The final full day we had in Hong Kong began with a pretty fantastic buffer breakfast at the hotel. At just HK$10 more than a bowl of wonton noodle soup, we had such a fantastic spread that it was unbelievable that I only managed two savoury helpings and one fruit. It must be age…
Our plan for the day was to visit Lantau Island for the Big Buddha statue and Po Lin Monastery. We were gonna go there with a Malaysian friend, who spends a lot of time in HK. Because we weren’t on a tour package, we found the cable car to Lantau a bit on the pricey side, so we met our friend over at the Central MTR station. From there, we took the ferry over to Lantau Island.
Yes, honestly don’t written books about giant prehistoric sharks if you are riding the choppy waves of a sea that was featured in a huge battle between the Kaiju and Jaegers. We were on Lantau within a half hour. The weather was cooler and breezier than the day before and we spent an hour at the jetty area, waiting for the bus to take us up to see the Big Buddha.
The bus ride made me experience some travel sickness. I think it was a combination of having just eaten, and also the incredible speed we were driving at along those winding uphill roads, not to mention the start/stop ride of the journey. Thankfully, Eddy suggested I use some oils to help, so I put a dab of Digest Zen on the top of my nostrils and miraculously that made me feel 100% better!
So I managed to enjoy the ride up after all, with the incredible view of the sea, the reservoir, the amazing structure that I thought was a resort but actually was the prison (!). From certain vantages, we could even see the Big Buddha resting on top of one of the peaks! The duration of the bus ride was also within a half hour.
The Big Buddha and Po Lin Monastery were thankfully not as crowded as Victoria Peak the day before. The stairs up to the Big Buddha looked daunting, although not nearly as daunting as Batu Caves. As is with my personality, I wanted the “work” over and done with, so I climbed the stairs as fast as I could, and I was at the top long before the other two.
The view at the top was amazing, I really cannot describe it. The mountainous vistas surrounded by sea, and in the distance the Po Lin Monastery. Underneath the Buddha statue were plaques commemorating the departed, including one for Anita Mui. There were beautiful paintings of major points of Gautama Buddha’s life. We spent about an hour at the top, before we descended the stairs again to head to Po Lin Monastery. Again, definitely worth a visit and words cannot describe. In the greater hall at the back, we weren’t allowed to take photos, which was pity because it was amazing!
We pretty exhausted after this and headed back to Central Station, said goodbye to our friend, and went to the hotel for some rest and dinner before heading out to Central again for our Harbour Cruise.
The weather was a bit drizzly and miserable that evening when we headed to the Harbour. The Harbour itself was filled with buskers, some singing at eardrum-breaking volumes. In fact, they seemed to be vying for who could sing the loudest or had the loudest amplifier sound sets.
After a little panic of having missed the boat, we got on board our cruise ship and I have to admit that it was really a fascinating tour, notwithstanding the drizzle and thoughts of giant sharks surfacing from the inky blackness of the sea. The harbour front of Hong Kong was amazing, exactly like what you see the in the movies, with the building terraced out because of the hilly landscape. Kowloon would have been amazing too, but in comparison, it just could not hold a candle to Hong Kong.
The ride was about an hour, down on one side of Hong Kong, back on the other side of Kowloon, and back to the jetty on which we alighted.
We headed back to the hotel pretty tired and slightly disappointed that we weren’t spending an extra night or two, because we felt we hadn’t seen or experienced as much as we should. We plan to head back one day to take in more as tourists!
Have you been to Hong Kong? How did you find it? Tell me in the comments below!