Hong Kong: Buddha break

SONY DSC

24th August 2014

Touched down in Hong Kong after flying out from Beijing and what do you know? – another delay. Any flights out of Mainland China into Hong Kong and vice versa are prone to delays. I made my way to see the Big Buddha Statue also known as Tian Tan.

SONY DSC

Located on Lantau Island, this attraction makes a great 6-hour trip. Built around the 1990s and completed in 1993, the construction of this bronze statue was under the watchful eyes of my mother’s affiliated company in Nanjing. Now I realise why there is a similar miniature statue at home.

SONY DSC
This attraction is one of those “ok-it-is-iconic-let-me-cross-it-off-from-my-list” types of things.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC
A nice stop-over

Around the Big Buddha are six smaller bronze statues with each offering items for the Buddha. Each item symbolise some perfection and qualities to gain enlightenment such as intelligence, patience, morality, generosity etc. 268 steps takes you up to the top and a nice North view of the city. It is a nice place to kill time and to have lunch since the vegetarian restaurant on site offers reasonably priced food and is just a few steps away from the temple.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

554 meters above sea level, the Peak is the highest point within HK. It is one of the best spot to catch a view of HK and Victoria Harbour. Although a lot of tourists grace the peak even at night, it nevertheless allowed me to escape from the busy concrete life down below. It is rather peaceful to just stare at the neon lights and tall buildings and ships sailing in the distance.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

I remember seeing construction sites  in the city centre and the only time I felt a bit relaxed was doing the usual touristy stuff- catching a ferry to Kowloon and enjoying the view of the Harbour.

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

SONY DSC
This is as close as I’ll get to Bruce Lee

During my 2014 HK trip, people were talking about ‘Occupy Central’ and voicing their opposition either to the Chinese Central Government or the thought of staging a massive protest.

SONY DSC
What are the benefits of Occupy Central for the HK people?

No matter what, it will disrupt the flow of the city. Occupy Central will definitely go ahead since idealistic students with too much time on their hands will surely hold onto the chance to “alter the destiny of their HK.” Like the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan where groups of students storm into Parliament and stage a protest against Taiwan’s warming ties with China and the economic “leash” that Taiwan finds herself in. HK will go through the same. Oh students! students! students! Being a cynic, I feel that relying on protests and activists to topple a government or push for any obvious immediate change is naive. If only students can get back to studying, travelling, seeing the world and making new friends instead of wasting their time with a subject that even adults struggle to understand: politics. Personally, I’m more concerned about job security and individual passion rather than actively taking part in something meaningless. Since the handover in 1997, one cannot say that the Central Government did nothing positive for HK. Making the assumption that HK will continue to prosper under their leadership and that everyone in HK is happy with the policies is also wrong.

None of my business

SONY DSC