Hong Kong's Big Buddha
Trip Start Jan 06, 2010
171Trip End Jun 21, 2010
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Where I stayed
The Garden View International Hotel, Macdonnell Road
We then caught the same train to the airport and dropped off our remaining luggage into an electronic locker which would cost us $30 for up to 4 hours and then another $30 for any time after 4 hours.
Next we found the S1 bus to Ngong Ping which took about 30 minutes to reach
Upon arrival we headed to a nearby cafe called Zen Noodle where I had a Japanese Dumpling Ramen and Ben had a Spicy Beef Ramen for lunch. The food was relatively okay, though not the best. After lunch we walked through the main shopping street to the Buddha. Out past the shopping street they are in the process of building a new walkway in granite, with gateways at either end. It potentially looks stunning, so worth a trip when it's completed!
The Batu caves looked like a doddle when we reached the Buddha's hill - Oh, the stairs! As I made my way up I had a real "Howl's Moving Castle" moment and half expected to find a short legged dog snuffling around my feet waiting to be carried up. The Buddha itself was pretty amazing. There was a bit of information inside about how it was built from the initial engineering to modeling a small one, to modeling a 1:1 version! Then casting it in bronze and working out how to break it up into transportable pieces before rebuilding and tweaking it in the factory
The walk down was a tad easier and we made our way further into the complex to visit the Po Lin Monastery where there were Monks doing their official chanting through microphones which was very loud! After looking around the Monastery and the gardens we made our way back to the cable car, this time taking a standard car down which doesn't have the transparent floor. It took us a few attempts to get the return bus for the correct place as it drops you off outside the Cable car but picks up for the main bus terminal over the road and the signs are non-existent. We had to rely on the bus driver who pointed us in the right direction. Twice.
At the airport we collected our luggage and headed through immigration which was all rather painless. We stopped for a snack of Ben & Jerry's ice cream (Cookies & Sweet Cream/Chocolate chip cookie dough) and Millie's Cookies (Raspberry & white choc/oatmeal & raisin) with a hot chocolate and Mocha Chocca which should get us through to dinner or to bed in case the food was dire on the flight.
Our gate was in the satellite terminal which wasn't too far away - a couple of minutes on a bus. The flight seemed to go well and the food was passable. We landed at 11pm where we were met by Rita (Gao Le) from Sinoway Travel (well, actually a Beijing tour agency that Sinoway use) and our driver Mr J.
On the half hour journey to our hotel, Rita introduced us to the stone dragon with money in its mouth that sat in the middle of the car
We arrived at the Red Wall Hotel and got checked in to room 6102. We were expecting to head up in a lift to the 6th floor, but instead the bell boy took us around the back to a Chinese style room! It wasn't massive, but i was full of character with carved doors and furniture and lanterns down the corridor. The bathroom was lovely too though rather cold.
We headed straight to bed ready for a 9am pick up the next morning.