Hong Kong Outlying Islands - Guest Post from YTravel Blog
The Hong Kong Outlying Islands
Hong Kong is a clean, efficient, thriving metropolis with so much to do to explore amongst its towering high rises and masses of people.
Trams take you to dramatic views of the island and its harbour from Victoria Peak, evening light and laser shows entertain you on the skyline buildings, temples invite you to marvel at them, restaurants tempt you with delicious meals, and of course markets and electronic stores are just lying in wait to strip you of your hard earned cash.
My brother told me that Hong Kong was just another crazy city to him. What made it stand out was the trip he did to the outlying islands where he found he could take some quiet moments to breathe again.
So, I did what any younger sister would do and followed his lead.
Shaped like a dumbbell, Cheung Chau is a small, lesser-known island about a 30-55-minute ferry ride from Hong Kong's Central District.
Its tranquillity can be, in part, attributed to the absence of cars. Bikes or your trusty feet are the only modes of transportation. We decided to take our feet for a walk around part of the island where we discovered some beautiful quiet beaches and shorelines. It was far removed from the craziness of its mother city across the harbour.
The waterfront bustles with activity. There are butcher shops and vendors selling fresh fish, shellfish, fruit and vegetables, and seafood restaurants line the beach. We had an enjoyable lunch of fresh steamed fish and delicious calamari. Although the price is atypical of what you would experience in other Asian countries, the food and scenery made the high prices fade into the serenity of the moment.
We had to pry ourselves off the chair to pay a visit to some of the other islands, only making it to Lantau, the biggest of the islands and home to the world’s largest sitting Buddha.
This huge bronze Buddha sits on a lotus leaf serenely atop Ngong Ping plateau amid the spectacular mountain scenery of Lantau Island. I’m not sure if the Buddha or the mountain scenery entranced me more.
Walking up the steep stairs to see the Buddha was an effort in itself, but was worth it to receive the blessing from the Buddha’s raised right hand. The statue, which took 12 years to complete, conveyed a depth of character and dignity.
We took our time in wandering around the Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery grounds, which provides much to see and do with its various figures of Gods and other colourful aspects of Buddhist religion.
We were in no hurry to get back to the chaotic Hong Kong lifestyle, but had to. That evening we had an expat Bollywood party to attend, hosted by a travelling friend of ours we met in Vietnam.
The fun never stops in Hong Kong, I was glad we found some peace amidst of it.
Author Caz Makepeace has been living and travelling around the world since 1997. She is co-founder of the popular y travel blog where she shares her stories and travel tips to inspire you to make your life all about the memories. Join her facebook community for more fun or follow her on twitter.