China Trip – Day 17

Hong Kong>Lantau Island:Tai O fishing village & Po Lin Monastery/Buddha Weather: Cloudy & mist, sprinkles in AM, humid and warm

We get up at 6:30, shower and go down to breakfast. We leave for our tour at 9. We have to transfer buses part way, to a smaller one that has a permit to go up the narrow road to the monastery.

Going up the mountain on a narrow twisty road on Lantau Island. They drive on the left hand side .
Tai O – a small fishing village

On the way up we stop at Tai O, a fishing village with traditional houses built on stilts. They have three ways of transportation: 1) walking, 2) riding a bike and 3)boats. (of course there are cars to get to the village also). It is the real deal, away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. I really enjoy it.

Rick entering Tai O, by first method – walking.
Parking lot for second method – bikes.
The streets are narrow through the town thus no room for more than bikes and pedestrians.
Main street through the market.
A bicycle repair shop!
And the third way of getting around in this fishing village, by boat.
This getting you to your house built on stilts in the water.
Right into your garage! With your garden on the roof.
Homes built right over the water, on stilts.
All kinds of fresh fish right off the boats.
Fresh fish
More fish in bins.
Me and others walking through the market place.
Where you can find ALL kinds of food to buy.
Even puffer fish!
We stop at this shop and enjoy fresh cut pineapple, roasted on a skewer. Oh, so tasty and juicy
At this home they were grinding grain into a milk paste. Very interesting stop at this quiet and quaint little fishing village. No put on for tourists, just the real way of life for these people.

We get back on the bus and continue up the mountain to the Po Lin Monastery and the Giant Buddha. It is the tallest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. It is neat the way the mist is coming in around the Buddha. Glad we get to see it before the clouds come in and cover up everything. It gives it a mystical atmosphere.

The mist and clouds starting to shroud the mountain.
The Giant Buddha sitting on top of the mountain, rising above the trees. It is bigger than it looks.
You can see the size of the people in comparison to the sitting Buddha.
The stairs going up to the Buddha.
And looking down the stairs to the monastery from the base of the Buddha. Note the clouds coming in. Any later and we would not have been able to see the Buddha.
We actually arrive just as the clouds are coming in at the back of the Buddha.
Views from the sides.
Front views
Up close and personal before disappearing into the clouds.
Other statues at the base, with the cloud cover coming in.

We then do a visit to the Po Lin Monastery at the base of the Buddha. We go to a vegetarian lunch, which was very tasty with about eight different dishes. Then we walk around the shopping plaza.

Rick entering the monastery area.
The Po Lin Monastery and the mountain in the clouds, no longer being able to see the Giant Buddha
The entry walkway is lined with statues.

And the trees and rhododendrons are all in bloom.

Tulip trees
You can tell it is a rhododendron vs an azalea because they have 10 stamen instead of 5!
Incense burning, big time, in front of the monastery.
Outside of monastery.
We spend some time in the shopping area and have an ice cream.
Rick in shopping area under the Buddha.
We head to the end of the plaza to ride the Skyrail cable car (seen in background) down off the mountain only to find it shut down for maintenance. So we continue looking around while waiting for our bus to ride down in.
Giant drums of various sizes representing different things. I would have liked to listen to them being played.

We get back to the hotel by 4 and say good-bye to the other 8 people left in our tour group, for almost everyone is flying home tomorrow. John and Nancy and Rick and I are the first to leave in the morning at 5:30!

Rick and I go out for one last dinner in China. We share and have more than we can eat. We get back to the room by 8:30 and have to pack and be ready for the long trip home tomorrow.