Spring break in Hong Kong

27 Mar

Xianggang is Hong Kong in Zhongwen. We still don’t know why they need another word for it in Chinese, but many things about the language have baffled us.
One of the reasons we chose to visit Hong Kong was to see the differences between it and mainland China.  Differences, you may wonder, why would there be any differences. For a history lesson you can read here.  In short, cultural revolution and Mao.
One of the first things I noticed was a building size cross with the caption Jesus saves. Children’s school artwork on exhibit in a subway terminal. You would never see in these things publically displayed Beijing.
No spitting, limited honking, pedestrian crosswalks mean something, manners do exist while in a crowded place, and I didn’t check the aqi index at all. I have also never heard so many different languages spoken in one place. Cantonese, Mandarin, various Indian dialects, Filipino, English, and others I don’t even know. Those were just the local residents. We would first try English, which for the most part would work, then Mandarin, hoping that maybe a word would be similar in Cantonese and get our main idea across. Overall, Hong Kong is very tourist friendly. It was really easy to get around to the various street markets and other attractions.
On the first night we ate a late lunch close to our hotel of Italian, then walked to kowloon park. It was a great park in the middle of the city, full of huge octopus root trees, flowers, water features, and local people. We saw what I called the premating rituals, girls and guys dancing in somewhat suggestive ways. We were thinking that they were the Muslims letting loose away from their parents. There was also a small drum circle gathering a crowd. After that we explored some nearby streets, finding out favorite Hong Kong waffles! Then back close to the hotel for a late dinner of tapas and sangria at a Spanish restaurant.
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The second day we decided to head to Gnongping village and take a look at the big Budha. We took the subway to the crystal clear sky tram, there was some moaning and frustration due to long long long lines and waiting, which we could of avoided if the subway attendant would have sold us the tickets like Robert had asked. Oh well!
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After a two hour wait, we finally boarded the glass bottom sky tram. The views were beautiful of the lush vegetation and blue water, mush needed sights after a Beijing winter.
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Upon exiting the tram you walk through a very well thought out tourist trap with restaurants and souvenir shops. Then you come to the big Budha area and entrance markers to the monastery, tea garden, and wisdom path.
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We took the tea garden path first hoping to have a bit of a relax, but we’re disappointed to find a rundown closed what use to be shabby little convenience style store label tea garden, letdown…
Onto wisdom path, it was a short uphill hike to the top, past huge wood slabs with Chinese characters carved into them. There are 38 wooden steles (upright monuments) containing verses from the centuries-old Heart Sutra; one of the world’s best-known prayers revered by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists alike. These steles display the Chinese version of the prayer, based on the calligraphy of famous contemporary scholar Professor Jao Tsung-I, and are arranged in a ∞ pattern, which represents infinity. At the top were boulders and a magnificent view.
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Everyone was getting hungry and tired, so we headed towards the monastery on our way back down to the restaurant area. The grounds were well maintained with flowers and enormous inccense burning everywhere. Sorry, no pictures on my phone. Next lunchner and the 250 some steps that Wyatt and Seth counted on our way to big Budha.

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Some of our lunch

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A lot of steps, but worth it!


Back down the line was much shorter, that is if you upgraded to the glass bottom model;). Seth was really upset we didn’t purchase the picture of us on the tram.
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Not for those with fear of heights.

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Poor baby!

This post seems to be getting long. Next couple Hong Kong recount days will be coming soon…

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