Those of you who haven’t yet heard…I embarked on my great adventure just a few days ago! I arrived in Hong Kong — the perfect meeting of East meets West, to begin traveling. And I quickly fell in love with the place.
I had the day to explore the city on my own before later meeting up with friends. I chose to spend the first half of the day orienting myself to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, and then headed out to Lantau Island — home to the world’s largest outdoor Buddha. (I spent the full day eating as many dumplings as possible. Did you expect anything less?) 🙂
The weather in Hong Kong seems to change every five minutes. From Lantau, there were moments the fog was so dense, or the rain so intense, I couldn’t see the statue. As a result, there weren’t a ton of people around. It created a mystical sort of atmosphere, and when the fog lifted…well, see for yourself:
It seems visitors to Hong Kong are torn whether or not to prioritize a visit to Lantau. It does take some transit effort – a good 40 minutes on the metro and another 40 or so via bus. I was unsure myself about going, especially in less than ideal weather.
The verdict is: GO. I know I likely missed some incredible views due to the fog, but regardless of the weather, I’m of the opinion that it can’t be missed. The scale of the Buddha alone is worth seeing (hard to convey in photos), and I’ve seen some Buddhas in my time…
The natural beauty of the island is not to be understated. Even without the sunshine, it is rich in unique and beautiful scenery. A popular option (which I did not take, again, given the weather) is to take the crystal cable car up the mountain. It’s not the budget option, however.
There’s also a small village and a wisdom path in Ngong Ping (not pictured.) Other areas of the island are also popular with visitors. Botttom line: If you find yourself in Hong Kong, get to Lantau!