Lantau Island, Hong Kong

Today we had a little bit of a late start, but wanted to make sure that we continued to explore the Hong Kong area. We decided to take the famed 26 minute cable car ride over to Lantau Island, where a Buddhist monastery sits. This island is also home to the “Big Buddha.”


The cable car ride itself was worth the price; it was a beautiful, if somewhat nauseating way to see Hong Kong’s scenery from above.


The Ngong Ping Village, where all of this is located, is exactly what you would expect from a tourist attraction, which was fine. Interestingly, they have cows walking around, so one woman narrowly avoided having her ice cream eaten by a cow, which was amusing to watch as we walked through the souvenir shop area to the main attractions.


Up close, the Big Buddha is beautiful and immense. They have a nice little museum about the monks of the monastery and the building of the Big Buddha on display as well. Once you get up close, you can see the Big Buddha and a variety of other statues, as well as note the beautiful background. It’s been pretty hazy here, so that might account for why everything is so dark in my pictures.


After visiting the Big Buddha, we walked a short distance to the monastery, which again had a very touristy vibe (we couldn’t figure out if the monastery and Big Buddha predated the desire to attract tourists or not). Much like the other Chinese attractions I’ve been to, everything was brilliant and very beautiful, but had an air of being freshly created which I find very detracting to the experience of history. However, the hall of 1,000 Buddhas and the monastery decoration were true to the styles we’ve seen elsewhere (and I’ve seen on the mainland).


We wanted to treat ourselves to a nice dinner here in cosmopolitan Hong Kong, so we’re waiting it out for a late reservation at one of the nicest restaurants in town, an Italian spot in Causeway Bay to get a taste of nightlife before we continue on to Japan tomorrow. Unlike Cambodia, where we legitimately went to the number 1 restaurants in both Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Hong Kong is much more expensive (so many Michelin stars!) so we’re trying to access that culture on a budget!


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