Monday, 23 February 2009

Lantau and Lamma Islands, Hong Kong

Tian Tan Budhha Statue

A woke up early to take her parents to the airport, and I amazingly managed to sleep through everyone else getting up, packing and leaving. After swapping rooms, I headed out to Lantau Island to meet A at an underground station and then visit the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha statue.

I was pleasantly surprised by the underground: it was spotlessly clean, incredibly easy to navigate and buy tickets, quick, contained bakeries, where I was able to buy delicious sausage rolls, and devoid of the unseemly, violent scrummaging to get on first that makes travelling by public transport in mainland China so stressful.

giving gods

When we got to the statue, we were faced with a slog up a huge flight of steps, which we broke by taking photos. Once at the Buddha, we gazed, got into trouble for accidentally wandering into the area you have to have a ticket for, and took some photos, including some quite funny ones of A possibly slightly sacrilegiously posing next to the statues of the minor gods (well that’s what I thought they were anyway) bringing gifts, offering the gift of Pringles. Sour cream and chive flavour too. Not a gift to be sniffed at by anyone, in my opinion.

ferry to Lamma Island

We wanted to know which was the best route to take to get to Lamma Island from the Lantau Buddha, as we wanted to have time to have a walk on the island before sunset. The ladies at the ticketing desk were very helpful, showing us two different ways to get there. We had to make our way to Hong Kong Island’s Central Pier, and then take a ferry from there to Lamma, which we duly did. Unlike the catamaran ferries we took to and from Macau, the Lamma ferry had a half open top deck. I entertained myself during the trip by staggering about taking various photos, trying not to fall overboard in the process, and enjoying the wonderful tang of sea air.

Lamma Island

We sailed into the picturesque little port of Sok Kwu Wan, where fisherman docked their boats and sorted their catch at tiny little floating harbours. Unsurprisingly, the seafood restaurants on shore stank of fish, so I hurried through them, pausing only to stock up on one essential: ice cream. The trail to Yung Shue Wan, at the other end of the island is very easy going, and takes you along the coast and through several small villages. It was hard to believe that this quiet, quaint, laid back, car free island was only half an hour away from the seething polyglot metropolis. We watched the sun setting over the sea, a stunning view somewhat marred by the coal refinery on an opposite island, and caught the ferry back to Hong Kong Island.

Yung Shue Wan, Lamma Island

1 comment:

  1. That's quite an adventure. I think the gods should have been pleased to get those Pringles!
    Great photos of the statues and scenery. I really like the bright lanterns and flags in the last one against the background of the sunset harbor. Too bad about the coal refinery muddying the air.