On my first official day in Hong Kong (and probably my favorite) I went to Lantau Island. This took a fairly long subway ride, in which we passed Disneyland and did not go. I was pretty sad that I missed my chance to go to Chinese Disney, but I only live three hours away from Disney World in Florida so I guess I can survive. The first thing we saw was the Tian Tan Buddha. This Buddha sits on top of a hill and is 32 meters, so you can see it from far distances. It was amazing to walk up the steps and enter into the temple that was underneath the Buddha, which was beautiful. Standing outside, you could look out into the mountains and the fog rolling in. Walking around, you could look at the Buddha from all angles. There were also statues surrounding this large Buddha, presenting offerings. Even with all the people there (this is definitely a tourist destination), I still felt at peace.
After walking back down all the steps, we entered the most beautiful monastery I have ever seen. I consider myself a Buddhist monastery connoisseur, and this was by far the most amazing place I have ever seen. There were five gold plated Buddhas sitting center stage in the room. The whole space was covered in gold: the walls, the ceiling. There were millions of little gold tiles serving as the wallpaper. It was intricate and unbelievable. You are generally not allowed to take pictures inside Buddhist temples, but this time I had to step outside and take a picture. The entire time I was in there, I could not help but feeling awe-inspired. I honestly think people should come to Hong Kong just to view this place.
After this, we went on the “Path of Wisdom”, where we did not become much wiser, but we did walk beside a bull for a few minutes. Then when we went to a beach on the island, we saw even more cows just wandering. It was such a strange (and cool) experience. I learned there are many cows in Hong Kong, so the people there are able to eat a lot of cheese. This was very different than what I am used to, since in Chengdu you can never find cheese. We enjoyed seeing the cows and even took a few pictures with them (of course).
Lastly, we tried to find pink dolphins. On the island, there is a certain area where wild pink dolphins live, and sometimes you can see them. Sadly, we did not get to see any, but we did have amazing seafood. Hong Kong cuisine is Guangdong cai, which is known for milder flavors and seafood, so of course we had to try it! We had squid and clams, but the best thing we ate was definitely the prawns. The cook grills the prawns with cheese, garlic, and onion on a grill outside. They were unlike anything I have ever eaten. My friends even tried the eye of the prawn. There was a major price difference between Hong Kong food and Chengdu food, though. It was much more expensive. It is cheap for the United States, about 13 USD, but I am so used to Chengdu prices where I can pay 2 USD for a filling meal.
Lantau Island was beautiful and interesting and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to go.