Saturday in Hong Kong I woke up early to go do some sightseeing with Sunny. I was staying on the Kowloon side, so I had to take the Star Ferry to the Hong Kong side, then from there I took another ferry to Lantau Island. I don’t think I’ve ridden on a boat in a while so it was pretty cool. The first one was only about 5 minutes, then the second was about a half hour.
After getting to Discovery Bay, met up with Sunny and her boyfriend at the pier and we got dim sum at some restaurant overlooking the beach. If memory serves me right, the place was named FAGORA or something funny like that. They had good chicken feet. DB was a pretty cool place, like a little resort town with a lot of expats and higher-end residents. We sat on the patio facing the bay, and it looked more like Hawaii or some tropical island; pretty different from where I was in Kowloon the day before where it seems to not be a requirement to wear shoes, but it was a definite rule that you have to spit on the sidewalk a lot.
I just realized that these Hong Kong blogs might have a lot of pictures. Oh well.
After brunch we took a bus to Tung Chung, where we were going to take the “cable car” up to the area where the Big Buddha statue was. For some reason I was expecting like a trolley that you’d see in San Fransisco: a slow crawl up a hill with a lot of old ladies all humming the Rice-a-Roni theme song. No. Instead I see a long cable going up a tall-ass mountain with little metal and glass cars speeding along it. Holy crap. So we ended up taking this 25-minute cable car in the sky up the mountain to the area with a tourist village, a monastery, and of course the giant Buddha statue. The cable car is called the Ngong Ping 360, since the cars are made of glass and you can look out from every angle. Of course, the key direction to pay attention to is down, since if you’re looking down and it seems to be coming very fast towards you, then you’re falling and you will soon die. Luckily every time I looked down the ground was staying about the same level vertically, and I did not plummet to my death. Luckily.
The above pretty much sums up my feelings during the ride. OK so I’m exaggerating a little bit; it wasn’t that bad.
No, actually it was pretty terrifying, especially with the wind blasting the little car the entire way in every possible direction. But let’s move on, shall we?
Once we got off the little hamster cage cable car, we were in Ngong Ping village, supposedly set up like a traditional village but was really a tourist trap with a lot of gift shops and little restaurants. There was even a very traditional Chinese Starbucks. Our cable car tickets included two little activities, both related to Buddha and both cartoons. It was nice to take a break from walking in the sun though. Finally we got up close to the main attraction: a giant Buddha statue that was visible from the cable car earlier, but looked a lot bigger in person. According to wikipedia, it’s 110 feet tall.
Sure it’s impressive, but it does feel a bit cheap knowing that it’s only been around since 1993.
On the way back down from checking out Big Buddha we got some herbal jelly made with tortoise in the village (which was actually not bad, and supposedly good for you), then headed back to Central to get dinner. Had a TON of food, which was all awesome. Spicy crab in a mountain of fried garlic, a steamed whole grouper, squid, tofu, fried rice, and red bean soup. It was an awesome touristy day overall.
No more cable cars though, please.