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Lantau Island

HONG KONG | Monday, 24 November 2008 | Views [742]

I woke up this morning still feeling a little worse for wear after my night at Murphys Irish Pub on Nathan Road. I met some friendly Aussies and some Irish guys, and we drank Guinness and watched Rugby League. I actually enjoyed watching Rubgy League - wonders never cease! I think it was an old game though because everyone seemed to know that Australia had lost...although maybe they were just guessing! Hahaha. (Note to self: drinking many pints of Guinness doesn't make you drunk, it makes you bloated.)

Anyway, today I decided to visit Lantau Island; the largest island in Hong Kong and home to Disney Land Hong Kong and Hong Kong Airport. I got a taxi down to Victoria Harbour and then a ferry over to Hong Kong Island. From there I got a high speed ferry over to Lantau Island. The ferry ride through the harbour was beautiful and gave me a chance to see some of the outlying islands, most of which are uninhabited. It's a shame there is so much pollution in Hong Kong; I couldn't see all of the harbour because of the hazy smog everywhere. I could only see things that were within a few meters of the ferry! I did catch a glimpse of the Tsing Ma Bridge though, the world's seventh-longest span suspension bridge. Oooo!

Once there I walked around Mui Wo Bay for a while, took a few photos and then hopped on a bus to Po Lin Monastery, up in the mountains of Ngong Ping. The bus ride took about 25mins and I sware we were going much to fast than the narrow roads allow. We zoomed and lurched up and down hills, around cliffs and beside beaches. There was one strip of land we drove down with a maximum security prison to one side and a beautiful valley and harbour to the other. It was quite weird; although if I had to go to prison, it's the one I would choose - It was lovely around there!!


After the bus pulled up at Po Lin Monastery, I jumped out and straight away climed up the many stairs that lead to the HUGE, towering statue of Tian Tan Buddah. Built in 1992, the Tian Tan Buddha is the largest outdoor bronze Buddha statue in the world and stand 34 meters tall, with the weight of 250 tonnes.
I walked around, took in the view of the surrounding mountains and explored the museum underneath the statue. The view from up there was magnificent and the atmosphere around the statue felt very peaceful, even with hordes of other tourists squarking around me.

I had lunch in the temple grounds at a vegetarian cafe run by the monks. The food was simple but delicious, and I met some new friends while I was eating. A Malaysian woman with her sister and neice sat next to me and we struck up a conversation. She recommended a few places on Hong Kong Island for me to visit. I haven't explored much of Hong Kong Island yet so I was grateful for her advice.

After lunch I decided to go bush walking along to Wisdom Trail to the look out. I walked for about an hour and a half, taking different tracks and stopping to admire the view of the valley, the mountains and the bay. It was honestly one of the best afternoons I've had since I started traveling. You can't really go bush walking where I was in China because they don't have any bush, only feilds or mountains! In Sydney you can drive at least an hour from wherever you are and find secluded bush - I'll never take that for granted again!
It felt wonderful to get back to nature and I had a lot of time to contemplate as I strolled through the trees and up the mountain.

Lantau Island is amazing! It has mountains, beaches, bush land and is only half an hour boat ride from Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. I think it would be a fantastic place to live and I even saw some brand new flats for sale in one of the villages on the island! I would totally live there if I had the money.

I was tired after my bush walk and by that time it was already 3:30pm, so I sat down and waited for the bus back to Silver Mine Bay and the ferry docks. The bus ride back was worse than the one there and at times I thought we were going to fly right off the cliff face and into the bay! Thankfully we didn't and made it back to the bay in one piece. I got the ferry back to Hong Kong Island, then another to Kowloon and came straight to this net cafe! :D

Every time I look at this photo I keep imagining a speach bubble to the side with

Every time I look at this photo I keep imagining a speach bubble to the side with "hey dudes" written in it. Hehehe.

 

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