divine Generals’ along the sides at Ngong Ping Piazza.

The bus stop for bus 23 will be just at the entrance of the piazza.

Bus ride is approximately 40(ish) minutes?

Option B

Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car

A 5-minute(ish) walk from Tian Tan Buddha Statue to the cable car terminal.

This 5.7 km cable car system will take you straight back to Tung Chung in 25 minutes with an enrapturing aerial view of Lantau Island.

The cost for a single trip back is approximately HKD $115 for a standard cabin, and HKD $180 for a crystal cabin (aka glass- bottom cabin).

If it was not obviously enough, I would imperatively and strongly encourage you to choose Option B. I mean, you had already experienced a meandering bus route towards Pak Kung Au, and after trekking an extremely long arduous way, it would definitely be a nice reward to yourself by taking a relaxing cable car ride back to Tung Chung Town Center.

 

Trekking Route- Lantau Trail Section 3

Pak Kung Au

Alight from the bus at Pak Kung Au stop, cross the road, and you will see 3 salient Chinese characters engraved into a huge rock – 伯公坳 (Pak Kung Au). This is too obvious to miss.

At this point, it is the start of the perilous voyage up Lantau Peak- the second highest peak in Hong Kong!

Nah, just kidding… This trek is definitely well signed posted; you cannot ever get lost in this trail. Very well- paved walkway either on huge stone steps or on barren harden soil pathway. Definitely nothing to worry about!

The first part of the trek was to make an ascend up concrete rocks. And soon you will be able to have your very first pit stop at a shelter. Definitely a time to drink up, and snap pictures! From the shelter, you are able to have a glimpse at the airplane runway.

Continue on the expedition with even more climbing up concrete rocks, with short distances of horizontal pathways to catch a breath. Oh thank goodness for those horizontal pathways. Haha…

This trek is definitely very popular amongst the locals. We encountered close to 7 odd amiable locals all in light- weighted sports gears running or doing extreme brisk walking up and through the trail.

Yup, running up Lantau Peak- now that’s a perilous voyage. With my level of fitness and all, I might actually run to my early grave even before reaching the peak.

As you are ascending, don’t forget to take time to look behind you. The view is indeed so alluring with forested greenery.

Advancing further up, the cool breeze was definitely a great reward for trudging wearily up those endless flight of steps. Take some time to breathe in Mother Nature and just really enjoy and soak in the moment.

Basically this trail takes you Up Up Up… and Up some more, with only a few short horizontal paths to allow you to catch your breath. It can be quite strenuous at times- all the more a good excuse to take longer water breaks and respites on the concrete steps as you admire the greenery. Haha…

Of course, you do not wanna’ take too long a respite or you might just take longer than 6(ish) hours to complete the trail!

Lantau Peak

About 3 – 4 (ish) hours, we finally made it to the top. Oh we were so relieved we made it. The journey up made me so jaded that my tummy was mourning in hunger. It was the first time during a trek, that I had to have my packed lunch whilst climbing. We probably took way too long, past lunch time. Haha… It might be corroborated; we indeed have weak leg muscles. Yup! Don’t judge, we tried real hard. 😀

Obviously we spend lots of time on the peak which is our rewarding corollary, after climbing those treacherous steps up.  Recuperating and lunching were the only form of activities up there, aside photo snapping and view admiring- though there was not much we could really see considering the fact that the clouds shrouded most of the far distance view.

But just standing near the edge of it all, with the breeze pressing against my sticky and sweaty skin, was like turning the AC on full blast. Though it wasn’t that cold, but hey I will take it!

The descend from the peak was an abate to our exhaustion. So glad gravity wasn’t working against us this time. The way down was much quicker, and from the top, we could see Tian Tan Buddha- so near yet so far. To grabble with the tiredness of it all, the bronze statue was our motivation to press on.

As we descend, the ‘AC’ now turned to heat wave. Going down concrete steps through slightly dense forest, with the occasional need to push a tree branch or two out of the way.

Wisdom Path

The next landmark we were happy to spot was the Wisdom Path, with the Heart of Sutra imprinted on it. This marks the foot of Lantau Peak; which equates to a step closer to the sweet victory of completion! Whoo-hoo!

The Wisdom Path is the largest outdoor wood carving in the world! The Chinese characters carved into 8 – 10 metres long planks of wood are so anciently profound that I have no clue of its meaning- which is a total bummer. There are a total of 38 such planks of wood. During our respite at the Wisdom Path (yes, I know, another respite), we saw a group of 4, including a monk. He was giving the other 3 insights about the meanings of the carvings. We stayed a brief moment to eavesdrop, but decided to leave as it was getting late. Haha…

Ngong Ping (Tian Tan Buddha)

Passing the Wisdom Path, we had to walk another 30- minutes (ish) to Tian Tan Buddha. Oh boy were we glad we were finally out of the woods and into civilisation.

If not… I might just chant ‘Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods yet? Are we out of the woods?’ – You know by T.Swift? I just might… …

So this basically marks the end of the Lantau Trail Section 3. A trek off the bucket-list! Yay!

 

After trek thoughts?

The pressing question would be, is this trek even worth the go?

Well… I would say YES! TOTALLY… DEFINITELY!

It’s without a doubt that it was a great sense of accomplishment- having lumbered up lackadaisically on those deceitful steps, and back down the other way. The sugary satisfaction of having ‘work’ for it, and finally arriving at the most talked about bronze Buddha statue in Hong Kong. It’s a feeling that only one word can sum it all- Pride.

Though J’s and my eyes screamed tired, we could still feel each other’s sense of pride having been able to complete the trail… … in one piece. Haha…!

Yes… Not gonna’ lie, I was already BEYOND sluggish. Tired. Thirsty. Smelly. And the list goes on. But looking back now, I am so glad we did the trek with the Tian Tan Buddha as our sweet corollary! It makes the whole trip to Ngong Ping so much more memorable, and meaningful.

Because at the end of it all, we all know… … It will always be the most painful, languid memories that will remain deeply etched in our minds for many years to come. And added incentive would be seeing each other’s agonizing and excruciating facial expressions during the voyage! It’s so hilarious thinking of it now that it was definitely the walk to remember! 😀

I could still recall the moment I step foot on top of the peak. Distracted by the accomplishment and joy of enduring the climb, I felt so frivolous and to put it simply- happy.

So, YES! I would say GO and give this trek a shot if you are ever thinking of going to the Tian Tan Buddha. Because, ‘working’ for the view of the Buddha is imperatively way MORE rewarding than just taking the bus or cable car right to the foot of the bronze statue.

 

Attractions at Ngong Ping

There is seriously way too many things to do at Ngong Ping after an arduous trek- definitely a well-deserved welcome treat!

With hordes of people in every direction, tour guides holding their companies’ flag- gathering their tour members, and children running about, no wonder this place is the hype for tourists from all over the world.

So here are a few main attractions within the Ngong Ping vicinity.

Attraction #1

Description Admission Fee

Operating Hours

Tian Tan Buddha

At 34- metres tall, obviously this is the star of it all. It is a must-see when in Ngong Ping. Climbing 268 steps will bring you to the base of the statue and giving an awe-striking, spectacular pseudo aerial view of the Ngong Ping Village, and the distant vista of mountains and sea on a clear sunny day.

The 2- level museum inside the statue is filled with Buddhist relics. A nice experience with a ticket purchase (slightly more than HKD $30) which includes a vegetarian meal and ice cream!

FOC

(only viewing from outside)

Daily

10 00 – 17 30

Attraction #2

Description Admission Fee

Operating Hours

Po Lin Monastery

Opposite the bronze statue, the placid monastery brings you to a world of Chinese culture you have never experience before- entering inside the austerity of monastery life.

Take some time to be introspective; you will be amazed by how calming it is to be there!

An eye-opener for sure! Definitely a must-see aside the Tian Tan Buddha!

FOC

08 00 – 18 00

Attraction #3

Description

Admission Fee

Ngong Ping Village

Just next to the cable car terminal, or just 5 minutes walk from Tian Tan Buddha, this place is packed with so many dining and retail options.

Food options that caters to those craving for authentic Chinese cuisines, or a gelato to combat the sultry heat, or just people who crave for simple delectable street food.

Wanna’ grab souvenirs home? There is a wide range of selection all at the Village!

FOC

(unless, of course, you are buying stuffs)

Ngong Ping Operating Hours

(in general)

Weekdays

10 00 – 18 00

Weekends & Public Holidays

09 00 – 18 30

 

TIP?

Start the trek real early!

Lantau Peak is well-known for one of the best sunrise viewing in Hong Kong.

If possible, start early enough to be able to reach the summit just before sunrise; giving you sufficient time to catch your breath, set up your camera and wait for the sun to peak through the horizon. I can definitely imagine a view money cannot buy.

Some people do stay in hostels near Ngong Ping and embark on their voyage before dawn to catch a glimpse of the sunrise. This could be an alternative too, instead of taking the train from the city! 😀

Hope you find this article an insightful one. And seriously doing this trek is definitely worth your while, with the Tian Tan Buddha as your ultimate goal to the end of the trek. Now that is something worth trekking for, don’t you think so?! 😀

So remember to Travel Whenever and follow your dreams!

Dee

Route: End of Cradle Mountain Road (Circuit Jaunt)
Distance: 5.7 km (3.5 miles)
Average Walk Time: ~ 3.5 hours (with plenty of time to take great shots)
Difficulty: 🙂
Scenery: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

How to get there?

Glacier Rock

Getting tangible with Dove Lake

Angular view of Cradle Mountain

Boatshed

Canoeing on Dove Lake

 

How to get there?

From our stay at Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge, an approximately 15 – 20 minutes drive along Cradle Mountain Road, led us to the end, and marked the start of one of Tasmania’s premier walks- the Dove Lake Circuit Track!

(FYI, taking the free shuttle service can also bring you to Dove Lake, and this is advisable since parking spaces are limited. The frequency for these shuttle services are reasonable too.)

Upon arrival at the parking lot, the partial view of the cerulean waters of Dove Lake was enough to keep us enraptured for a moment or two. Not to mention the backdrop of the 2 leading spires of Cradle Mountain protruding high up against the sky. What a picturesque vista that no image captured on camera could ever do justice to. Seriously, you need to be there to see it in full view.

Hiking Highlights and Views

We were swooned as we got closer to the start of the circuit track, though the waters ain’t as blue as it was for view at the parking lot, it looked really clear, clean and super refreshing- to an extend that J and I wanted to douse ourselves inside for a refreshing late morning splash. It only we could… … We just might… …

Between the both of us, J was a tad excited than I was. She had done research on Cradle Mountain many months before we embarked on this odyssey, so she was extremely excited for this part of the entire Tasmanian vacation.

Since it’s a circular track, venturing from either side would be the same. However, we decided to start from the left, as that was what the signage stated. Very typical, I know.

 

Glacier Rock

After experiencing the walk (starting from the left), I suggest that everyone should do the same. WHY?

The initial part of the walk allowed us to spend an interminable amount of time up on the Glacier Rock taking pictures with natural late morning sunlight! Furthermore, we got to have an unobstructed view of Cradle Mountain, and a pseudo bird’s eye view of Dove Lake.

It was a perfect way to start off a walk, don’t you think?

If you looked closely at the surface of the Rock, you will see parallel grooves engraved into it caused by debris within the glacier that moved down from the slopes of Cradle Mountain many moons ago.

TIPS? Try to stay rooted to the uneven rock, and try not to plunge into the lake, though how inviting it may look. The tracks may be slippery too, so don’t get too carried away with photo takings that you accidentally plunge.

 

Getting tangible with Dove Lake

Walking on the boardwalks around the Lake led us to a mini outlet or two where we could sit by the sandy shore with the waters of Dove Lake just a pebble’s throw away. It was a great instant to stay serene with nature, and stare at the waters with the two spires in the far distance.

This was the moment where we all took a deep breath and wished time could just pause forever.

Since the waters was just within reach and all so alluring, I couldn’t resist not putting my hands in for a cold swirl. Hey, if I can’t douse my whole body in it, at least let my hands have a go at it, huh? 😀

 

Angular view of Cradle Mountain

Sauntering around the Lake gave us angular views of the 2 jutting spires of Cradle Mountain that ensorcelled us as we stood beneath. After awhile we came to realised the tons of photos of Cradle Mountain we had as the backdrop- viewed from different parts of Dove Lake. Haha… … 😀

A walk cannot be complete without admiration of the flowers that grow so perfectly along the boardwalk. And what about appreciating the little streams that trickle from the rainforest? Oh yes, what about the wildlife, insects and amphibians too? 😀

Nature is just beautiful like that. If we could spare some time to pause and absorb, we would be awe-stricken.

 

Boatshed

Another popular icon in many photographs of Dove Lake would be the boatshed that stands humbly by the shore of the Lake; with Cradle Mountain afar.

The boatshed was build mainly out of King Billy pine. It was built back in the 1930s, as boating was popular back then.

 

Canoeing on Dove Lake

Our stay- Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge offers canoe trips on Dove Lake during Summer. It was pretty easy for us to enquire and book a slot with them upon our arrival at check-in.

The costs is not exactly cheap- it’s approximately AUS$80- ish? However, this trip provided by the Lodge, includes afternoon tea, life vests (not for keeping afterwards, of course), tips of how to manoeuvre the canoe, and a dash of insights of the Dove Lake area.

As we aren’t adept canoeist (I have never held a paddle before in my life), we weren’t so on the ball of things, and were actually behind the “class” in all tasks. It was mad hilarious. We were practically laughing our ass off during the entire 3.5 hours trip.

Let me describe to you in detail of what was actually happening, so any first-timers out there could be prepared and not face the same awkwardness as we did… … Haha…

You know the movie Dump & Dumper? The one where the pair was acting all weird, clumsy and goofy? Well, imagine them being girls, and younger.

When the rest of the “class” had already advanced further towards Glacier Rock and were there listening to the insights by the guides, we were still way behind struggling to join the pack. We were laughing half the time to even get the canoe to move, and when we did move, we were going in circles! It was seriously quite an embarrassing sight. LOL!

Finally we made it close to the Rock, but by that time, the guide had finished speaking and the “class” was ready to canoe to the next location.

This was after J tried to murder me (yes, she did) by canoeing us way too close to the Rock that had protruding sharp branches. By the time, I yelled for her to stop paddling and me trying to use the paddle to stop the canoe from advancing, the branch was already so close to me it slit my wrist a little during the mini struggle. Flies started fluttering in front of me for our canoe had perturbed their afternoon slumber. (-.-)”

Ah yes… …Definitely a Dump & Dumper moment. Don’t judge.

As J had done some really minor canoeing in Vietnam, of course I took the cue from her. Her miniscule experience in canoeing was our only asset to bring us through the 3.5 hours. Sounds like torture huh? But it was not, really. It was like a self-entertained sitcom. We did way too embarrassing things that tickled us silly. We saw ourselves being extremely way behind the “class” that it was pricelessly comical.

We were constantly reverent that the “class” could paddle like some sort of pro-athletes. Way to go people!

So I paddled when J instructed me to, and also stopped even when she wanted me NOT to. I was tired alright. I needed a break to embrace nature, leave me alone. LOL.

I felt real bad that I was at the front seat gawking at Cradle Mountain, and splashing the waters when she was at the back struggling to keep us on track with the class. So I offered to take over, with full on enthusiasm and energy thinking that I could paddle for at least awhile longer while J rested. But this determination lasted a few seconds, and in the end, we both weren’t paddling as we saw the “class” float into the horizon, while we were left at the centre of the Lake.

Okay, I exaggerated here. The guides aren’t that mean. When they saw as “liabilities” of the “class” stranded, they paddled back to get us and tied our canoe to theirs so we won’t be left behind! Hooray for the invention of ropes, seriously!

As they were tying the ropes, I could still remember I asked a very cheeky question- probably I was too tired to think straight.

“Yay. So, this is like a free pass right?”

“Oh no. You still have to paddle ya? Or we will all be here until sunset.”

After being tied to them, and knowing now there was no way we will be behind the pack, I spend most of the time playing with the waters by making mini waves with my hands as the canoe moved. J, on the other hand, was a “good student”. She paddled, and only took short pauses to rest.

For that, I would like to laud her. She has some serious determination when it comes to canoeing. You go girl!

As I was having my moment with the waters of Dove Lake, J was at the back reminding me to paddle. So trying not to be a freeloader, I mustered all my energy left in my arms, and paddled with all my might- which of course lasted for a few seconds. How feeble my arms are.

Okay people, I’ve tried. My arms just can’t. Make me walk for miles up slopes and down, but don’t make me canoe.

Would I want to experience this again? Sure! Why not? Not the part where J tried to murder me of course. The other parts of this are definitely good to relive. Haha…!

Since I was not the one doing most of the paddling (thank you J and the guides), and I could enjoy Cradle Mountain from a unique perspective. So why not? 😀 And not to mention all the laughs and embarrassing actions we did- I honestly don’t mind reliving them.

Life is all about new experiences and laughter, and so what if we “humiliated” ourselves in front of the “class” and guides? What matter most was that we had a ball of a time laughing at each other’s stupidity.

At least now I can tell people I have canoed before? Or does this not count? 😀

Hope this inspires you to insert new experiences in your life, embrace nature and travel whenever!

Dee