happy 2017! holy smokes - can you believe the holidays are over and we are at the beginning of a new year? i, for one, am avoiding taking down my christmas decor at all costs (my least favorite chore ever) and instead, i thought i'd get back on that blogging wagon.
one of my resolutions this year is to blog consistently and not let a month pass between posts like i've been doing #badhabit. so that's the plan. by the way...we appreciate any and everybody who read our posts last year. we hope to not let you down this year. u rock, don't evr change!~!~
let's continue, shallllll we?
we last left off in hong kong, where people, markets and enormous apartment buildings are as abundant as New Year, New You! email subject lines in january.
while we've been able to bike in almost every city we've been to, HK is a little bit harder because with the crowded streets, there just isn't much room to go! so, we did the next best thing and rode the ding-dings, these double-deckers on cables. can't really beat the views for people watching and peering down each street to see which markets and stands to check out on foot later.
one thing that really surprised me was the diversity of the market stalls themselves. foreign and vibrant fruits and flowers? yep. knockoff brands of purses/shoes/clothes? check. fragrant raw meat just hanging out waiting for someone to swing by and pick some up? you got it. truly something for everyone.
one day during our trip, we decided to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and took the train over to the ngong ping cablecar. as someone who never thinks they're afraid of heights until they actually get up in the air, i loved/hated the ride on the car. but the views of lantau island, countless apartment buildings and even the hong kong airport (my plane-obsessed husband was in heaven) were simply incredible. just like when we took the peak tram to look out over all of hong kong, i got total sim city vibes overlooking the massive structures and having things like massive barges look so tiny on the water. perspective is crazy, man.
the cablecar leads to the tian tan buddha & po lin monastery. if you get the wild hair to hike from the beginning of the car to buddha, it's extremely hilly and would take a few hours. we saw a few people trekking from above and it looked pretty ruthless. we were so happy we were taking some faster, air-conditioned transportation.
po lin monastery is more than a hundred years old, but is still in operation today. is a big part of the island and is one of the more intricate, beautiful buildings i've seen. my favorite part was the room of 10,000 buddhas, all of which were erected in ridiculously shiny gold. because it's a religious site and buddha is a very revered figure, we weren't able to take photos inside, but we had to get a few of the exterior and extremely colorful details. stunning.
towering over the monastery is this gorgeous 112-foot bronze tian tan buddha. it is one of the five largest buddha statues in all of china and it. is. no. joke. the 268 stairs we had to climb + general humidity led to a very sweaty everything but was so worth it. buddha's raised right hand symbolizes the removal of all pain and affliction and the left hand is open in generosity. neither of us had studied buddhism in a long time so it was great to get re-educated, so to speak.
surrounding the larger buddha are six smaller statues called "the offering of the six devas" which represent the six pillars of enlightenment: generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation & wisdom. they are just beautiful.
we had an amazing time sightseeing and eating our way through hong kong. can't wait to share the next leg of our trip. until next time!