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Ngong Ping Skyrail - January 2007
All photographs courtesy and copyright of Donald MacRae

Ngong Ping Skyrail is a visually spectacular 5.7km cable car journey, travelling between Tung Chung Town Centre
and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island.

Guests will enjoy some of the best views in Hong Kong, as their cable car cabin glides over the South China Sea and North Lantau Country Park on an amazing 20-25 minute experience. Ever-changing panoramic views include the Hong Kong International Airport, verdant, mountainous terrain of Lantau Island and the Tian Tan Buddha Statue.


***  Update 13th June 2007  ***

Courtesy of the Taipei Times

A cable car to one of Hong Kong's biggest tourist attractions, a giant statue of Buddha, has closed indefinitely after a cabin plunged 50m to the ground, officials said yesterday.

Authorities said they were investigating the cause of the accident, which occurred late on Monday (11th June 2007), an hour after the service shut for the night.

No one was injured, although the cabin narrowly missed a nearby road.

"We are very concerned," a government spokesman said. "To ensure public safety, until the cause of the incident is known and we are certain that the cable car can operate safely, the government will not allow it to resume operation."

Hong Kong Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip said the government would bring in overseas experts to find out what went wrong.

"Unless and until we are satisfied that the system is safe, the management is capable, we will not allow the resumption of the service," he said. "Safety is the most important thing."

Tourism Board chief James Tien expressed "disappointment" at the accident, saying he feared it would have a negative impact on the tourism industry.

The Tian Tan Buddha is the world's tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha and attracts around a million visitors a year.

The cable car, which traverses 5.7km of verdant hills on the island of Lantau, is part of a major tourist complex that also includes a theater, shops and a traditional tea house.

The cable car cost HK$1 billion (US$128 million) to build and took two years to complete, but has been dogged by problems.

Its launch had to be postponed last summer after a breakdown during testing left 500 visitors stuck in cabins for two hours.

Seven senior staff at Skyrail, the Australian company behind the project, resigned shortly before the opening, citing a lack of transparency.

Hong Kong has committed billions of dollars to develop tourism facilities, including the US$3 billion Disneyland resort.


 
 
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This page last updated Wednesday, 13th June 2007
 
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