Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hong Kong: Big Buddha & Po Lin Monastery

We are still on our second day in Hong Kong but we are now on the second part of this exciting day. For those who haven’t read my other two posts on this wonderful trip, read them first: Hong Kong Arrival, Hong Kong City Tour and Lantau Island Anyway, as I said on my previous post, we woke up early and made sure that we’re not late for this tour that we booked via Octopus Travel. Right afte we visited the famous Fishing Village, we immediately headed to the Big Buddha... and when they say big, it really is BIG! Humongous is the right term!

This statue is the world's largest Buddha statue, by using bronze, it's 34 metres tall and weighs 250 tons, empowered in December 1993.
It costs nothing to reach the Big Buddha, however, one has to purchase a vegetarian coupon for entry into the 3 levels exhibition hall beneath the Big Buddha."
HK Travel

Visiting this magnificent structure was really one of the highlights of our trip. This time I really felt I was in a different place. With the frequency of our travels, I seldom feel this way anymore... you know that feeling when you're like a child and everything you see is brand new and almost intoxicating...? Most of the time, when we go places, the feeling is no different fom commuting to Cubao and back home, for instance. I don't feel the rush anymore. (Maybe when that time comes when we can go to Europe and the Americas... that would definitely turn me on again! Hehehe.)
But when we got here at Big Buddha... man! It was really something! I can definitely say I'm in Hong Kong! At least, the cultural side of HK, that is. What more can I say? It was just simply breath taking. Here are more of the pictures we took:
The picture on our left is a glimpse we caught of the monks. Their get up is so different from what I expected. Hmmm...
I told you we were part of a tour, right? This meant that time was crucial. Nevertheless, we took a few extra moments to take a shot of everything we saw. After all, it's not everyday that we get to see a place like this. Especially now that our passports are about to expire... Hehehehe...
On our way to the resto, we passed by this park and this big pot of incense.
Did I tell you I love incense? I have them in all possible aromas back home! Ooohhhh...

I soooo wanted to take this huge incense I saw!

So after tiring the batteries out of our digital cameras, we immediately headed to the Vegetarian Restaurant. It's a must if we want to be welcomed inside the Monastery. So a hearty vegetarian lunch is what we had that day...
After having our fill, we immediately explored the nearby monastery. Inside, it's no different from the other monastery we saw back in Singapore. I guess they're all similar. The same way that non-Catholics see our churches.

But I did love their gigantic incense sticks. Did I ever tell you I luuurrvvvee incense sticks? Back home, we have tons of them we bought from Bohemian Nation here in Alabang. Oh yeah, I told you that already. Anyway, during very stressful days, I find solace & relaxation when I get to inhale its very aromatic fumes. Hehehe.
For our final stop, we visited another nearby park called Walking with Buddha. The structures weren't fully completed yet at the time of our visit. But it did have a souvenir shop and a cinema where we watched the life story of Buddha in cartoon version. It was fantastic! They even gave each of the tourist this cute little headset for better audio quality.
Then it was really time to say bye-bye. Seeing the cultural side of Hong Kong was very refreshing. Amidst the hustle and bustle of their glitz-filled city, they were able to preserve this side of their heritage that is very educational especially when you have children touring with you. Learning about the life of Buddha has been very inspiring. His lifestyle was very much like what Peter and I pretty much learned from The Secret. He was no religious man but he was spiritual. Same way Peter and I are always trying to be in our everyday life.

Bye Bye Big Buddha... and here's Peter insisting that he is very much like Buddha himself... Hmmm?

Oh, and did I tell you Buddha was such a hunk back in his younger years? Yeah, he's so well-built with muscles, abs and all that jazz. For all we know, he could be the Piolo Pascual of his generation! Hehehe. I wonder what happened? Anyway, I digress. The important thing is we enjoyed this part of the trip and we learned a little something good along he way. Until the next travelogue.... we're off to Disneyland!

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