Saturday, September 13, 2008

Last Day In Hong Kong

Our five days in Hong Kong were drawing to a close, so on our final day we decided to head to the island of Lantau (the largest island in Hong Kong) to visit the Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. The Buddha is actually quite close to the Hong Kong airport, so we headed to the airport in the morning, dropped of our bags in a coin locker, and then headed off.

We rode the bus to Tung Ching and then boarded the Ngong Ping cable car (I'm used to calling them gondolas) which took us on a 30 minute ride over mountains.

The cable car dropped us off in Ngong Ping village and from there, we walked to the Buddha.

It was pretty hot out on this day, but we still managed to climb the 268 steps to the top!

At the top, there were several other small statues.

This above photo is the entrance to the Po Lin Monastery which is at the base of the Buddha.

All in all, our trip to Hong Kong was so much fun! I leave you with this self taken photo of Kev and I....Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Love, Chrissy :)

More Hong Kong...

After quite a full day, Kevin and I decided to take it easy on Day 3. We woke up late and skipped breakfast, so we could enjoy some "Dim Sum." We found a restaurant called the Jade Garden located near the Central Ferry pier.

The Jade Garden had an English menu which made things so much easier for us. You know, it's funny. Although Hong Kong was ruled by England for 99 years, there are quite a few people who don't speak English. Aside from the upscale restaurants and hotels, it can be hard at times to find people who speak English....

Anyway, here are a few photos from our "Dim Sum" brunch.

After our brunch, we headed to the train station to go to the Hong Kong countryside (if there is such a place)--to an area in the New Territories called Sha Tin.

For those who follow the Olympics, you may be aware that Sha Tin is where the equestrian events for the 2008 Para-Olympics are being held.

Once we arrived in Sha Tin, Kev and I took a nice walk through the Sha Tin Garden Park.

Here's a photo of the two of us "goofing" around....

While in Sha Tin, we visited the Hong Kong Heritage Museum.

The museum had some great exhibits on Chinese ceramics including glazed vases from the Ming dynasty. I was an East Asian Studies major in college-- so most of the exhibits were quite interesting to me, I'm not so sure it was Kevin's cup of tea.

Following the museum, we visited one last stop in Sha Tin. A restaurant that had been recommended to us by Kev's best friend, Ray Kung.

Ray's family is from Hong Kong so they told us that we absolutely could not go to Sha Tin WITHOUT eating the roast pigeon. Yes, that's right. You read that correctly. Roast Pigeon.

One restaurant in particular is quite famous for the roast pigeon. A restaurant called Lung Wah. Lung Wah may have been a hotel at some point, since the signage still reads hotel. The place wasn't too easy to find, but after walking a bit and making a few circles, we finally found it.

This place reminded me of Chinese was like a throwback to 1930's China. The walkway leading up to the restaurant was lined with these bright Chinese paper lanterns...

Once seated, we ordered and then waited for our pigeon. Finally, ta da!

Looks pretty tasty, doesn't it?

We tried to eat with chopsticks, but Kev and I had to (of course) follow local customs and eat the pigeon with our fingers. The restaurant provided a "finger bowl" with tea for you to rinse your fingers when finished. All in all, the pigeon was delicious. It was juicy and full of flavor.

So the next time you visit Hong Kong, be sure you head to Sha Tin for the roast pigeon....

The next day, we headed to Hong Kong island to go to Stanley Market and Victoria's Peak. On our way to the Market, we rode one of Hong Kong's famous double decker trolley cars. These are a bit different from the ones in San Francisco.

To get to Stanley Market, we also rode a double decker bus, similar to the ones you see in London. Here are some photos Kev took on the bus.

Here we are at Stanley Market. Stanley Market doesn't have too much to offer but shopping, but the bus ride there is quite interesting as you can see all the beautiful houses built on the hill overlooking the water. This area of Hong Kong is where the mega wealthy live.

At Stanley Market, Kev and I grabbed a quick bite to eat. We had sliders....look how small they are....

After our snack, Kev left to go to the Maritime museum and I went shopping. Walking around by myself, I found this small little shrine.

I got bored with shopping after a bit, so I went into this McDonald's Cafe called "McCafe" and waited for Kevin. Kev took this photo because he got such a kick out of it...

After Stanley Market, we went to the Peak. Our visit to the Peak was fun, but I'm not sure if the Peak was really worth the money. The ride on the tram car was quite expensive and once you get up at the top, the Peak itself is highly commercialized. They even had a "Bubba Gump Shrimp" restaurant up at the top.

But if you want to get a great skyline view of Hong Kong and be able to say you went to Victoria's Peak and rode the old fashioned tram car--I guess that makes it slightly worth it.

The ride on the old fashioned tram car was pretty fun. Before the days of power engines, the tram ran on coal and steam....

Once at the top, the view was incredible....

After the peak, we headed back to our hotel in Kowloon but not before stopping at the Promenade to watch the "Hong Kong Symphony Of Lights." This is a nightly light and sound show held at 8pm. Believe it or not, this event is actually part of the Guiness Book of World Records for the world's largest permanent light and sound show. We were able to snap a few photos before it started to pour!

Hong Kong Continued...

I told you we walked a lot on our first day. The first post was only half of Day 1 on Hong Kong. This is the 2nd half. Needless to say, you can understand why after this day, our feet were aching....

After spending the morning in Kowloon, we decided to go to one of the outer lying islands of Hong Kong for a small break from all the chaos of the city. We decided to take a ferry to the island of Cheung Chau to spend the afternoon there.

On our way to the ferry pier, we took a stroll through some more open air markets.....

We came across a small temple....This temple is called Tin Hau temple.

Buddhist temples and shrines can be found all over Hong Kong. This is a view from inside the temple. These incense coils are made to burn for 10 days....

Once on the ferry, Kevin took a few photos as we approached the island of Cheung Chau. The island is about 10 kilometres away from Hong Kong island and does not have any vehicles.

This island is a small fishing island community known for its seafood, pretty evident by the number of junk boats and sampans visible in the harbor.

Once we arrived on Cheung Chau, we walked to the beach.

And stopped at a small cafe. I had a refreshing iced milk tea while Kev enjoyed a beer. For some reason, the beer San Miguel is very popular on Hong Kong, despite the fact it is imported from the Philippines.

We found another temple and had our fortune read....I am expected to have a fruitful and prosperous year end....

This is Pak Tai temple, considered to be one of the oldest in Hong Kong.

Does this look familiar? I'll give you a hint....rhymes with "Lisa."

After the temple, we headed back to the harbor to scout out our dinner. Did I mention how much Kevin and I love seafood?!?!?

Can you see what these are? Don't worry, Kev and I didn't eat any of these guys...

Once back at the harbor, we decided to eat at a restaurant recommended by our Lonely Planet guidebook-The New Bacarrat. We are so glad we did, the food was absolutely delicious!

Here I am enjoying the view and trying to find out what to do next according to our guidebook. This dish is steamed whole fish with onions and garlic. I was able to choose the fish I wanted from the aquarium. Of course, I couldn't tell you what the fish is called....I just pointed to it... :)

These are actually called "mantis shrimp." Boy, they were tasty. They are prepared by lightly frying them and tossing them with some chili oil and spiced salt. You peel off the shell and eat....I know they look a bit odd and somewhat "bug like" but really, they were SOOOO good. I think they were my favorite.

We ordered so much food...the steamed vegetables were another favorite.

With our bellies full, we decided to call it a day and head back to Kowloon to go to sleep....
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