Sunday, October 14, 2007

No Rock Climbing

There is way too much fun to be had in Hong Kong. It's a very compact city, and easy to get around, and there are tons of things to do.

On Saturday afternoon, we took a ferry to Lantau Island, where (according to our guide) no one wants to live because it's too hard to get to, even though it's much cheaper than the city itself.

A tour bus picked us up from the ferry, and drove us to a fishing village. This village has a huge parking lot to accommodate all the tour buses that go there. It certainly was picturesque, with open air stalls filled with all manner of fish and fish products.

Each of these baskets contains a different kind of live sea creature. They run garden hoses into the tray they are all in to keep them alive. These pictures are really not complete without the smell, but fortunately I cannot provide that here.

Then we got back on the bus and went to see the largest bronze Buddha in Asia. It's way up on top of a mountain, and no matter how you try to shoot it, it's backlit. Treo camera simply not equal to this challenge. This is my best shot of it. For more info. and pics of the Tian Tan Buddha, click here.

There are many shrines and displays, along with two gift shops, inside the Buddha.

These signs abound on the mountain where the Buddha is.

I guess everything goes better with Coke. Through the archway you can see one of the six female figures who surround the Buddha. Each one offers him something different (a book, a cup, a bird, a flute, etc.). I'm happy to report that none of them actually offers him a Coke.

This is the view coming down the mountain from the Buddha. There are 206 steps. The monastery is the building in the upper right.

This is one of the many shrines in the monastery. They were incredibly elaborate and beautiful. We could hear the monks chanting. Some in our group saw them, but I spent too much time up on the mountain (OK, and at the gift shop) and had to run to make it back to the bus.

This is the most incense I've ever seen. There are a variety of sizes of it, including huge sticks over an inch in diameter There's a warning sign on the cauldron that says something like "Beware of Pot of Hot Incense." (That's not an exact quote, but it's very close.)

Then we got back on the tour bus and headed back to the ferry, where we saw the most bicycles I've ever seen (last photo). At right is one of my colleagues trying to get a last shot of the Buddha.

More school visits tomorrow, then we head for Seoul on an afternoon flight.

(NOTE TO PETEENA'S LEGIONS OF FANS: Peteena has been quite upset and disoriented since we left Thailand. She's convinced there's been a coup d'etat in the land she was born to rule and that we are in hiding. I took her with me yesterday, though, and she had a long talk with the Buddha. Hopefully, she will be feeling well enough to post soon.)


Anonymous said...

Bird list! Bird list!

chris said...

I relate well to the gift shop. Just looking at the 206 steps up to the top was painful, but he is an impressive guy.

I am so glad you could not convey the smell to go with the fresh seafood market.

What a whirlwind schedule you are on! Poor Peteena, she must be exhausted.