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Paul & Tracey's Travels
8th Dec 2008 - Hong Kong
Hong Kong - Lantau Island and a big Buddha

Our second full day in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (as it is officially known) and our over riding feelings are of a clean and  friendly city, which is constantly on the move, and is aided by an incredibly efficient, organised and inter linked public transport system. Today was hot in the mid 20'sC, and started at about 10am when we caught the underground (MTR) over to Lantau Island, which amongst other things is home to the Airport and Disneyland. These aside, a lot of it is made over to Country Park, however we were going to visit the biggest (we think) Buddha in the world. The MTR goes overground after leaving Kowloon, and crosses a fairly narrow strait on the Tsing Mai Bridge before following the northern coast of Lantau Island and reaching it's terminus at Tung Chung. From here we caught a cable car which took us into the hills and provided some stunning views of the airport and surrounding area, until near the top the huge Buddha comes into view. We shared the cable car with 4 Chinese woman, and by the time we had completed the 25 minute journey we had nicknamed them the crazy gang, due to their somewhat excitable demeanour - we had a photograph taken with them at the top and somewhat dubiously got involved in swapping email addresses,although the only common language we understood was please and thank you. At the top it was a short walk through Ngong Ping village, before reaching the Po Lin Monastery, and the giant Buddha, which is plainly visible from the plane as you come into Hong Kong. The Monastery is amazingly colourful, which is emphasised by the thousands of flowers in and around the grounds. The smell of incense was in the air, and it really did feel very peaceful. You are able to buy cheap vegetarian food in the grounds and we escaped the midday sun for a while to have a huge meal of bean curd, rice, strange mushrooms, and catte (?). To walk off the meal we scaled the 100 or so steps to get up to the Buddha, and used our meal ticket from earlier to gain free access to the museum which is housed within it. Mid afternoon, we caught a local bus back down the hill and across to the other side of the island to catch a ferry back over to Hong Kong city. The crossing took about 30 minutes and although it was a hot windless day, it was still fairly choppy simply because of the huge volume of craft continually criss crossing our path - other ferries, small private craft, ocean going vessels etc. Finally a short dash across the harbour back to Kowloon on the ferry we used yesterday, and the number 7 bus to the hotel. There we chilled out for a couple of hours until early evening. Spent our last night in Hong Kong walking around the night markets. One well known one is in Temple Street where the road is closed off and hundreds of covered stalls are erected selling everything from fake rolex to silk pygames,and everything inbetween. Part of the street is also filled with tables where you are served with a wide variety of local, and not so local foods. We also visited Ladies Market which is not full of stuff for the girls rather it appears that all the stalls are run by the fairer sex, who don't let you pass their stalls without a bit of verbal sparring.....Got back to the hotel in time for a quick splash in the rooftop swimming pool, then back to the room with some local rice wine - 125ml and 38% proof for under £1 at the convenience store opposite the hotel. We will all be sorry to leave Hong Kong so soon tomorrow, however it is hard to believe we have only been away for 4 days, having done so much already.



Next: Hong Kong to Auckland
Previous: Second day in Hong Kong


Diary Photos

MTR to Tung Chung, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Tracey on the Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Tung Chung From Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Naomi & Ali, Ngong Ping Cable Car, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island

Giant Buddha Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Tracey & Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha & girls at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Naomi & Ali, Ngong Ping Village, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Paul at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Naomi & Ali, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery. Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Paul & Tracey at Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Tracey at Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Giant Buddha, Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong

147.KowloonPark 9.12.08

Temple Street Night Market, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Temple Street Night Market, Kowloon, Hong Kong


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