When most of us hear about Hong Kong, a subconscious thought will always follow: Disneyland. Although being one of the top reasons why tourists visit Hong Kong, the Disney land is only but one of the few reasons why we should see Hong Kong. A couple of years back, my mother, brother and I had the opportunity to visit the place. Sure, we got the chance to see the famous world-class theme park. However, it was surprising to say that the other experiences we had there made our trip more memorable and worth while.
The Ngong Ping 360 is a famous attraction known for its heart-stopping cable car ride going to the mountain where the giant statue of Buddha rests. Unfortunately, the cable cars were on maintenance that day when we decided to go to Ngong Ping, so we had to ride the bus and take the longer route instead.
A plaza is located near the entrance of the attraction which, I think, is purposely constructed for souvenir photos since the outline of the Buddha can be easily seen at the background. As soon as we entered the monastery gate (the enormous white gate in the background), we were immediately welcomed with the impressive statues of the 12 divine generals, each representing a zodiac symbol.
The path going to the Tian Tan Buddha is not an easy one. Be prepared to climb a grueling 268-step staircase if you are really eager to see the Buddha up close. The view at the Buddha statue is truly remarkable, which compensates for all the trouble you had in getting there.
Next stop: Wisdom path. The wisdom path is also located in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island. It is conveniently near the Tian Tan Buddha itself, which makes it also an ideal spot to see if you ever visit the place. The wisdom path features the heart sutra, which is one of the most known Buddhist sutras or prayers. At the end of the path I had the feeling of real peace and serenity. Before me stood large wooden beams. Each beam adapting a particular verse in the heart sutra. The beams reach out to the other side of the hill, which forms a figure of 8 when seen from above (representing infinity). Though it is an awesome sight to see, it was unfortunate that no english translation is placed at the foot of each wooden beam.
After a long day of walking and taking pictures, we headed straight to the night market for an exotic kind of dinner. The night market is a bustling street in Kowloon which offers a wide variety of exotic food and genuine souvenirs. Some of the restaurants found here even displays fresh sea food, and allows you to choose which one you would like to eat. The Temple street night market is truly heaven for those people with adventurous taste buds.
I was able to visit Victoria’s peak, Disney Land and ocean park as well. But, like I said before, these rarely promoted tourist spots in Hong Kong became more enjoyable for me. I was able to experience the culture of Hong Kong, and immerse myself in a unique gastronomic adventure. There are still many places in Hong Kong that I wish to see. Hopefully, this visit is not my last. So, if ever you had the chance to go to Hong Kong, make sure to check out these attractions to make your stay more memorable. (Until now, I can’t forget the taste of that hot and spicy snail) Happy traveling guys.