Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery, Hong Kong, China

It started to rain a lot. Thank God I walked with my small umbrella. Shankar unfortunately got drenched. It was too hazy to go see Buddha at 930am. We headed with the bus to see the Tai-O fishing village to see the Tanka people’s stilt house fishing village. Stilt Village is where villagers and local live on the riverfront. It was raining so much we ended up just walking thru quickly then we stopped at a local woman’s storefront where she was cooking on a stop right in the open market. We had Calamari, and fried something else (don’t want to know, although Shankar enjoyed it). She cooked it while we watched, quite fascinating. It was a great experience. It’s moment like these that highlight our trips. The local cooking, culture and the people. We headed back to the bus station in hopes the haziness will clear. It did!

We took a bus as the Tram wasn’t working as yet. As we got closer, we saw Buddha, clearly :) This magnificent saintly statue, sitting in the iconic meditation post. Gazing up to the famous peaceful Buddha thinking “Wow! We are here”. Looking up to this gigantic bronze statue of Buddha was just amazing. To reach Buddha, which stood on top of a mountain, we had to climb more than 200 steps to actually touch Buddha. It took 12 years to cast Buddha; I can see why. How did the monks build this huge statue on a mountain? I can’t begin to think how it was constructed. It was another dream of ours that came true as we stood in front of Buddha, in all his glory.

After descending from the mountain, we headed to the Po Lin Monastery where we had tea, pastries and noodles. There were a few monks passing by as we sat and enjoyed our lunch and Chinese tea at the Monastery. After we finished eating we walked over and bought essence sticks and light them up for Buddha. The whole process in lighting up the long essence sticks were a ritual by it self. The calmness and peacefulness arose from the ritual was one well worth the participation. It was really a fantastic experience. We visited some of the shops in the nearby village, where we bought Ashley and Michele, our daughter a ring and crystal bracelet for good health and protection. We bought a jade bracelet for Anthony. The village was quiet with tons of tourist walking around.

We took the Tram back to the train station from Lantau. The tram ride was great. A great panoramic view of the island to be seen from the Tram. The tram ride is 5.7 km long so got a view of the China Sea, Hong Kong Airport and Lantau North Country Park. After that we headed on the train to Aberdeen to see the Floating Jumbo Restaurant. We took a ride on a Sanpan boat with a nice little lady. Cost USD $20. The Jumbo Restaurant was not what I was expecting – it cost way too much! The meal wasn’t that great. After dinner we headed back to the hotel. The next day we did some shopping. All the stores in the arcade gallery were closed. We headed to the Park Cafe at the hotel where we relaxed after a long day with a cup of the local flavored tea. What a great experience in Hong Kong and Lantau Island!

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