China, Part 8

Email diary:
March 19, 2008: HK Day 4

Hey Everyone:

So it’s Wednesday night for me- d2’s catching some zzz’s and I just had a coffee to help me keep from napping. We’ve been walking like mad peeps lately, so our legs and feet are a little stiff and sore. Yesterday we took the subway across the harbour and explored Causeway Bay on foot. We started with lunch at a Lonely Planet recommended restaurant- the usual dumpling soup to start the day. Then we just ducked in and out of shops and street markets all afternoon long. We took the Star Ferry back to Kowloon and had dinner at an Indonesian restaurant that is across the street from our hotel. Yummy. d2 and I were joking that it was just like a typical feast at Mom and Pop’s, except pricier. I’ll spare you the exciting pictures we took of each other here snacking on shrimp chips before dinner.

Today we got up early and were going to go to Macau, but the ferry was booked until late morning, so instead we took the subway to an island to the west of Hong Kong called Lantau. This is actually where the airport is, but there are very few people who live there and it’s only about 40 minutes from Kowloon by subway. So we got there and took an insane bus ride for 45 minutes to Ngong Ping. Ngong Ping is home to the ‘world’s largest outdoor Buddha statue’ as our guide says, called Tian Tan Buddha. This point is 500 m above sea level and the island is completely lush and green with amazing beaches. The bus ride was insanity because the road is very windy, many ups and downs, and at a lot of points, it’s only wide enough for one vehicle, with others having to pull off on to tiny side-lanes to wait for the oncoming traffic to pass. I’ve attached a picture of the Buddha- we climbed 260 steps to get to it- amazing view from here as well. We also walked down the Wisdom Path to see an outdoor replica of the Heart Sutra, which is apparently one of the world’s best-known prayers. The Sutra is carved on wooden pillars that are symbolic heights and are presented in the form of the symbol for infinite. I guess I’m not so wise because I’ve never even heard of this particular Sutra… ! From here we took a tram down to the subway station again- it was exactly like a ski gondola, except it was nearly 30 minutes long and very, very high. Not for those afraid of heights for sure! The last picture I’ve attached is Buddha in the distance from the tram. And just to be reminded that we’re in Hong Kong, we did a little outlet window shopping before having some teppanyaki for dinner and coming back on the subway to our hotel.

That’s it from me. Enjoy!

love,

dpr

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