Tian Tan Buddha
A trip to Hong Kong must be accompanied by an excursion to Lantau Island's famous bronzed Buddha. At the top of a precarious mountain, is the Tian Tan Buddha. Hong Kong is home to over 200 islands, but let's focus on the celebrity of Lantau Island.
Exactly how does one get to Tian Tan? Seeing as that there's really only one road that takes you to Lantau Island, us touristy exchange students opted for the more scenic route, involving a quick bus ride to Central.
This also involved a necessary pit stop. What better way to fuel up for an outing than with cheap noodles & dumplings?
The scenic route meant the slightly quicker option - the ferry. It's a relatively quick mode of transportation and it's quite inexpensive at $12.3 HKD ($1.75 CAD). I can't say the same about the comfortability however, given my tendency to experience motion sickness over waters. Alas, it was still a cool experience nonetheless.
Being a major port, the waters surrounding Hong Kong are littered by hundreds of different vessels.
The ferry took us from the bustling, busy streets of Central to a small rural town on the eastern coast of Lantau, Mui Wo.
There was also a massive cache of bicycles under a shelter right outside the pier. I was told there was a bicycle rental shop around here, so I really hope to return to Mui Wo to enjoy the serene rural backdrop for a day, away from the endless crowds in the rest of Hong Kong.
A bus terminal and a taxi stand. It's pretty clear why most people are here at Mui Wo, and it's not for the McDonald's. We queued up at one of the several stops and hopped on a coach bus. Just like that, we left this quaint little town of 5,485 individuals and embarked on a 40 minute long bus ride towards the Big Buddha.
Unfortunately, photos out of a moving vehicle through a window doesn't usually provide the best results. Rest assured, if you ever choose to opt for this 40 minute long bus ride, there will be breakneck mountain passes and beautiful landscapes.
Once you disembark, you see a small little speck of what seems like a 'big' Buddha statue. Unimpressive right? You'd expect something towering over you when I say 'Big Buddha'. Don't worry, it's big.
Before one treks towards Tian Tan, there's the Po Lin monastery.
There was quite a few of feral dogs and roaming cows around the area. Tourists and exchange students alike were amused.
Directly below the Big Buddha was the Di Tan Square, and the flags of various nations.
From the base, you notice the sheer scale of the Big Buddha, as well as wonder how your legs will feel after climbing up and down those steps.
Look up, you've got quite a way's to go.
268 steps, to be exact.
I feel as though one thing that I learned in high school has stuck by me all these years through photography - negative space. This is my favourite photo from this trip.
At the top, I was met with gorgeous rolling vistas.
In the not so far distance, was Po Lin Monastery.
Some of the other Buddhistic statues at the lower levels making offers and praising the Tian Tan Buddha.
Adjacent to the aforementioned Di Tan Square was the entrance towards Po Lin Monastery.
Here, there was a variety of areas for individuals to burn incense. Unfortunately, most of the buildings were under construction and closed off from the public.
I've always loved the interesting fauna of Hong Kong.
Some of the local canine residents at Lantau. Some of them aren't too impressed with the visitors, most are apathetic to their presence.
The local nomadic bovine residents were also pretty indifferent about being photographed. They moo-ved (I'm sorry) quite a bit though.
As the sun began to descend its decent into the horizon, we began to depart for Tai O. This trip was just two weeks into my time here in Hong Kong and it's almost like the gateway drug to all the photographic exploits I'm going to get myself involved in here. I can't wait.