Now that's a Buddha!October 6, 2019 in Hong Kong ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C
Yesterday was an unscheduled break day as the local government had decided to close down the entire MTR system (the subway) because of damage to the stations caused by protestors. My original plan had been to visit Lantau Island and ride the Ngong Ping cable car. So yesterday's plan became today's, because I'm more flexible than a yoga instructor!
Anwyay, we headed down to the lobby about 8:30am, and even though the MTR was back in action, it was in a limited fashion and frustratingly not the stations I needed. This meant alternative transport needed to be found for the 30k plus journey to Ngong Ping. I had researched the cost of a taxi and decided that $300HK was acceptable to my hereditary frugalness.
A smooth 25 minute taxi ride dropped us off at the Ngong Pin 360 experience Lantau terminal. We were soon cocooned in the comfort of our gondola and climbing our way across the bays and over the hills towards Ngong Ping. The views are majestic and as we ascended we had a superb view of the planes taking off and landing at adjacent Hong Kong airport, which was a great bonus. In about 15 minutes we arrived at the upper terminal and exited our car to be offered a printed photo of us beginning our trip. They had printed and bound this in a presentation folder and even encased our image in a snowglobe. I don't know what tricky Chinese magic they had used to get this done so quickly, but I was happy to hand over my $280HK, for the photo folder of course, not the snowglobe, I'm not a narcissist.
The reason this cable car exists is to ferry tourists and pilgrims to the Po Lin monastery and giant buddha at the top of the peak. I'm a bit of both I guess, which allowed me to enjoy the experience on multiple levels, because I have more layers than an onion.
We hiked the hundreds of steps uphill to the giant buddha, where we were suitably awed and then spent time meandering around the monastery trying to be respectful and not cause any international or religious incidents.
After about an hour and a half we journeyed back down from the mountain, and spent the next three hours worshiping at the alter of capitalism, which in these parts is known as the Citygate Outlet Mall.
Finally we caught another taxi back to Kowloon through the now torrential late afternoon rain. As we were driving back to Tsim Sha Tsui we noticed hundreds of black clad and face mask wearing protesters streaming down Sailisbury Road towards the Star Ferry terminal. There will be more trouble in town tonight. I really hope both sides can show some restraint!Read more