Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Oh Big Buddha

Today Alexis and I headed to Ngong Ping near Tung Chung on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. When we started out this morning we had no idea how long the day would be! We have already waded through masses of people and today proved to be no different. We arrived at Lantau around 10am and headed to the Ngong Ping 360 cable car ride... then we stood in line for three hours... to buy tickets... we then stood in line for another hour or hour and half to get onto the actual cable car.  There was just so much standing involved and my feet really hurt now!

However, all of the standing turned out to be worth it! We rode the cable car up with some really nice people who took a photo of Alexis and I. Isn't it a great photo? Lantau Island is the same island the airport is located on, however it is a truly beautiful island and I didn't realize it.  I think I could live in Hong Kong if I found a place like Lantau (or any other green mountainous island). 

Alexis and I caught at glimpse of the Big Buddha before heading out to sea. We headed out on these small boats that managed to catch some serious speed! It was so much fun to go flying across the waves and get a better view of the island. You are supposed to be able to see dolphins, but sadly we did not. It might have been the wrong time of day or maybe we didn't head to the right stop, but the boat ride was still really fun even if we didn't see dolphins! 

Lantau Island
On the Boat
 After the boat ride we went to see the Big Buddha. The Tian Tan Buddha sits on a lotus and is about 112 feet tall, weighing in at 250 metric tons! Talk about a big buddha! Tian Tan isn't super old, built in 1993, but it is a really neat sight to see while in Hong Kong.

The Tian Tan Buddha is surrounded by six smaller statues, which are named "The Offering of the Six Devas." The are posed with different offerings, such as incense, fruit, and music. I thought the devas were really neat, especially because people kept throwing coins to them. I think it's lucky if you manage to make you coin land in the devas hands.

After we finished wandering around Big Buddha, Alexis and I went to the Po Lin Monastery then walked to the Wisdom Path. The monastery was under construction so we really couldn't see the outside very well, but the lower level was beautiful. I especially loved the stone carved dragons.

 It is a short walk to the Wisdom Path and I have to say this was one of my favorite parts of our journey. I have no idea what the trees say, but I would assume they have "wisdom" of some sort written on them. It was simply gorgeous with the mountain in the background.

Wisdom Path
Wisdom Tree
There were so many people around, but I managed to avoid getting tourists in my photos. There should be some award for cropping people of out photos.

Alexis and I also managed to find our statue for year of the horse. He looks pretty intense right?

After wandering the island we stood in line again to get down on the tram. This island was so nice, but standing in various lines for over five hours was not ok.  I loved this island and I hope to see more of Hong Kong tomorrow before leaving the following day to the US.

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