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Published: July 10th 2010
Today was absolutely amazing!! We went on a tour of Lantau Island, Hong Kong's biggest island. To get to there, we took a long cable bridge. The architects that created the bridge said there is enough steel in the bridge to wrap around the world 5 times!!!!! I thought that was so incredible. On the way to our first stop the tour bus stopped at a small beautiful beach. We all got out and took lots of pictures. We were only there for about 15 min because we had to keep moving to get to our first stop of the day, Tai O Village.
Tai O Village is a small quaint fishing village on Lantau Island. The city depends on fishing, and in the street markets, you can find all kinds of sea creatures, alive and dead (dead ones are typically dried). We even saw dried shark skin which was crazy and pretty gross. On our walk through the village, I stopped at a Taoist Temple to take pictures. I learned something interesting from a man at the temple. Although Taoist and Buddhist temples are very similar, there are ways to tell them apart. A Taoist temple will be red and
have two doorways. A Buddhist temple will be orange and gold and have only one doorway. I discovered that was true later in the day when we visited a Buddhist temple.
After about an hour, we got back on the bus and went to the second stop of the day, the Po Lin Ministry. The Po Lin Ministry is where the huge Buddha is sitting on top of the mountain. The first thing we did was have lunch at a vegetarian Buddhist restaurant. They did not serve meat because Buddhist monks do not eat meat. I sat down at a table with 9 people and the meal was family style. They brought out a bunch of different dishes and we all shared from the turning tray on our table. We had things like tea (of course), stir-fried vegetables, rice, tofu, egg rolls, egg-drop soup, and pastry rolls. It was extremely fresh. We all commented on how much we've missed fresh vegetables! After lunch we walked around the ministry and visited the Buddhist temple (which indeed was orange and gold and had only one doorway). The biggest thing of the day was walking the some 250 stairs to the top of
with the girls in the program
the mountain where the big Buddha is sitting. The Buddha was brought to the mountain in about 23 different pieces and welded together on the spot it is now sitting. His right hand up symbolizes his vow and his left hand out is offering his blessings. The symbol on his chest represents one's mind and body. His long droppy ears symbolize his wisdom because he is a good listener. Learning about all these things is so interesting because in Hong Kong, everything has a meaning. At the Buddha, we spent a lot of time looking out at the incredible view and taking pictures.
The last stop of the day was the 360 degree cable car ride called Ngong Ping 360. The cable car took us a distance of 5K down the mountain to the bottom of Lantau Island. The views were amazing, and fortunately, we had the tour guide in the car with us so we were able to ask her all kinds of questions. We saw a tomb with a red dot over it, and she informed us that the red dot means the person died of natural causes. We also saw a bunch of people along the shore
and she said they were down there picking up clams to eat.
We finally got back on the bus and it took us back to Kowloon where our residence halls are. It was such a fun day because I experienced things and saw a side of Hong Kong I have not seen yet. Lantau Island is so much more peaceful than what I am used here in Hong Kong!
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