Friday, November 5, 2010

Hong Kong Day 2

After getting a call from my parents' room, they came over and joined my brother and I for a light breakfast. We had some bread, cheese, pineapple, and apple to go with our morning coffees. Very soon, we were meeting with Grace, her parents, and her many friends in the hotel lobby for the days' adventure. Around 9:30am, a tour guide named Jennifer joined us in the lobby and quickly ushered all of us onto a tour bus that was waiting just outside the hotel. As the bus sped us all away from central Sha Tin, Jennifer began outlining the events for the day as well as providing us with some history and facts about Hong Kong.

Our first stop was at the cable cars near the Novotel outlet malls. The cable car ride would take us to the site of the world's largest Buddha statue and temple. I had been here ten years before, but back then there were no cable cars to take us over the mountains and the area hadn't been developed yet. It was a incredible view on the ride over the mountains, despite the thick fog. Once we arrived, I could barely recognize the area. It seemed that most of the immediate area around the Buddha statue had been developed to service tourists and there were gift shops and cafes a plenty. Quite a difference from the forest and unpaved roads from a decade before.

Though the rain was pouring down, we enjoyed the visit to the Buddha and the temple. We also got to have a delicious vegetarian lunch with everyone at a restaurant directly adjacent to the main temple. I should also note that we were not allowed to enter the Buddha 10 years ago, but we were this time. Inside houses many scrolls and paintings dedicated to the Buddha and it was pretty amazing. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photos inside.

Around 2pm, we all met up again and took another bus to a fishing village in Hong Kong called Tai O. Some of the buildings in the village were very old and built in the old style. We took a boat out into the ocean near the village with hopes of seeing some of the white dolphins, but it was too cold for them to be out. After the boat ride, we took another bus all the way back to the cable cars and we were given the option to check out the outlet malls. Since we were all pretty exhausted from the busy day, everyone agreed to just catch the bus back to the hotel.

After getting cleaned up and taking a quick nap, my family and I joined Grace and her family at their apartment for dinner. It was all delicious homemade food that her grandmother prepared for us and it brought back memories of all the great meals I had eaten all of those years ago. Once dinner was finished, we stayed a bit chatting and gave some gifts we had brought for Grace and her family. We then made a quick stop at the
market for some breakfast foods for tomorrow.

Since there are no real plans for tomorrow, we have a day to ourselves.
I wonder what kind of adventures are in store?

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