Saturday was a beautiful day four our trip to Lantau Island. We did the following things:
- Packed and moved out of the Metropark Causeway Bay Hotel
- Took the train out passed Disneyland HK to the island of Lantau (largest of the outer islands near Hong Kong).
- Ate KFC for breakfast
- Waited in line, then bought tickets for a cable car to the Big Buddha
- Waited in line to get on the cable car
- Learned that cutting in line is an art form from some of the locals
- Ate a little sorbet
- Walked up the 268 steps to the Big Buddha
- Walked down the 268 steps from the Big Buddha
- Visited the Po Lin Monastery (no alcohol and they are vegetarians)
- Saw the line for the cable car back down to the town …
- So took a bus back instead – an event in itself
- Train back into HK, back to Causeway Bay to the old hotel
- Crazy Taxi to the Harbour Plaza Metropolis – new VERY NICE hotel (we were upgraded to a suite)
- Fantastic Chinese Dinner in the connected mall
- Hot and Sour Soup with Sea Cucumber
- Grilled and BBQ’d Pork
- steamed rice
- Mixed vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, leeks) and mixed sea food (scallops, scrimp, squid)
- Whole Crab on a bed of gelatinous rice
- Tea and beer
- After dinner walk around Kowloon on raised walkways – seems there was a Chinese pop concert tonight
- To bed
There was much more walking/standing in line today than I’ve described. I’m sunburned on my neck and face with a rash on my neck. The rash didn’t show up until after the fireworks on Chinese New Years Day. I believe the rash is due the water here. No more shaving for me this trip.
The Big Buddha is, well, big. It is also known as the Sakyamuni Buddha and is the largest bronzed seated Buddha in the world at 24 meters high. There are 268 stairs to the Buddha. It is located on Muyu Mountain. Pictures cover this fairly well.
After visiting the Buddha, we headed to the Po Lin Monastery near the base of the Buddha mountain. It was packed when we were there due to the New Years Holiday, which is the most important Chinese holiday. It is also known as The -Buddhist Kingdom of the South_ and is the most popular monastery in Hong Kong. Pictures cover this fairly well.
The cable car ride up and bus ride down are just as much a part of the trip as the Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. The cable car ride was the worlds largest when built, I don’t know if this is still true. The cable car initially heads towards the man-made island with the new international airport, then turns 90 deg to head up towards the Big Buddha.
Sunday morning as I write this, having just enjoyed the highest volume of water shower that I’ve ever had, looking out over HK bay, I’m starting to miss Atlanta. My feet have hurt for days. I may or may not have stayed on my weight loss (was down 30+ lbs on 2/1/2008). Jim and I are still getting along – beds in different rooms last night didn’t hurt. This hotel, Harbour Plaza Metropolis, is fantastic, too bad it is so expensive.
Sunday, we are off to the New Territories.