Saturday, April 9, 2016

glass bottomed gondolas and po fishing village

My favorite day in Hong Kong was possibly our day on Lantau Island.  Our airbnb apartment was on this island so we took a quick bus ride over to the Glass bottomed gondolas one morning and had the best day.  We've taken many Gondola rides here in Japan- but this one was truly astounding.   It's 5.7 km (3.5miles) long!!! and with a glass bottom- it was one of the coolest rides I've ever taken! 
we don't have any scaredy cats in the fam- so it was enjoyable for everybody!  We totally lucked out with adventurous kids.
part of the ride is over water! it was so fun,

once you cross the water- you head way UP and OVER all of those mountains!!

all of the views from the mountain top were astounding!!

At the top- there's a little commercial village leading up to Hong Kong's famous Giant Buddha!

I have no idea why metta was wearing so many jackets! It wasn't actually cold. 

there were also random cows wandering about. I really like random animals.

Big Buddha is huge.

There was also another Large temple on the grounds with the famous buddha.  The intricate carvings and paint and colors were astounding.

I snuck the picture inside the temple with my camera!!  up in front of the statues are huge bowls of ferrero rocher chocolates given as gifts/sacrifices!!  what do they do with all of that chocolate?!?!
Just as I was taking this picture- a big piece of ash popped and blew off the top of this giant incense stick!

After our visit to the temple and buddha- we hopped on a local bus to head back down the other side of the island to visit the quaint fishing village- Po.  Once there- we took a boat tour through the floating houses and out along the land pictured below to look for dolphins!  we didn't see any- but the driver showed us some video he'd captured the week before :)
we also wandered through the floating village on foot and found some cool neighborhoods and wild life.
this guy makes the best egg waffles in all of Hong Kong from his garage or patio (I couldn't tell what part of his house it was!) I read it on some CNN- off the beaten path- blog!  egg waffles are famous all over hong kong and they lived up to the hype! sweet and light and perfectly crispy and fluffy.

I'm not certain if that's a shark or a dolphin skin hanging- but I made the kids get a picture.

we had some of the tastiest chinese food on our entire trip here!    The place was packed with locals and was off the main touristy part of the neighborhood- but I read about it on another blog I'd found!

I really enjoy exploring and wandering around foreign places.  the buildings and roads and people we meet are always fascinating.

 I loved this old couple on our boat posing for pictures!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

10,000 buddhas

One 1/2 day in Hong Kong we took the train out a little ways into the mountains and visited the 10,000 buddhas monastery.  Everywhere we visited warned us of steep hikes and MANY stairs.  I think Japan has conditioned us.  None of the hikes or stairs felt steep or long!!  We've hiked so many stairs and steep mountainsides in Japan that we are prepared for just about anything :)

The hike really was astounding! there were SO MANY BUDDHAS.  I doubted the '10,000' number- but I'm pretty sure there were at least that many!

The big ones were pretty wild.  All sorts of crazy faces, actions, and positions!
This was the buddha I felt like I could relate most to :)

what is going on with this buddha's looooong arm?!

Once up top- there was a small restaurant and some more statues.  
The restaurant sold vegetarian sweet and sour 'chicken'.  I'd read reviews that it was pretty tasty.  I did not agree.  It was pretty gross.  Mack liked the rice.   He is our favorite big buddha.

One of the main shrines up top was covered- ceiling to floor- wall to wall- with small buddhas.  There are also little teeny buddhas in those cone looking structures.  

Hong Kong temples are so ornate and over the top with color and decor!  I loved it.