Thursday, 7 February 2013

My trip to Hong Kong - Day Six

I was really looking forward to doing our Lantau Island tour.
The photos looked amazing of the big Buddha and I couldn't wait to see it.

We were picked up from our Hotel early and headed to our first stop.
The Avenue of Stars...on the Harbour. 

"The Avenue of Stars" is dedicated to all the Chinese Film Stars.
Like the Hollywood Stars, each actor/actress gets their own star and has their hands
set in the concrete.

I found a few you may know of...

Jackie Chan

Jet Li


There's a bronze statue of Bruce Lee down on the boardwalk.
How could I resist posing like Bruce Lee?

We drove past an apartment block and our Guide, Johnny explained that this was
a typical home for Hong Kong locals. An apartment comprises of one bedroom,
one bathroom and usually a very small lounge room. Usually about 30sq m in size.
In that aprtment usually lives Mum, Dad and a couple of kids. Mum and Dad sleep
in the small bedroom while the kids usually sleep in the lounge room.
Very different to the way we live here in Australia.

Then it was off to Lantau Island!
Only about 30-40mins bus ride from Hong Kong. Lantau is all
connected to Hong Kong via bridges so it's quite easy to get there.
We hopped off the bus at the Ngong Ping 360 Cable car.

The cable car takes about 25mins over to the Big Buddha, over the valleys
to the other side. There is a track you can walk or run if you're up to it.
To walk it takes about 3hrs, I'm quite hilly terrain. There were plenty
of people out running it. It'd be quite the workout!
Forgot my joggers that day, damn! Lol.

 Here we all are on the Cable car...

 Emma and Dino

Lorelle and Chris

Kel and I

 The view from the Cable car was amazing...

 Then we spotted this in the distance, and I got very excited inside!

We hopped off the Cable car and headed for the bus, then up to the Big Buddha!

We went inside the Big Buddha and learnt a bit about the Buddist religion.
Rich people have their family plots in the Buddha and apparently it costs a LOT
of money to have a tile on the wall with your pic. Very interesting religion.
There's no photos to be taken inside the Big Buddha. All about respect inside there.

The Big Buddha is the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. He is 34m tall
and made of bronze. The construction began in 1990 and he was completed in 1993.
With such rugged terrain we did ask how they got him up there?
He arrived in 202 seperate pieces and slowly he was put together.
Each piece was flown up there by helicopter, making him a very expensive Buddha.
He is unique, as all other Buddha statues face south, but he faces north.

We also got to see the relic. Now the relic is allegedly the creamated remains of
Buddism's founder, Gautama Buddha. That was very interesting.

Here's me in front of the Big Buddha!

Looking back down towards the Monastery.
All 240 steps down...

Then it was time to head back down.
Luckily our bus drove us down and we didn't have to walk down.

Here's the view from down in the Square...


Then it was off to the Po Lin Monastery for lunch.
The Buddist monks are vegetarian and don't eat meat.
We had a lovely 3 course vegetarian meal and can I say it was really
delicious. We had soup, rice dishes and lots of stir-fry vegetable dishes.
Dessert was even a sweet rice dish with a condensed milk type sauce.
Very filling and yummy!

After lunch we had some free time to wander around the Po Lin Monastery.
Here's out the front of the Monastery. It's under construction at the
moment, hence the bamboo scaffolding. It was founded back in 1906.

I even snapped one of the monks heading up the stairs.

Not far from the Monastery is these giant insense pots.
It's like a gift to Buddha and lots of people bought the
insense sticks, prayed the placed them in the pots.

We headed back toward our meeting point and found our Chinese Zodiac sign.
I'm the "Year of the Tiger".
Here's me with my Zodiac...

The plaque on my Zodiac...

Back in the Square...just before we hopped on the bus.


Once back on the bus, we headed to the Tai O fishing village.
It's a traditonal little fishing village where the Tanker people still
live in Stilt Houses. There's not too many of them left now.

Life is very primitive for these people.

We had a boat ride to see the houses and how they lived.
What an eye opener that was?

Once back on shore, we walked through the fish market.
Oh my...the food they had?
And the smell? Pooey!
Our Guide warned us it would be a bit smelly.
To them, the smellier the better. The more flavour the item will have,
making their dishes so much tastier...a delicacy!

I love mussels, but the fresh variety...not dried like this?

Marinated sea snail anyone?

This guy was cooking cuttlefish for about Aussie $3.80 a piece?
Maybe next time...

The fisherman seem to dry everything and I mean everything.
Maybe because it keeps for longer?
I prefer mine fresh!

Here's a typical shop in the Fish Market...

This shop specialised in dried fish bladders...YES, you read right!
Fish Bladders!

 Check out the massive dried shark in this shop?

There was a couple of fresh fish shops, but they looked more like
Nemo and out of a fish tank?

Here's some fish out drying for all to see...

After wandering through the fish market we visited a Taoist temple.

Very bright and colourful inside.
They offer gifts to the gods and deceased spirits, like fruit and slaughtered animals.
We lit an incense stick and made a wish and put it in a pot for the gods.
I always find what different religions believe quite intriguing.

Back down through the Fish Market before we headed back to the bus.

We had a quick stop back at the Cable car village.
Enough time to warm up with a Starbucks Chai Latte, before hopping
back on the Cable car to get over to the other side.

I loved Lantau Island. There's something tranquil and spiritual about it.
Something that you can feel. I'd go back there tomorrow.

Back on the Cable car...

A funny pic because everyone loved making jokes about my jelly-leg, height thing!

We headed back to Hong Kong and decided to try the restaurant recommended
by our Tour Guide a few days before. A place called Wooloo-mooloo Steakhouse!
It's an Aussie style restaurant with steaks and amazing wine!
After nearly a week eating anything but steak, it seems like the perfect choice!

Here we are enjoying our fabulous night out!

Then it was off to do some more damage at the Ladies market and surrounding
streets. Our last night at the markets saw us in a shopping frenzy!

Kellie found she had a undiscovered talent...bartering!
She's so stubborn and would walk if they didn't give her the price she wanted.
The vendors didn't want to see her walk away so she usually got it for what
she bartered it down too. It became like a sport! Lol.

Didn't do me any harm...I got a great handbag bargain out of it!
The more you buy, the cheaper it becomes! Buy in bulk, so to speak!

Here's me at the Ladies market...

We headed back to the Hotel via the MTR or subway
totally loaded with bags, and so tired!
Off to bed after another HUGE day!

Chat soon,

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