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EC in HK: Hello, Big Buddha

(This is a continuation to my EC In HK series, you can check out the first installment of the series here)

Our immersion trip to HK was more than just lessons and collecting information for our respective E-book project. We had a day set aside specifically for a local tour. We basically toured around HK, from Sheung Wan to Sai Wan Ho to Lantau Island.

Ok. not really around HK, but it least we had the central part and the outlying island covered.

We set off at around 9am on a coach which brought us from Kowloon Tong, across Victoria Harbour, to Hong Kong Island. It was evident that the whole lot of us were burned out from the past 5 days of activities. Almost all of us were making use of the travelling time to get some much-needed nap.

The journey seems an eternity but for those who were deep asleep, it seems short.

DESTINATION 1: HERITAGE ALONG WING LEE STREET
The bus parked near Wing Lee Street for us to alight and for us to make way up a diabolical set of stairs.

They say HK is the Land of Dim Sum, well while I do recognise this fact, I need to include another fact: HK is simultaneously the Land of Hills and Slopes. You can imagine how people like me who used to carry too many things everywhere had to climb up slopes after slopes, stairs after stairs. It’s like a tortoise trying to compete in the Swissotel Vertical Marathon.

UP THE STAIRS: The whole lot of us climbed out the stairs to get to our destination.

Wing Lee Street is located in Sheung Wan, near to the Former Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters – a Grade III historic building gazetted by the Antiquities and Monuments Office. The tour guide – yes, the school actually got us a tour guide to bring us around – brought us up Wing Lee Street to see the 1960s style of building. Dubbed as the ‘Seediest Street in Hong Kong’, the entire street is filled with old buildings which make it looks like the entire street has been frozen back in time.

AN INDICATION: Outside the residence at 10 Wing Lee Street

 

SMILE: When you see chiobu, just smile.
WHEN THE GUYS GO MATCHING ON: The guys from my course, but Zeliang was missing from this picture.
DESTINATION 2: HONG KONG FILM ARCHIVES
After Wing Lee, we were brought to Hong Kong Film Archives – located along Lei King Road in Sai Wan Ho. It is dedicated to the collection, preservation and screening of Hong Kong’s film. It is described as, according to their website, a ‘world-class facility’ with 5-storey, divided into ‘two big partitions’.
The film archives definitely live up to its name. I was immersed in the amount of books about Chinese-language films when I was at the library located at the third level. If you are a fan of Chinese films, this is definitely a must-go place for you to learn more about the history and the art of filmmaking.
DESTINATION 3: THE ADVENTURES AT LANTAU ISLAND
After departing from Sai Wan Ho,  we spent another an hour or so on the road before we reached our last destination for the day: The Big Buddha and Polin Monastery.

 

It definitely looks like a long journey from one end of Hong Kong to the other end, covering the three main parts that made up the entire Hong Kong SAR: Hong Kong Island, New Territories and Lantau Island. And not surprising, most of us spend the entire on the bus napping.

LAND OF THE BUDDHA: We were greeted by this paifang as we entered the Ngong Ping Village in Lantau.
Since this is a monastery, there are many people who were making their prayers in exchange for prosperity and health for themselves and their loved ones. It kind of reminded me of Singapore’s Kong Meng San, where I would usually visit during the night of Vesak Day.

 

I shall live a day as a vegetarian since I was in such a holy compound. There were definitely a lot of choices to choose from at the vegetarian shop located in the monastery. Although I only got myself a plate of bee hoon (if I did not remember wrongly), I managed to try out the other kind of food that were available there, thanks to those whom I was seating with at that time. I had Huiqi, Jonathan, Rebecca and Ang Ling seated alongside me at the round table and apparently they got too much food their stomach could handle.

And here I go, free food. 😀

 

After lunch, Rebecca was, as usual, lazy to walk up the stairs. She was accompanied by Ang Ling, who had come to this place before, at the foot of the small hill while the other three of us went up to take a closer look at the main attraction of the place – the Tian Tan Buddha, or otherwise known as the Big Buddha.

SCENERY OF HILLS: I just love this background a lot. You can’t get this in Singapore.

After climbing a total of 268 steps, we finally reached the ‘summit’ of the hill and got to meet Buddha. Hello, Big Buddha. I finally get to see you.

Like literally.

It sounded like we were on a short pilgrimage.

Here’s a trivia.
As provided by Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Big Buddha, erected in 1993, faces north towards mainland China. The HK$60million majestic bronze Buddha statue sits 26.4m on top of the lotus throne and is 34m high. This sure is majestic.
THE SHADES OF HONOUR: Because we swag. (From left: Huiqi, Jon, me)
YOU JUMP, I JUMP… NOT: Disgusting things we do, I am so sorry.
While we were at the top of the hill, we happened to see Sijie right below us. And since I was holding on to my camera, I instinctively just whipped out that photo-capturing device and started taking random photos.
Of course, he realised our presence.

So he posed like a swag.

As we were walking down, we met another three of our course mates: Siqi, Lisha and Emi. We were the last few to leave the summit and it was like minutes left before we had to gather so that the guide could bring us tour the other parts of Ngong Ping.
PROJECT RUNWAY: They were so willing to pose for a photo together. (From left: Siqi, Lisha, Emi)
And I don’t know how I eventually became Lisha’s personal photographer for the rest of the day.
And I don’t even know how Jon was perceived as my ‘小助理’ (Small Assistance) for the rest of the day. Thank you, friend.
There was still a little more time before our scheduled gathering timing, so why not let’s take some burst shots.
CAN WE DEFEAT THOSE STRESS: No doubt that the HK trip might be a little stressful, but we knew how to have fun when it was time to have fun.
ALL KUNG-FU FIGHTING: Alright, Jon. You’ve won the best kungfu stance award for that day.

 

WHY KICK WHEN YOU CAN SPLIT: So Siqi did the impossible, a front split. Damn all these flexibilities.
After we gathered, the guide brought us into the wilderness.
Literally ya, she brought us through the bushes and sandy trails before we reached a nature wonderland.
And so we wandered around.

 

NATURE’S PARADISE: I swear I could just build a house here and staty here forever.
WALKING INTO THE UNKNOWN: There was so much uncertainty at that point in time I swear. I was doubting if it was safe enough to prevent anyone from falling down the freaking cliff.

 

RISKING LIFES TO TAKE PHOTO: I was praying that no one sacrificed just to have this taken.
As much as I love the nature, Ngong Ping is really a heaven for nature lovers like me. Although some part of the trails might be life endangering, as long as you are not freaking moronic enough to jump onto the rocks to take better photos with the beauteous background, you will come back in one piece like the rest of us.
Of course, after meeting the Buddha, maybe you might want to gain Nirvana at such a calming location.
I will continue on the rest of my trip in HK in my subsequent posts! Stay tune!

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