Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visit to a Monastery and Avenue of Stars

Our morning was greeted by a good view outside the window. The sun was out and we were hoping that no rain will cross our path today.
We had the usual fare of breakfast at the Executive Lounge at the hotel (Renaissance Hong Kong Harbour View Hotel) before we headed off the streets again to wonder. So much things to do in Hong Kong but so little time, so we have to plan our time more or less and squeeze stuffs in between to cover the things we at least want to see in the city. 

Mr. Truffles and his breakfast

Minutes later, we found ourselves riding at the MTR again, this time to Tung Chung station.

MTR map

We alighted in MTR Tung Chung station and followed the signs leading to Ngong Ping 360. The station is located in Lantau island and is quite a bit far from the crowdy buildings in Hong Kong island.
Directly adjacent to the MTR station is Citygate Outlets, a popular mall among tourists, because a lot of branded shops selling clearance and discounted items are housed there.

To get to Ngong Ping 360, we opted to take Journey of Enlightenment Package (HKD197.1/pax), inclusive of Round Trip Crystal Cabin Cable Car journey, entrances to Walking With Buddha and Monkey's Tale Theatre. It was 10% discounted because we had a ticket in Ocean Park to show with their promotion.

Good thing there wasn't a lot of crowd that time so we were able to get in line without so much waiting time, except to wait for the Crystal Cabin as there were more Standard Cabin.

Up, up and away! The short 20 or so minutes ride over 5km of cable was a thrilling experience despite having ridden a quite a few cable. The view on the way to Ngong Ping Village was also relaxing seeing the outlying islands while crossing Lantau Bay. At some point, there was a view where the airport can be viewed clearly from the cable car.

Tian Tian Buddha

It was almost lunch time when we arrived at Ngong Ping Village. We went to see the two other attractions (Walking with Buddha and Monkey's Tale Theatre), but I don't think they are remarkable that I didn't take photo inside to share.

me and Roshie at the bottom steps of Tian Tian Buddha

To reach the Buddha, there are apparently 240 steps on the way up. We carefully and leisurely climbed up, with stops along the way, so as not to tire ourselves too much catching air and under the heat of the sun.

almost there!

me and Roshie, just a few steps to the top

The Buddha was surrounded by statues signifying praises and offers to the Buddha.

view from the top

view of the steps going down from the Buddha

Mountain Gate

Next to the Buddha is Po Lin Monastery, we were told that it's just perfect (as it is also lunch time) to try out the vegetarian food they serve from their kitchen.

The vegetarian meal costs HKD120 for the 2 person set (General Meal). There is an option for Deluxe Meal, but we opted for the lighter (and cheaper) one. I'm usually not used to eating just vegetables and I always kid around that the vegetables is against my religion but I should admit that the food served there were tasty and delicious.

deep fried spring rolls

fried mixed vegetable with bean curd sheet

steam bean curd with light chili sauce

 black mushroom with vegetables

There was also soup served and steam rice but I wasn't able to take photo. As I mentioned above, the food served were good and tasty, even for me who isn't used to eating just vegetables as a meal. Also the servings above is supposedly good for two and I think it was actually more than enough for us.

"LESS evil deeds, MORE kindness, DO more charity works, can STORE some merits."

After lunch, we scouted around the monastery grounds for some pictures to take:

After we finished, we rode the Crystal Cabin again going back to MTR Tung Chung station, then ultimately to our next destination. By the way, the Cable Car was called Crystal Cabin because its floor is clear glass. Not good for those with fear of heights.

From Tung Chung, we rode the train to Tsim Sha Tsui. There was a street market nearby, but they were just beginning to setup their stalls so nothing much to see.

Then we proceeded to Avenue of Stars, just located nearby the station. Located at the Promenade (waterfront), the "walk of fame" was setup to pay tribute to Hong Kong film industry stars and as a tourism spot. A market for each of the star is installed on the street floor and you will see tourists flock those that are well known in the industry.

view of Hong Kong island from the Avenue of Stars

star markers, explaining its purpose


Bruce Lee's star

Jackie Chan's star


Bruce Lee statue

United Buddy Bears

Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower at daylight
After this stroll, both of us were tired already so we went back to the hotel (across the water) to take a rest. Later in the afternoon, we went back to the Executive Lounge again for hors d'oeuvre before hitting off the streets.

For tonight, we only went to Golden Bauhinia Square, just in the vicinity of Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, minutes walk away from the hotel.
There, one can see the skyline of Kowloon island (last night was Hong Kong island skyline). Almost equally beautiful but very convenient for us. We didn't bother to wait for the light show as we've seen it last night already and we were just there to relax and chill out.

me and Roshie

We hit off the sack earlier tonight as we recharge ourselves for something bigger tomorrow morning. See you tomorrow!

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