Hong Kong Highlights – II

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Continuing from the previous post,the next morning, after having breakfast, we left for our Lantau Island and Big Buddha tour. We went to Wanchai MTR station and took a train to Tung Chung which is the station closest to the Lantau Island tour. The MTR is one of the most reliable, safe and efficient ways to travel around Hong Kong. The MTR extends all the way from the heart of Central and Causeway Bay to the New Territories and Lantau Island. It covers 82 stations on the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island, Tung Chung, Tseung Kwan O, East Rail, West Rail, Ma On Shan and Disneyland Resort lines. The MTR also operates a 35.2km Airport Express and 36.2km Light Rail networks which can take you to Hong Kong Airport and 68 stops in the North West New Territories. It also provides speedy through train services to major cities across Mainland China. Once we reached Tung Chung station, we picked some lunch. The complex has many options for fast food meals. We ate at New York Fries and also picked up a Subway sandwich. Once we were done with lunch, we walked ahead towards the cable car terminal. We reached the ticket counter and exchanged our voucher for tickets. There was a really long queue to get to the cable car, though not too long a wait. The cable car ride is a 5.7 km unique experience, travelling from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping village. We enjoyed the ever-changing panoramic & spectacular views like Hong Kong Airport, South China Sea, North Lantau Country Park, and finally the Big Buddha. It is a 20-25 minutes amazing ride where you can see the bird’s eye view of some of the many beautiful visuals.

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Upon reaching Ngong Ping Village, you will find many attractions like souvenir shops, dining options and other entertainment experiences. You can stroll through the village until you finally reach below the Big Buddha. You can climb up towards the Big Buddha or take in the sheer size of it from below. The Big Buddha is the largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha. Below the statue is the Giant Buddha exhibition hall. A short walk away is the Wisdom Path where an ancient prayer is inscribed on a series of wooden columns set in a figure of eight to signify infinity. You can light incense sticks at many designated areas. You can also visit the Po Lin monastery where you can witness monks chanting hymns and praying. You can also catch a traditional vegetarian Buddhist meal at the monastery canteen, which is what we did as we are vegetarians and did not want to miss a chance of tasting some vegan food. There are many options to choose from and the food tasted great. Once we were done with our meal, we headed back towards the cable car terminal. We walked back at a leisurely pace, checking out the different shops for souvenirs, etc. We picked up a few gifts and souvenirs and finally reached the cable car terminal and went back to Tung Chung. We then took the MTR back to Wanchai station, back to our hotel.

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After resting for a while, we met a local friend who took us to dinner to a really great vegan restaurant. Even though it was a good 20 minute walk, it was our preferred mode of transport to the restaurant. We had left a little early so that we could enjoy the sights as we strolled towards the restaurant. Seeing Hong Kong by night is a great experience, with its streets lit up with neon signage everywhere, busy with throngs of people. We finally reached the restaurant, which was a great dining experience. The food was really very delicious and scrumptious. One of the highlights of the meal was the amazing fruit tea our friend had ordered along with our meal. It was different from anything we had tasted before, warm, sweet and delectable. After our meal we walked around one of the night markets just to have a look. We did not find anything we liked, but it was still a great experience. We did try a few drinks though, a few fruity cold drinks and a special Asian milk tea. Once we were done browsing and enjoying our drinks, we took a bus back to our hotel. By then we had tried out almost all modes of transport in Hong Kong; taxi, ferry, MTR, cable car and finally the local bus. We reached our hotel, our stomachs full with all the different culinary experiences of the day and our heads full of the beautiful sights we had seen through the day.

The next day was a bit relaxed. We just walked the area around the hotel. We were supposed to go to Macau that day, but due to some reasons we could not go. So, we decided to explore the promenade behind our hotel. We strolled through the promenade and took in the beautiful views of the water, the yachts, etc. We ate some lunch and just walked around aimlessly for some time. At night, we ate dinner in a really great Indian restaurant with a few friends. It was a great end to a somewhat lazy day.

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The next day, we were to check out and leave to go back home. We had a bit of time after we had checked out of the hotel. We spent some time in the beautiful gardens of the hotel. Once our coach picked us up, we left for the airport and took our flight back home with some amazing memories of a really amazing city.