Wrapping up Hong Kong

Where I left off last, I was in Kowloon on Saturday afternoon. After getting lunch at El Cid (a tapas place), I tried to go to the Peninsula for afternoon tea. There was a line that went out almost out the building, so I decided it wasn’t worth it so I skipped out and got back on the Star Ferry and went back to the Hong Kong Island side.

Back in Hong Kong, I decided to partake in what is an elevated art form here: shopping. I walked through the IFC Mall and Pacific Place (I think). I didn’t buy anything, but I’ve never seen a place where there is so much retail in so many places. I can’t count on my two hands how many Prada or Louis Vuitton stores I saw in Hong Kong. It’s out of control to say the least. Plus, all the various Hong Kong specalists, like tailors (who, apparently, came from Shanghai in the 40s) and Asian brands make it unlike any shopping spectacle I’ve ever witnessed.

After getting my fill of Central, I went back to my cousin’s place and hung out with them for a while and we went to dinner with some of their friends at the Summer Palace Resturant in the Shangri-La. The restaurant had a full page of vegetarian options and was fantastic. Acutally, overall, all the food I had in Hong Kong was quite good. After dinner we went and had a few drinks at Red in the IFC, which faces the harbour and has a really nice outside seating area for viewing.

Today I went over to Lantau Island (pictures) to see the Po Lin Monastary and the giant Buddha sculpture. From Central, I had to take a ferry (a hydrofoil, very cool) to Mui Wo/Silvermine Bay and then took a bus up the island to the monastary. When I arrived up there, around 10 in the morning, the entire peak of the island was covered in fog so there was little visibility. In any case, the monastary was quite nice and the Buddha is simply gigantic. The clouds really didn’t break the whole time I stayed there, so I didn’t get to enjoy many of the views it’s apparently known for, but I can imagine the island being very popular for the hiking, biking and beach crowds. I finished off Lantau with lunch as the Buddhist restaurant in the monastary, which was excellent. It’s likely the best veg Buddhist food I’ve had yet.

I took the same route back (bus to ferry to taxi), hung out with my cousins in the afternoon and then caught the Airport Express to my flight to the maglev to the metro to the taxi and now I’m back home. Overall, excellent trip to Hong Kong. I’ll definitly go back again when the weather is better.

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