Monday 20th August
On Monday we headed out to Lantau Island to see the giant Buddha at the monastery there. It is a fairy recent addition, built in 1992 and housing a bone relic supposedly from Buddha himself that was gifted to the original monastery there. Now the place is a big tourist attraction and instead of climbing the mountain steps or taking the bus up the windy road you can now go up via cable car. Another test for Rich, hopefully we kept him distracted enough not to think about the height!
A cable car travelling to the Buddha.
The Ngong Ping monastery amidst the fog – or smoke?
It really is a big Buddha!
Howdy Buddha! What a lot of steps! Thankfully the ticket price included a bottle of water and an ice cream when we reached Buddha.
They seem to be offering something to the Buddha…
Inside the Buddha there are spiral stairs leading up to a display in Chinese, and some welcome air conditioning which we were honestly more interested in. It was a long, hot climb and the Sun had come out in force. You can’t actually see the relic, it is in a bowl. There is a photo of it next to the bowl but you can’t get close or take photos inside.
The view from the Buddha.
Not sure if he’s saying hello or about to shoot a laser from his hand…
Try not to fall down those steps!
We stopped for lunch in the fake tourist village of Ngong Ping and were lucky enough to catch the cultural show in the square. They were Shaolin monks, and there seemed to be two groups – fire and water, or ice? I wasn’t quite sure. Whatever it was, it was entertaining to watch.
A very bendy child!
I guess they all made up in the end…
Then we headed back into Hong Kong to Tsim Shui Po, where the boys went off to explore the geek and toy shops and Rhonwyn took me clothes shopping in the garment district. I found plenty of nice cheap tops there and even managed to find my way back on my own before we left Hong Kong to buy a couple more. The MTR system is very easy once you get the hang of it, and the Octopus cards which you load up with money to use for travel fares can also be used at some shops and vending machines to buy drinks. It is an awesome idea and so much easier than dealing with coins and cash all the time.