Our last day in Hong Kong. Boo! Overall a great day, though it suffered from some poor planning on my part.
We decided to get a bit outside the city so took the MTR out to Lantau Island. Daniel (our food walk tour guide) had recommended taking the cable car up to Ngong Ping, where the Po Lin Monastery and Tian Tan Buddha are located. What we didn't know is that the line would be absurdly long. Apparently if we had just bought tickets online we would have waited like 10 minutes. Instead I think we waited the better part of two hours. Blah. Still worth it, I think, but I wish I had planned better.
While waiting around in the line I took a few pictures of our surroundings. One thing I found really interesting about Hong Kong was how dense it was even in the "suburbs." And how immediately it transfers into basically undeveloped land. Around MTR stops you'll have a little island of high rise apartment buildings and only a few hundred meters away it will all be vegetation. Really interesting and visually striking. I imagine it's a consequence of the geography: mostly islands with very steep hills.
Finally, we reached the end of the line, got our tickets, and hopped in the cable car. The view was fantastic and the ride was a lot of fun, but poor planning struck again when our good camera ran out of batteries. So most of the pictures are from my phone (still pretty decent quality, but no analog zoom is pretty limiting).
Arriving at the end of the cable car ride was a bit strange. In addition to the Buddha statue and the monastery there is a touristy recreation village area. We didn't spend much time there (though to be fair it was stupidly hot out and we bought some ice cream later on, so I guess I can't complain too much about commercialization).
After leaving the village we headed towards the Buddha statue. As huge as it was, it's actually pretty far down the list of statues by height. For reference, it is 112 ft, whereas the Statue of Liberty is 151 ft and the tallest statue in the world, the Spring Temple Buddha, is 420 ft. Not much to say about the Buddha statue, really. It was cool, but pictures are more interesting.
We briefly visited the monastery afterwards, but the day was getting on and we were getting hungry so we decided to head back down the cable car and into the city.
Our walk from the MTR stop back to the apartment was interrupted by a pretty sizable Falun Gong march. Not something you see every day. We stopped to watch and take some pictures. If nothing else, they were very colorful and well-organized.
For dinner we revisited The Diner, as we were pretty exhausted and it was only a couple steps away from our apartment building. Yummy burgers, though the fries and milkshakes stole the show.
We got up super early (boo!) for our flight the next morning. We were both really sad to be leaving Hong Kong. It's a pretty fantastic city and I'd love to spend some more time there, though it might be a little overwhelming (not to mention expensive) to actually live there full time.