Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hong Kong and Macau: The Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present, without further ado...the final installment of the Hong Kong and Macau trip!

Friday was my last full day in Hong Kong. Before coming to Hong Kong, I had heard about a large, bronze Buddha statue on Lantau Island, and I wanted to see it.  After waking up, I made my way to a stop called Tung Chung, which is on Lantau Island. A few interesting things about Lantau:
  • It's the largest island in Hong Kong.
  • The international airport is located there.
  • Hong Kong Disneyland is also located there.
The best way to get to the Buddha statue (officially referred to as the Tian Tan Buddha) is via cable car. Or so I'm told. I decided to take the cable car, and based on my experiences over the past few days, I decided to go early. The decision paid off. Well, nothing extra special happened, I just didn't have to wait for a long time. Being a single rider allowed me to board the cable car even sooner. Sweet!

The views on the ride up were an 11 on a 1-10 scale.

I disembarked in a village called Ngong Ping. It's pretty remote. Other than the cable car, the only way to access the village is by bus or car. The village is mostly touristy, although there are a few people that reside here.

Then I took a whole mess of pictures. I'll let them do the talking for a while.

Okay, I'll do some talking with these pictures.

This was a plaza flanked by statues of warriors that represent the different animals in the Chinese zodiac (horse, dragon, snake, etc.). I'm here with the statue that represents the ox. My birth year was the year of the ox, so I had to get a pic with this guy.

Tian Tan Buddha up the stairs

Po Lin Monastery

Yes, there were stairs to the Tian Tan Buddha. Yes, I went up them. But first, I wandered down a path that led to even more photo ops.

You could wander around and camp for a couple of days if you wanted to.

This was called the Wisdom Path.

Aaaaaand...we're back.
It was time to pay ol' Tian Tan Buddha a visit. Apparently, it's one of the five large Buddha statues in China, and it was built in 1993.

I'm older than this thing (not by a whole lot, but still...). I guess the ol' Tian Tan Buddha isn't so ol' after all!

268 steps (according to the Wikis).

These statues (also according to the Wikis) are known as "The Offering of the Six Devas." They're offering various gifts to Buddha. Three of them are pictured here.

Here are the other three Devas.

Beautiful sky. Awesome wind. I was very pleased with this experience. And hungry. It was time to eat.

I went back to Ngong Ping and found a semi-authentic looking restaurant called Ngong Ping Garden Restaurant. Meh. I asked for duck with rice, and the duck came out cold. Water cost as much as soda. It all turned out okay, but I'd recommend checking out another place to eat.

It was time to head back down to Chinatown.

I returned to Hong Kong Island, and I thought, "You know? I haven't wandered very much. I should do that now."

So I did. And here's proof.

Hong Kong Island

Kowloon (across the harbor)

Kowloon (again)

Back to Hong Kong (guys, that's really me. I didn't even photoshop myself in).

Love plumerias. I've loved them since Hawaii and I'll love them forever more.

Now for some words...

Wandering around was enjoyable, but it was also tiring. The decisions I made over the next few hours were likely made out of exhaustion and not out of rational thought. My back was aching, so I looked for a place to get a massage. I'd heard about reflexology and how the person doing it (reflexologist? sure) can target different parts of the body by focusing upon the feet, so I decided to try it. I looked and looked, but I couldn't find a clinic.

As I wandered, I saw a sign that said "Acupuncture." I'd never tried it before, so I figured that moment was as good of a time as any. Up I went.

The acupuncturist spoke no English. Thankfully, there was a woman (a patient? A receptionist? I still don't know) who did. I explained my problem to her, she translated it for him. In a daze, I agreed to the price and went to the back room.

This place looked...old. I have some foggy memories of slightly yellowed walls and mysterious little boxes. Also, the bed was way too narrow, and a bit too short, for me. Still, I had somehow decided this was all a good idea.

He came in, pulled the back of my shirt up, felt around my spine, and put five needles in my back. That wasn't bad. Then he hooked up each needle to a little wire and turned on a machine to which the wires were attached.

The needles started to vibrate. For 15 minutes. That was weird.

After what seemed like an eternity, he came back, pulled out the needles, and put several glass jars on my back. You may have heard of this or experienced it before. It creates a suction effect on the skin, and it apparently brings the bad blood close to the surface.

It didn't feel weird, but it also wasn't really relaxing. I did have some pretty sweet round red marks on my back for a few days. Sorry kids, no pictures of that.

Off I went, and I can now say that I've experienced acupuncture. It was time for dinner.

I passed a reflexology clinic (DAH!!!) on the way to a random, Cantonese restaurant. One of my friends challenged me to try something exotic. I looked on the menu and saw preserved cuttlefish. I found my challenge.

Here's proof that I actually ate it:

Since I was full and had made enough delirious choices for the day, I decided to call it a good day while I could. Besides, I had an early flight out the next day.

I wish I had an awesome story about talking with a stranger for hours or staying up all night trying to figure out why mosquitoes exist, but truth be told, I had a restful night, and I was able to check out and get to the airport on time.

Great adventure! Can't wait for the next one!

Fare thee well, Chinese SARs!

1 comment:

  1. But I need to know why mosquitos exist!!! The views look incredible-- the cuttlefish, not so much.