Day 3, the plan was to visit the Big Buddha
Yesterday we went for buffet breakfast quite late and only had 20 minutes to complete it all, today decided not to shower the kids and headed to the buffet breakfast straight after Nita and I had showered. Lucky for that, Neha & Pooja got yummy waffles
By the time we finished breakie and showered the kids, it was close to 11:30, also had to head back to GAYLORD (indian restaurant) to check if Pooja had forgotten her bag there – Luckily they kept it safe.
Got out of the station and had to ask a couple of taxi drivers which way the cable car was to get to the NGONG PING (site of Big Buddha), realised it did not require a taxi, rather it was right behind the station we were at!!
Went that way to find a massive outlet shopping mall, CityGate Outlets, loads of shops and even more crazy shoppers, Nita got a nice pair of rockport shoes – in preparation for walking up the 100 Buddha steps!!
Next was the queue to get into the Cable Car, the queue was long and the time to get in would be close to 1.5 hrs, by the time we made the first turn in the queue, Pooja was whinging again on how tired she was.
Decided to take the coach to the NGONG PING which was empty and leaving in 15 minutes.
(waiting for the coach, coach no)
Love the transport system here, used our Octopus cards to pay for the bus as well, infact I have seen people pay for the groceries with their Octopus cards at 7-11!!
Am glad we took the Coach option, we would have missed some very nice landscapes and hidden beaches on the South China Seas.
The scariest bits where the descents which were very steep, the driver did well, however I all along was having second thoughts on why I took the coach option. Neha on the other hand was enjoying it and calling it a roller coaster ride!!
(view from the coach, and a dam we passed, interestingly the lower side of the dam is a correctional facility, I guess if an accident does occur these people are expendable – well it seems that way!)
The coach had us on the peak in around 40 minutes, stepping out, the feel of the place was very different – calm & peaceful without the hustle of the Hong Kong city.
We were all awestruck by the first view of the Buddha. Such a massive statue and so beautiful
Took a leisurely stroll through the gates along the pathway leading to the base of the steps leading to the Big Bhudda.
Along the way, a crowd had formed around a cow, everyone was patting it, Neha & Pooja also joined in, Pooja went one step further grabbing the cows tail – luckily Nita was quick and got Pooja to release it, wonder how the cow felt after that!!
Looking at steps from the base, Neha & Pooja were both very eager to conquer the massive set of steps, however that enthusiasm was short lived, Pooja after the 2nd set was already asking to be picked up. Neha on the other hand was great and kept encouraging us all to continue and take it in small strides. She was announcing breaktimes at the end of each set of stairs (approx 14 steps), the breaks normally lasted for around 5 – 10 seconds and then off we went again.
Reaching the top felt great, Neha and Pooja were so proud of climbing the steps all by themselves. Seeing the Buddha was surreal, the pictures taken do not do justice to what you see there.
After a long stay up on the peak with Buddha, it was time to head down, walking down was soooo much easier.
Heading back thru the village to catch the cable car back, again the same problem – the queue times were 75 minutes, there was a guy holding a sign at the end of the queue. Asked the guy what was the fastest way to go ahead – it was to purchase the slightly more expensive Crystal View tickets – did that and instantly we had pushed ahead by about 80 – 90 % of the queue.
Only realised what Crystal view was when we got in the cable car, its entire floor was made of glass, very cool, Kids loved that, myself and Nita were enjoying the sights around us and they were busy looking through the glass bottom floor.
Once back at base, we headed to a chinese restaurant in the CityGate mall for Dinner, turned out to be excellent food, so far we have had a good run with restaurants – no duds.
Took the MTR back to our hotel. Enroute, Pooja being too tired (not blaming her, we all were) nodded off. This would not have been a problem if the one train would take us all the way, unfortunately from the moment we switched train lines, we were standing and holding Pooja was proving a difficult task, half way thru Nita was able to find me one seat, felt so nice to take the weight off my hands and back.
Back at the hotel, compiling the blog, Nita had already nodded off, Pooja and Neha were wide awake fooling around. Around 9:30pm took the kids for some Ice Cream, Neha selected a Vanilla Tub, Pooja being the different one, had to pick a different ice cream with chinese characters all over it – we had no idea what it was, and after many failed attempts of convincing her to get something safer, she took that weird stuff. Just for backup, I bought an additional vanilla tub, and was that a lucky move. Her ice cream or what ever stuff that was tasted like crap – surprise surprise!
Kids are now in bed all excited for tomorrows Disney trip, infact so am I! (time for me to be a kid as well)