Tag Archives: HongKong

Hong Kong Trip 4: The Big Buddha & Monk on Holiday

16 Apr

On my second day in Hong Kong I made it over to Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong. It’s famous for the Big Buddha, which apparently even Buddhist monks get excited about. (I guess it makes sense, since not every monk gets to be a Big Buddha monk, it just seems like Buddhist monuments would stop being exciting if it’s your profession? Whatevs dude that guy is putting his pics on facebook.)

The prayer line to the right was very ritualized–people would pray a bit, then take a step up. I’m not sure if they were aiming for a specific number of steps (a holy number?) or what. The Buddha is 112 feet tall, made of bronze, and was finished in 1993. That’s right, ’93! He’s a spring chicken of a monument.

Nearby is the Po Lin Monastery.

The above is a view from the monastery. You could see the monument from all sides, but this was a particularly nice angle. The monastery itself wasn’t a particularly remarkable temple complex, but they served fantastic vegetarian dim sum. I put it in my mouth and it was delicious.

By this point in the trip, I was already fairly tired, as you can see below…

Tired, but happy.

Next time: I visit a fishing village (Tai O) and watch a dude make STREET WAFFLES.

Advertisements

Hong Kong Trip 3: My Continued Struggle to Accept Potable Water and Victoria Peak, which is a Metaphor for Victory

11 Apr

This view from the the Circle Trail at the top of Victoria Peak is a metaphor for potable water, which is a metaphor for development, which is a metaphor for what I was deprived of in Changsha, which is a metaphor for love. I’m not saying the developing world is devoid of love. I’m saying that Changsha was.

I’m also saying that metaphors don’t obey the transitive property.

About two hours later, on the other side of Victoria Peak, this was the view:

The Victoria Harbour, seen above, has been shrinking due to land reclamation projects for two thousand years, starting during the Western Han Dynasty when beaches were reclaimed into fields for salt production. Major land reclamation projects have been conducted since the 19th century, when the British first colonized the area.

The entire urban area of Tsim Sha Tsui (one of the many names I carefully avoided saying during my grueling 2.5-day stay in Hong Kong), for example, was reclaimed from the Bay. It’s the part of Kowloon that I was staying in, and where many of the territory’s museums are now located.

As I was staring out at this extremely historically-charged view and considering the epic wonder of human continuity, inevitable geological change, and glittery lights, an attractive Indian-Canadian man came and struck up a conversation with me. He casually offered to take a photo of me in front of the view, which turned out terrible. He took one without flash, which turned out worse.

Then, said easy-on-the-eyes gentleman invited me to take a turn about the Circle Trail with him in the deepening twilight. Ever quick on the uptake, I unhesitatingly said, “No, I’ve been going clockwise on the path, I don’t want to go backwards.”

I guess the moral is that when they called me “task-oriented instead of people-oriented,” they meant “borderline autistic,” and I will probably die alone. But at least my children (born out of wedlock) won’t have a weird Alberta accent.

Next: Katherine stops bumming us all out with romantic incompetence and takes us all on a trip to see A MASSIVE STATUE OF BUDDHA ON A MOUNTAIN. Will there be vegetarian dim sum? Will there be pictures of large quantities of dried fish?! Only time can tell!