Packan's uninterest in the Giant Buddha
(and his interests in enjoying an assortment Hong Kong Dim Sums) meant that Day 5 saw me take a lonely trip to Lantau Island
to catch a glimpse of the Po-Lin Monastery
's Tian Tan Buddha. The Buddha is the world's largest seated outdoor bronze Buddha (yeah thats a very precise winner in the world's largest
The Buddha is around 111 and a half feet in height, and on a very clear day can be seen from as far as Macau - though from what I've seen of Hong Kong, I don't think such a clear day has been seen in recent past. The Buddha is beautifully peaceful and looking up into his half-closed eyes seemed to impart a calm into me as well. The Buddha is seated on a lotus, beneath which is a museum housing some of the artifacts of the Po-Lin monastery. The monastery itself, is a stone's throw away from the statue.
A short walk from the Giant Buddha takes you to the Wisdom Path
. This is a recently contructed outdoor replica of the Heart-Sutra
, one of the world's best-known Buddhist prayers. In appearance it is wooden stakes planted to form the symbol infinity. The Heart Sutra is a depiction of perfection of wisdom (do not ask me how), and Lantau's newest tourist attraction has been built on a very beautiful landscape overlooking a steep, forested slope down to the sea.
There was a path leading from the Wisdom Path upto the top of Lantau Peak - Hong Kong's 2nd highest peak in the world. Shortage of time (I had a flight to catch in about 6 hours' time) prevented me from taking the rather unused path right to the top, but I still decided to go as far as I could to catch a glimpse of the scenery from up the slopes.
Boy, was I glad I did. How much ever I tried, my amateur photography skills meant that even the best of my photographs could not capture the beauty - you could see the mountains dip down to the ground, a short stretch of beach leading to the lovely blue sea and somewhere far beyond the sky met it, where you could never point out. The overhanging clouds gave it an overall surreal look.
Time to head back, and a quick lunch later, Packan and me walked down the streets of Tsim Sha Tsui one last time and headed to the Avenue of Stars. The Central skyline was markedly clearer this time compared to the last
time we were here. A few quick snaps later, we headed back to pick up our luggage for the journey back to what we now call home - big bore Singapore.