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Hong Kong Central and the Big Buddha

With the summit all wrapped up, I had Saturday and much of Sunday to do a bit more exploring in Hong Kong before catching my flight home on Sunday night.

Saturday morning I met up with Anita Kuno to do some eating and shopping in Hong Kong Central. We traced some of the similar steps I took on Monday, but this time stopping at more shops to pick up gifts. I also enjoyed an early lunch at Tsim Chai Kee Noodle, went with the King Prawn Wonton Noodle, yum!

Saturday afternoon I headed back to the hotel and got some much needed down time. Caught up on email, read a bit (finished both Flowers for Algernon and The NeverEnding Story over the weekend!) and at 7PM headed down to the hotel spa for a manicure.

Sunday it rained, but as my last day in Hong Kong I wasn’t going to let that keep me in! I spent the afternoon visiting the Tian Tan Buddha (locally known as the “Big Buddha”). The hotel had a convenient shuttle that went right to the station where the cable car starts to take you up to the mountain, so I picked that up around 1PM after checking out of the hotel.

I had been warned that the wait would be long, so I brought along my NOOK to read during the 1+ hour wait in line for the 35 minute cable car ride to the Buddha. Fortunately it was covered, so we didn’t get rained on. Then I was ready to go! And I picked up the $13 (USD) tourist photo of me in the car:

In spite of the rain and fog, the ride up was beautiful. From the car you first get a view of the airport, but once over the first hill it’s all beautiful forest and ocean views. In several spots you could also see the optional walking trail that can be taken (one summit attendee said it took about about 3 hours a lot of perseverance to take this hike).

Once at the Buddha village you walk through a number of shops and eateries before getting to the area where there are entrances to the Monastery and steps to the Big Buddha. The drizzle, heat and 240 step climb up to the Buddha were worth the trouble, you get spectacular views again and get close up to the truly giant Buddha at the top of the hill.

I did some more gift shopping in the village before I left. The cable car ride back down to the station had a shorter wait (only about 40 minutes) and by then the rain had picked up a bit so it really was time to go. I got back to the hotel around 6PM, in time to head to the airport.

In all, a great final two days in Hong Kong, even if I am paying for it this week in less time to adjust to my home time zone before going back to work. Which also explains why I’m wide awake writing this after midnight my time.

Now that I’m home I got photos from my whole trip uploaded here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/sets/72157637585878834/


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