Hong Kong — one of my favourite destinations around. I made my way to there back in winter of 2018 for a week. Although the weather was cooler it did not take away from my experiences and I found myself in love with another world locale. From the incredible and savoury foods (that is reason enough to go to Hong Kong), to the islands away from the cityscape, and the variety of sights to see and do, Hong Kong was a wonderful surprise. Travel is an ever expanding love story with the world.
Today’s destination is the a popular spot in Hong Kong found in the south west — Lantau Island. This island is the largest in Hong Kong and is the site of numerous parks, trails, and sightseeing features. Relatively lesser visited and with limited infrastructure until the latter portion of the 20th century, it now is home to varied activities though it maintains a large section that is quiet and full of nature. With a rugged and hilly landscape, it rises to 934 m / 3,064 ft on Lantau Peak, Hong Kong’s second highest point. Since 1997 residential communities has sprouted up as well as areas of interest and activity.
I spent only a several hours there and did not see all that is has to offer. I had a late start to the day, of which I blame jetlag. I arrived to take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car through 5.7 km / 3.5 mi through the air. Even though I had a skip the line ticket there was a wait, though shorter than if I hadn’t. If I had left my hostel earlier I’m certain I would had a shorter wait, but still it was a good day. Due to the higher elevation it was much colder than I had expected so that affected the duration of my visit even with the lovely toque (hat) and scarf I purchased to keep me warm once I alighted from the cable car. As I made my towards the Tian Tan Buddha, I took my time to meander around the surrounding area before ascending the 268 steps to the base of the statue. After wandering about and taking in the views I headed to the Po Lin Monastery (the Buddha is part of the monastery) to wander amongst the buildings and monuments. I found it to be a very serene area with magnificent architecture. After a vegetarian meal at the monastery I opted to visit the Wisdom Path. I have to say this was my favourite part. The trail there was an easy 15 – 20 minute walk from the main plaza, with few people about. Along the way there were some abandoned buildings for which I took the opportunity to practice some photography. When I came to the Wisdom Trail I felt removed from the bustle of hectic Hong Kong. I wandered peacefully about the thirty-eight wooden posts engraved with calligraphy of the Buddhist Heart Sutra (Prajna-paramita Heart Sutra) while the wind flowed about them. It was a very memorable time for me. After making my way back to the plaza I considered visiting the Tai O Fishing Village as it was included in my ticket for the cable car yet, sadly I was spent. Jet lag had knocked the wind out me and I decided to head back to my hostel to unwind. Perhaps someday soon I can re-visit Lantau Island and its other attractions. Some of those other attractions include: Disneyland, Tung Chung Fort, Inspiration Lake Recreation Centre, the 70 km / 43.5 mi Lantau Trail, Tai O Fishing Village, and much more.
All photos owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders the World
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