Easter 2010 Trip to Hong Kong Day 3 & 4

Finally getting around to our last two days in Hong Kong, sorry for the delay, work has gotten in the way.

Day 3 was as already posted another dim sum morning at Luk Yu Teahouse and then off to do some touring.

We made a day trip outside of Hong Kong Island to head to Lantau Island for some sightseeing of a slightly different sort than the two prior days inside the city walls.

We took the train/mtr/subway a little over 30 minutes to Lantau Island, which is the island that is home to the new Hong Kong Airport, and at this point we got in a line for another 30 minutes to ride the Ngong Ping cable car that took us over Lantau Island and up to the peak.

This was taken during our wait in line. It is like a ski gondola without the snow and therefore no one is dressed up in goofy hats, large coats, or falling all over themselves in hapless heavy plastic boots. That is not to say that people were not wearing ridiculous outfits such as high heels and sun dresses despite the hiking like venue and lack of warmth.

There are photos taken during the 25 minute ride to the peak. You can see in the background of the first photo the ride over the bay of the island and in the second two photos you can see the Tian Tan Buddha, which is the major reason we came to Lantau Island.

After the cable car ride, we walked through a touristy setup village. That literally is made only for tourists, it is not a village at night or on days when the cable car is shut down it is like a animated, disneyland version of buddhism put up to appeal to tourists heading to Tian Tan Buddha. Carrie and I did not linger here, but rather blew by all the hapless souls so that we could see the Buddha and the Monastery.

A quick background not on the Buddha. The Tian Tan Buddha stands approximately 110 feet tall and is made of bronze. It was completed in 1993 and requires over 250 stairs to reach the Buddha. There is no escalator here folks.

The walk up allows you to appreciate just how big the Buddha is and how long it takes for you to climb 250 stairs. It is very picturesque though.

These are pictures of Carrie and I on the walk up and down from the Buddha.

Once you arrive at the top of the stairs, there is a platform to walk around on and it contains verious statues of other spiritual beings who are making offerings to the Buddha.

After soaking up the view and then walking down 250 steps we visited the Po Lin Monastery, which is responsible for the Buddha.

The monastery gate and the monastery pictured above felt much less touristy and more spiritual with incense burning, praying, and a temple that was actually used by the monks.

The pictures above are of the various incense burning platforms as well as the incense themselves. Carrie is doing her best Vanna White impression to show off the incense. The incense here were the biggest we had seen anywhere in Asia and they must have burned for hours. Seemingly Hong Kong has a fascination with incense that burns a long time (refer to my prior post about incense coils at Man Mo Temple).

The temple itself was interesting as well as seen by the pictures below.

After perusing the monastery grounds and soaking up all the good karma we could, we headed back to the cable car and again waited in line for our return to Hong Kong. Obviously the karma was working as that night we headed to Hutong for dinner which was fabulous.

Day 4 was a pretty laid back day with some real Hong Kong action of shopping and eating, along with almost a major discovery.

We did manage to take just a few photos though as you can see below.

This was a dress that Carrie was ogling through the window, but she did not end up buying. Charles and his wallet were happy about this.

These are photos of Charles at the HSBC building (you can’t even begin to describe how exciting banking is), as well as the second photo of all the “helpers” or maids picnicking on their day off underneath the HSBC building. This picnicking was one of the most fascinating things to us as it was literally hundreds if not thousands of maids on their day off just sitting underneath the building and eating and drinking, just happy to have one day off a week.

The major discovery we almost had was that we thought somehow Charles’ old employer Union Bank had made it to Hong Kong. We saw the sign below and read Union Bank. I thought this was great.

However, when I got closer I saw this…

Union Bank of India. Not quite the same thing as Union Bank in California but I still agree with the slogan. Good people to bank with.

After our shopping, eating, banking, and tourist adventures in Hong Kong after 4 days of fun we headed back to Singapore. It was a great trip and we will hopefully head back to Hong Kong soon…stay tuned for our next trip

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