Tag Archives: Hong Kong

Hong Kong, China: Chi Lin Nunnery

Of course everyone should visit here because it is absolutely beautiful. I however, had an ulterior motive.  I had read that you can get your fortune told here and then take that knowledge off to Macau with you.  Since I was going to Macau later in the day, I was so excited to find out if I was going to become a bazillionaire.  Unfortunately, I had to wait and find out on my own since I could not figure out at all where exactly you can get your fortune told.

It wasn’t a wasted trip though.  Look how beautiful the grounds are.

This is the only time I actually saw blue sky in Hong Kong.  As an extra kick in the ass, this was the same day after I spent the morning taking pictures of nothing but gloom, fog and black skies at The Peak.  Sigh.

Chi Lin Nunnery, Hong Kong, China Continue reading

Chi Lin Nunnery Hong Kong ChinaChi Lin Nunnery, Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong: Kowloon Park and the Symphony of Lights at Victoria Harbor

My second stop in Hong Kong is Kowloon Park, where I plan to kill some time before the Symphony of Lights at 8:00.  It is no longer raining but it is still soaking wet and very hot.

The Hong Kong subway is very easy to navigate.  There are signs all over that tell you which exit to take for where you want to go.  Bonus, everything is in English.

super helpful subway station maps hong kong china

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Kowloon Park:

Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China Kowloon Park, Hong Kong China

They even have a little McDonalds stand inside, selling ice cream.

McDonalds stand Kowloon Park Hong Kong China

I have a tendency to be “accidental hiker” where I walk up and up and up and it’s always just because I am lost and going in the wrong direction.  Well today I was sure I was going in the right direction, following signs for a Lookout Point.  I went up there and the view was completely obstructed by trees.

Well played Hong Kong.

From here, I walked all around taking tons of pictures.  Given my maturity level, this one was my favorite:

sex toys classy

The Symphony of Lights show was not as extravagant as I thought it would be.  Still it is free and a must if you are in Hong Kong.

Victoria Harbor night Hong Kong ChinaMy level of patience was borderline running out at this point.  Hong Kong is similar to Las Vegas in that things that should be RIGHT HERE are accessed only by walking through insane lengths.  In Vegas, it’s pedestrian bridges over the Strip.  In Hong Kong, it’s having to cross the street by going through the subway tunnel underground.

After the light show, I went back to my hotel and went right to bed.

Hong Kong, China: Lantau Island, Ngong Ping Village, Tian Tan Buddha

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:

Ibis North Point room view Hong Kong Victoria Harbor

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.

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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:

how to get to tung chung cable car

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.

cable car Ngong Ping to Tian Tan Buddha Hong Kong Cable car rain Ngong Ping to Tian Tan Buddha hong kong cable cars ngong ping village

Finally off in the distance, there he is!  TIAN TAN BUDDHA!  Well hello guy!  I am here to see YOU!

Tian Tan Buddha from Cable Car exit

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.

ngong ping village hong kong

Bodhi Square Ngong Ping Hong Kong

Because I just must take pictures of every adorable animal I see, here are some cows and some stray dogs (aw)

cows ngong ping village

I wonder what they are talking about?stray dogs ngong ping

Po Lin Monastery gates with Buddha in the background, getting closer!

Po Lin Monastery Gates with Tian Tan Buddha in background Hong Kong
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:

Tian Tan Buddha Hong Kong China

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:

view tian tan buddha


At least Buddha has his head back   Well kind of anyway.

Top Tian Tan Buddha in the fog Hong Kong

Two seconds after taking this picture, it started POURING and everyone ran for cover.

rain storm tian tan buddha

Tian Tan Buddha Devas in rainI 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.

po lin monastery grounds china hong kong Golden Buddhas Po Lin Monastery Ngong Ping Hong Kong po lin monastery hong kong chinaPo Lin Monastery Hong Kong China.

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.

Hong Kong, China: A Quick Recap

I will be posting tons of details and photos later on.  But for now, a quick recap.

How long was I in Hong Kong?  60 hours.

Where did I stay?  Ibis North Point.  I wanted a hotel with 24 hour check in, near the airport shuttle.  This had both and BONUS it was on the same subway line as the Macau Ferry, which is what I took when I left.

How much was my hotel?  $279.22 USD.  Hong Kong hotels are expensive. I stayed over a weekend and I booked after prices went up considerably.

What did my hotel room look like?  Typical of China, it was small.  But it had everything I needed.

Hotel Ibis North Point Hong Kong bed

Hotel North Point Ibis Hong Kong room

How much money did I spend in addition to my hotel?  $1121 HKD = $144.58 USD

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What did I spend that on?  I wish I had kept better track.  Let’s see.

Biggest expense: Taxi from the airport (more on that later) = $285 HKD ($36.76 USD)

Oyster Card: $250 HKD ($34.24 USD)  I ended up getting a refund of $117 HKD ($15 USD)

Peak Tram and Sky Terrace: $150 HKD ($19.35 USD)  If you go to Hong Kong, do not pay for the Sky Terrace.  You can get up pretty high to view simply by eating at a restaurant. And I do not mean an expensive one like the Stratosphere or the Space Needle.   There is a Burger King up there with a balcony view.   If I had known this..

Ngong Ping cable car: $150 HKD ($19.35 USD)

Ferry to Macau: $172 HKD ($21.18 USD)

The rest went to water, soda, coffee and food.

Things I brought that are no longer with me:  When I left NYC, my checked luggage weighed 33 pounds.  I am now down:  three Cliff bars, half a loaf of cinnamon bread, three days’ worth of meds, vitamins and Aleve, seven band aids, one pack of gum and my envelope of Hong Kong information.  I am betting my bag on the way home gets down to 25 pounds.  We shall see.

Things I accumulated along the way:  Four toothbrushes and two tiny toothpaste tubes.  My hotel left me two of each every day.  I used two toothbrushes and four tooth pastes.  The others are with me.  I also accidentally stole the power adapter I borrowed at Ibis.  I am sorry.

Would I return to Hong Kong?  No.  I was not planning to fall in love with it and I followed through on that.   It was great to see it once, I do not need to see it twice.

How many pictures did I take?  279.

Can I show you one?  Okay but just one.  I have things to do, ya know?

Here is Victoria Harbor at night.  I am showing you this one because it looks okay on my netbook but I bet it looks really shitty on a real computer.  I am on a netbook so allow me to take advantage of this, because I would probably not be able to show this if I saw how shitty it looked on a real computer.

Victoria Harbor night Hong Kong ChinaBonus: My mouse stopped working for no real reason and using a touch pad is not my strong suit.  So editing pictures = death right now.