Saturday 30 August to Tuesday 2 September
Our journey began in North Melbourne, spending a couple of nights with Ev & Steph. The first part of this mammoth journey will take us to Barcelona in December, to spend time with Hayden & Andrea. Ev & Steph should join us there to celebrate Hayden achieving his PhD.
We flew out of Melbourne to Hong Kong and spent a couple of comfortable nights aclimatising ourselves to living out of suitcases again.
After a cooling beer, we found a Chinese restaurant and treated ourselves to Peking Duck and a bottle of wine – very pleasant.
Armed with “Elders” Octopus cards we headed out to see the Big Buddha on Lantou Island. The metro is easy to navigate and fast, although we found the seats didn’t accommodate non Asian bottoms comfortably.
From the end of the metro line at Tung Chung there is a cable car to take you to the Big Buddha, set on top of a hill. It was fun travelling in the Crystal Cabin with a glass floor, watching the water and trees go by.
Tian Tan Buddha, also known as the Big Buddha, is a large bronze statue of a Buddha Amoghasiddhi, completed in 1993. The Buddha is the largest in Hong Kong and one of the largest outdoor buddhas. Between the cable car and the 268 steps to the Big Buddha there is the tacky “village” of Ngong Ping with restaurants, souvenir shops and a green screen where you can become a movie star for that necessary 5 minutes of fame.
We took a walk behind the Buddha on the Wisdom Path. Along the path was a retired tea house, with the forest quickly overtaking the buildings. There is a group of 38 wooden steeles set in a figure 8 with words of wisdom carved into them.
Whilst the Buddha is clearly important to some of the visitors, the cable car ride, the village and the high altitude sights were further attractions. There are great views of Hong Kong’s busy international airport and the foundations of a bridge across the water linking mainland China to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong is still a shoppers paradise, but our bags are already full. Next time!