Today is my first full day in Hong Kong! I am awake after only six hours of sleep. Outside my window is this view of pouring rain:
I consider maybe not sticking to my original plan of going to Lantau Island. I mean, it is raining! I know it is supposed to rain my entire time here. I ask myself what I am going to do instead. It is a trick question. If I can come up with an alternative, I am allowed to do it. But if my only alternative is to go back to bed, then I know I am just using the rain as a scapegoat for me being nervous about going out in a new country all by myself. Guess what? It turns out I did plan to go back to bed. Nuh uh – nope. You chose to come here, you are going out. So I did.
Lantau Island has several attractions. On my list for today are: Ride the Tung Chung cable car to the Ngong Ping, visit the Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery.
I am an over planner, which has gotten me some negative remarks. I found everything exactly how my research told me it would be. The train is right here, the Oyster card costs this, take this train line to that train line, get out and walk here. I couldn’t have gotten lost even if I tried.
I was on my first Hong Kong subway for two stops before some woman asked me “does this train stop at Disneyland?” and I was actually able answer her. No matter where I go, people always assume I am a local. Even in Hong Kong.
I get off the train at my stop. I attempt to take a picture with my new camera that I have yet to figure out. Everything is black. Uh? Some guy yells “LENS CAP” at me. THANK YOU! I wonder if I ever would have figured that out myself?
Hong Kong signage is really helpful. They do not want you to get lost here, there are signs everywhere:
As I am walking the the cable car, it started thundering like a beast. OH COME ON. I get near the entrance and an employee is putting out warning signs about lightning and thunder. Of course she is.
I am still going to go. I am here, I have to.
I end up sharing a cable car with people, I would really have preferred to do it alone but you do not get a choice. My pictures would have been way cooler had it not been raining.
Finally off in the distance, there he is! TIAN TAN BUDDHA! Well hello guy! I am here to see YOU!
The Tian Tan Buddha is the “world’s largest outdoor bronze seated Buddha” You will find that there are many large Buddhas in the world and they all find specific categories to be named the largest of.
To get to the Buddha, you have to walk through little Ngong Ping, a village catering to tourists. I passed a Starbucks and was tempted but told myself it could be my reward on the way back for climbing the 268 steps to the Buddha.
Because I just must take pictures of every adorable animal I see, here are some cows and some stray dogs (aw)
I wonder what they are talking about?
Po Lin Monastery gates with Buddha in the background, getting closer!
Finally I get to the iconic view that has been posted on every blog of every visit to the Tian Tan Buddha. Due to the weather, the poor Buddha looks headless:
Even better, after climbing to the top in the rain, I was rewarded with the view! I have read about this view. Gorgeous mountain scenery with the South China Sea in the background. Here of course, is the view I got:
At least Buddha has his head back Well kind of anyway.
Two seconds after taking this picture, it started POURING and everyone ran for cover.
I was up there for so long, waiting for the rain to end. I got so bored. I decide to make my descent and just deal with being wet. Mind you, I have an umbrella and two rain ponchos back at my hotel. idiot.
I walked around the Po Lin monastery and took some photos.
Then I just got tired of being out in the rain so I eventually left. I took the cable car back, had the same crappy rain views.
Next stop is Kowloon Park, where I plan to kill some time before the Symphony of Lights.