AUS ‘09 – DAY 19 – HONG KONG

The final day of our holidays and another hot and steamy day in Hong Kong. We decided to spend the day away from the city and get a  bit of culture with a visit to the Po Lin Monastery & Big Buddha. This was a trip on the MTR (Hong Kong’s underground) followed by a bus journey up steep and windy roads.

I know that it is called the “Big Buddha” but I wasn’t prepared for just how big it actually is – it is huge. Just how they managed to get it to its position I have no idea. (A quick look at wikipedia shows that it was only built in 1993 so I can imagine plenty of heavy lifting gear being involved – also given that it cost $68M they had the money to put it there). It is reached up 260 steps and I made this trip (Helen sensibly elected to stay in the shade) at just about midday – talk about mad dogs and Englishmen. Around the base are a number of smaller statues. The setting is impressive set amongst the hills.

The monastery at the base of the Buddha was a beautiful and tranquil place with the shady areas providing some relief from the searing heat.

We had intended to get the cable car back down to the bottom and the train station but it was shut so it was back on the bus. Fortunately we didn’t have Michael Schumacher as our driver on the way back down.

Given our flight back to the UK wasn’t until midnight we had plenty of time to kill and so we took the ferry back to Kowloon to go to the Avenue of Stars. This had the handprints of a number of famous Asian stars. Not up on my Asian cinematography there were only a handful of people I actually recognised (Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee). There was a great statue of Lee in a pose from Enter the Dragon.

Then the trip to the airport and the long wait for the plane back home.

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Click here for more pictures from Hong Kong Day Two