Before we arrived, I was on deck about 6am and saw this amazing sunrise.
Some people say that sailing into HK port is one of the most beautiful ports in the world to sail into. I personally don’t think so.. You can’t compare sailing into HK with sailing into NYC or Sydney, Australia. (which happens to be my favorite). The Travel Guide, Barbara, suggested that we all get up in time to see the sail in and so we did. They offer us the opportunity to be at the front of the ship which is usually restricted. They offer coffee and “HK rolls”. It’s funny that whenever we sail into a port that is suppose to be special they offer us the same rolls just call them according to the city we are sailing into..
Old and New.. The old city, how it was and behind it, new skyscrapers.
We arrived and parked at the terminal. The terminal (Harbor City) was located on Kowloon Island. Hong Kong is a city of many islands, each connected through ferries, cable cars and subways. The waterway that connects all these islands is called Victoria Bay.
Harbor City is basically an exclusive Fashion Mall with all the top designers, and not knock-offs. During the day and evenings this is totally packed with locals buying and buying tons of designer clothing, bags, shoes etc. Insane how much money is spent here, especially when we heard that the average salary is about $400 a month. How do they do that?
Since would be in HK on a Saturday and Sunday we and Hong Kong is basically a large city and since we have been to many large cities we decided to visit Lantau Island and the largest sitting Buddha in the world and visit the Po Lin Monastery.
Getting there was interesting too. First we take a subway to Lantau Island, then we took a bus to the Monastery but we could have easily taken the Starr Ferry or the subway and cable car. But we wanted to get there quickly and once we got to the island by subway we saw that there was a line for the cable car that was about 3 hours long so we jumped on the bus. The trip took about a half hour traveling up the mountain.
The subway. So clean.
The Starr Ferry
Once at the Buddha we walked through the gates (Every street, entrance, neighborhood has a gate).
There were over 300 steps to the top to see the Buddha up close and personal, as you can see from the first picture.
Once we walked up and down all those stairs and visited the monastery we were starving. It is great that the monastery has a VEGAN restaurant and all the food is cooked by the monks.
The monastery was in the process of a rehab and there were these bamboo scaffoldings.
There was incense everywhere and some of them were huge. Buddhists offer up incense to the Gods. Not sure why.
Now to Lunch
The meal began with a bowl of mushroom soup prepared in the Chinese manner (several different kinds of mushrooms in the soup and a LOT of cornstarch), followed by deep-fried vegetable rolls and several other dishes that consisted of vegetables, mushrooms and tofu. The best dish was tofu prepared in a lemon sauce. Of course, a bowl of rice was also served, but no desert was included and strangely, no water either, but lots of green tea. After we finished lunch we visited a vegan fast food cafeteria attached to the premises and chose a selection of vegan pastries to share, all of which were pretty traditional Chinese baked goods, including bean paste cakes.
Dessert: Buns filled with dates, sweet bean paste, and sweet potatoes.
After lunch we walked through a nearby village that was full of shops and finally took the bus back to the subway and then back to Kowloon Island toward the ship.
The one thing that was extremely disconcerting was seeing this all over the grounds of the monastery and Buddha .
We got back to the area of the ship. (Kowloon Island) and walked the promenade where people gather for the laser show that happens after dark.
The Art Museum is the interesting building to the right of the clock tower. We tried to see the museum but it was just about ready to close so we didn’t get a chance.
A san pan (junk) or whatever you would like to call this boat.
And now for the laser show
After the show we went back out to the Night Market and got the rest of the presents we wanted to purchase. I didn’t take my camera since we were warned that the Night Market is the only time you would have to be careful with your belongings.
But basically the Night Market is similar to a swap meet but just at night. This one was full of knock-offs and tschatskes.
The next day I was so exhausted and my ankles blew up from all the climbing that I and K decided to take it easy. The internet connection at the terminal was fast, easy and free and we took advantage of it, and I posted many of the blogs that I hadn’t posted in weeks.
Next stop, Nha Trang, Vietnam