Hong Kong seems wonderful, and bizarre, and very cosmopolitan. In some aspects it is like one huge shopping mall. Our ship is docked at a shopping mall. No kidding, we are docked in the Maternity and Children’s Accessories section. You enter the mall to board the ship, and take the elevator by the Toys R Us. The Toys R Us was cool – I spotted an ant farm I wanted to buy. I could have a pet! But I have read the book about Matilda and the Ant. I know how this one ends already.
The shopping mall we are docked at must be a whole kilometer long. Again, not kidding.
However, I will save the pictures of the real Hong Kong for another day.
Today, since I had the time and the ambition, I took a the one and a half hour trip to the Po Lin Monastery via ferry, ferry, then bus. It is the home of one of the worlds largest outdoor sitting Buddhas.
More recently, a monk carved prayers from the Heart Sutra onto wooden pillars. These pillars are placed on the mountainside in the shape of the infinity symbol. It is called the Wisdom Path. I walked the tea-scented trail.
It was like a Buddhist Stonhenge. The locals were wandering through, reading the prayers to themselves. “Ah! Blah blah blah! Ah!! I wished I also knew what the pillars said.
One pillar was left blank to symbolize emptiness.
If you buy a Vegetarian meal you get to walk to the very top of the Buddha. The vegetarian meal was half the reason I came up there! It consisted of a gelatinous soup with seaweed and fungus, and more seaweed and fungus mixed with vegetables. A bit slimy but good. I counted a couple of different seaweeds and at least 7 different fungus. It was yummy.
And now on to Buddha himself. When I got there and first saw the Buddha, I thought “hey, cool, they put a smoke machine behind Buddha for effect!”