Saturday, April 16, 2005
Lantau Island Hike
We are slowly making our way to some of the outlying islands. Yesterday, we went to Lantau Island. It is the largest outlying island and twice the size of HK and is an hour ride by ferry from HK. It has the airport on one edge and also has the new Disneyland that will be opening in 2005.
This island amazed us. We came from HK with 7 million people, rode the ferry for one hour, took a small bus for 10 minutes, got dropped off and the only things we could hear were tree locusts, birds and the breeze blowing through the trees. It was crazy the difference from where we had just come from. You could occasionally hear a bus drive by, but that was it. There was also nobody on the trail.
We are finding our hikes to be similar with the surrounding environment. Very jungle like, with dense undergrowth. As we gained elevation, the jungle thinned out and we ended up in tall grass. We also ended up in the clouds with a massive wind coming over the ridge. The wind was probably 50mph. At times I thought I was going to get blown over! For about an hour we could maybe see 75’ in front of us. It was kind of crazy! The good thing was it was kind of cold, so we didn’t sweat and get so stinky
After we made it down the hill, we took the bus to the Po Lin Monastery. This has the worlds largest outdoor seated Buddha and is a BIG ASS BUDDHA! He sits on a hill at an elevation of 1700’ and can be seen for miles. He is also 84’ tall and made out of bronze. It was an amazing sight to see. We had seen a big Buddha in Kamakura, Japan but this guy was bigger! What I found interesting is everything about him had a spiritual meaning. His smile, how he sat, the placement of his hands, where his fingers pointed to, his long ear lobes, etc. I still am not comfortable going to these tourist places and “playing tourist” while people are praying!
It was a great day! That evening we ended up going to this new area we found last weekend that has a lot of bars, brewpubs and restaurants. For some reason I found it necessary to drink myself silly and then on our way home have the taxi driver teach me how to count in Catonese!