Today I stay in Hong Kong. Ok, a small trip is planned, but that should be easy. Breakfast as usual. Then I take the bus to Hong Kong Central station. From here, I can take the metro to the station of Tung Chung. I am early with the hope not to have to cue to long. The metro is quiet empty after the stop for Disneyland.
The station is in a residential area with a big outlet center connected. I take a short look inside, but the shops are closed and I don’t have plans to buy anything. Main goal is the cable car to the top of Ngong Ping. But I get disappointed about the waiting. There is a long line and there was an option to prebook tickets, which I didn’t do. SO I have to wait. I doesn’t take that long. I have some time to think about which tour I want to buy. I decide to buy the no thrills, one way trip in a normal cable car. The option was retur and/or in a cabin with glass bottom. No thanks. I hope the cable car holds. Benefits: Shorter line because everyone wants to take the more spectacular (and expensive) cabins. And as I am traveling alone, I can pass 15 people, because there was single spot in one cabin. Perfect.
The ride takes about 20-25 minutes and is fantastic. Beautiful views, the cable car crosses the bay, goes up the mountain. You can see some hikers that walk all the way up. A lot of photos are taken from everybody. Close to the top, you can see the big Buddha which is one of my goals today. There should also be time for some geocaches.
On arrival, you leave the station and enter a village that is said to be build in a traditional manner. BUT – of course it is a tourist trap with all the known food an souvenir shops. First stop is behind the village at the entrance to a maintenance road. Here I secure the geocache that gives me diamond status for Hong Kong. Priorities.
Now I explore the tourist trap. I buy some postcards. One is a 3D card that will be send to my parents. I also find a shop selling stamps. A lot of typical Chinese souvenirs can be bought here. But I am not happy with all the stuff. I want to buy a small thing for my brother, who likes Asia, but has never had the chance to travel there. I find one nice shop. A shop called Chopstick Gallery. I learn about the difference between Chinese and Japanese chopsticks (flat vs. pointed) and can chose from a wide range of types. I chose 2×2 pairs of mahogany chopsticks in nice boxes. Love them. Hope they are the right choice. Taking a small break to write some postcards.
Now it is time to see the attractions. The Tian Tan Buddha and the Po Lin monastery. First the easy part. The monastery. The building is just fantastic. The style you think about when thinking about Chinese houses. A lot of incense stick burning making the air smelling (and you clothes if you are close). Very interesting art, different shrines and a lot of statues. I took a tour inside the Hall of the 10,000 Buddhas where you should not take any pictures (my phone went off without me knowing… ups^^).
Connected to the temple is a vegetarian restaurant. You can buy a voucher to eat there, but only cash is King and I only have some Hong Kong Dollars left. So I buy some food at the snack bar that also is part of the restaurant. Some nice fried noodles with vegetables, a mango milk with sago, a rice “cake” with mango fill and a spring roll with soy sauce. Very good food. Liked it. Now lets see the main attraction. The Tian Tan Buddha.
There are a lot of stair up to the Buddha. more then 250. And in the warm weather (not as humid up here as it is in the city), the way up is breathtaking. But I even manage to get up faster than some younger and more trained guys. Even a guard gives me a thumbs up. The statue is big and impressing (i did use that word before). The view up here is beautiful. When you think of Hong Kong you think of a big city with millions of people. here you see a lot of mountains and forests. I even meet a family from my hotel. Small world. And of course I take a lot of pictures.
There is one geocache up here at the statue. And there are many people around, but at the sport the cache is hidden… nobody. Perfect. The cache is even big enough to put in some travelbugs. And another find up here. After some more pictures it is time to get don again. There is more to explore on this island.