One of the good things about traveling is that we are acquiring insights in the long run. It contributes to our personality development and the way we interact with others. Today I am going to share some valuable insights from our trip to the Giant Buddha and Wisdom Path.
Our first day in Hongkong started with a rainy morning. It might not be a good sign for hiking; however, we still pushed through with our plan on visiting the Giant Buddha.
Hongkong is one of the countries where there is a proliferation of Buddhism. It is in Hongkong where the 34-meter bronze seated Buddha statue, commonly known as the “Giant Buddha” or “Tian Tan Buddha” is located.
Going to the Giant Buddha
The use of Octopus Card that cost from 150-200HKD made roaming around Hongkong more convenient. We bought ours from the Customer Service Counter in Hongkong Airport.It can also be purchased at any MTR Customer Service Center.
An important reminder while using the card is by making sure it has enough money on it. In order to save yourself from a hassle, you can always top up the card to add an amount.
One unforgettable thing that happened on this trip was finding out that I no longer had balance in my octopus card. It brought discomfort between the driver and us.
Even though Steven and I had money the driver could not give us a change.The driver could not speak English and I felt fidgety as the driver just allowed me to step off the tram without paying.
It does not mean that my ride was free. I was just not able to get a refund in Hongkong International Airport because I wasn’t able to pay on one of my rides.
From Tung Chung, we chose to ride a cable car to the Giant Buddha. There was another cheaper way in getting to our destination. One can also ride a public bus which was located across Tung Chung MTR Station. Ride for Bus 23 to Ngong Ping Village which was home to the Giant Buddha.
Our Ngong Ping 360 Experience
The Ngong Ping 360 is a gondola lift/cable car that offers tourists the options on which cabin to take. We opted for the standard cabin because it was the cheapest.
It was a 25-minute journey in the cable car from Tung Chung Town Center to Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. The ride created a sense of excitement as the view beneath increased with every turn of the cable car. The mountainous Lantau Island, Tian Tan Buddha, Hongkong International Airport, South China Sea and of course the 360-degree view of Ngong Ping Plateau.
Another wonderful thing about our HK travel was that we met interesting people along the way. My boyfriend and I have opposite personalities. He would usually be the first one to say “hi” and smile at strangers while I was always the observant travel buddy.
Looking at the number of stairs we had to climb, I asked Steven if we should make it to the top. It will surely make us dead tired at the end of the day. Without hesitation, he said, “Let us try it!”
I am proud of my boyfriend’s adventurous spirit. It is contagious. In fact, our trip becomes more enjoyable and memorable because of his lively attitude.
We started to hike on our way toward the Bronze seated statue of Buddha. The more we ascended, the closer we became to the Giant Buddha, and the bigger it appeared in our eyes. It produced a sudden surge of energy witnessing the statue up-close. I felt alive as I looked down to where we came from. From the top, we feasted at the 360-degree sight of Ngong Ping Village and the Lantau Island.
Trekking to the Wisdom Path
We still had few minutes to roam the Lantau Island. I grabbed that chance to ask Steven to go to the Wisdom Path. Just adjacent to the circular platform, we trekked our way to the Wisdom Path.
We walked to the narrow trail with a row of trees stretching away on both left and right directions. There was an abandoned warehouse and mosquitoes lurking around. Unfortunately, we did not have a mosquito repellent.
It was getting hotter and dot by dot, the sweats were forming on Steven’s forehead. He was not used in a hot weather.
The heat was draining our energy. We were getting exhausted and frustrated. Both of us heaved with a deep and impatient sigh. The planned destination seemed to be still far from our sights.
The place seemed to be less touristy than the Giant Buddha. It was surprisingly quiet with nothing could be heard but mere footsteps.
The idea of giving up was crawling at the back of my head when two tourists told us that we were almost there in the Wisdom Path. It motivated us to walk more until we reach our destination.
We made it and thankfully we did not give up. There were big wooden rectangular obelisks with Chinese calligraphy on it. In these obelisks were the verses of the Heart Sutra which was considered sacred to Buddhists.
We stayed in here for few minutes and captured nice sceneries to share back home.
Getting back to the cable car station, we went to the narrow path once more. Steven and I looked exhausted outside, yet energized inside because of a moment like this.
It was the one that led me to think that it was not always the destination that excites people. What gave more life to this trip was the interaction between people. The friendship, love, and care that were created and developed as we started on this journey.
What are the insights you gained from traveling? Share it with us by commenting below.
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