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Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Climb to Big Buddha

Today was hands down our craziest day in HK.

We’ve been itching to go hiking and exploring in new parts of HK, so with some research, I suggested a hike from Tung Chung, in Lantau Island, to the Big Buddha.

Of course, what I expected to be a straightforward three-hour hike turned into much more.

You see, since the Big Buddha, one of the most popular tourist attractions in HK, is in the mountains, hiking there from civilization requires going up mountains. Many of them.

Normally, tourists take either the popular Ngong Ping 360* cable car or a bus. But we went hardcore.

It was a tough journey, but so unbelievably satisfying at the end. I still can’t believe we made it through the ascent, but we did it in 2.5 hours.

I’m so tired right now, both mentally and physically, so I’ll leave you with our journey, through pictures (lots of them!) and captions.

Enjoy!

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A post-cycling, pre-hiking matcha bubble tea

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So it beganP1080586

In Tung Chung, where there was obviously a giant mall

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And many high-rise apartments

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How the locals save electricity

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A bay, right before we got miserably lost

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Until this kind biker (and speedy walker) showed us the way

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Past a small monastery

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To the base of the mountain—part 1 of our journey took us to the peak

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Over a river

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And through the woods

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To the Ngong Ping 360 Rescue Trail

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And our rude awakening—unrelenting steps…

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Pretty daisies—before I was too tired to notice anything but the burn in my legs

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We thought we were high—we had no idea

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Right underneath the cable cars—how the smart lazy people traveled

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Looking down is not for the faint of heart—it’s a long way…

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So glad to finally go down steps

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A change of scenery

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Watching planes take off from HK Int’l Airport is great during rest breaks

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I thought we just climbed steep trails…?

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But evidently they weren’t steep enough

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Steep, like climbing a ladder…

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The final (and most painful) set of stairs

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And yet there is so much more to go

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We found some docile wild dogs

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And envied their relaxed and carefree lives

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Glaring at the sweat-less cable car riders, as they marveled at our stupidity brawn

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Over the hill—we finally spotted Big Buddha, can you?

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A zoomed in shot of hope on the horizon

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As we prayed to arrive before sunset

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Arrival at Ngong Ping—after 30 minutes of grateful downhill walking

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A touristy town—overtaken by the cable car line

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We are so close!

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At the gate

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Po Lin Monastery

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The final hurrah!—our very last set of stairs for the day, right before closing time

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Tired but awestruck

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Pride, obviously

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A big welcome

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Winding stone pathways

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Big red

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Complete serenity and calm at the top—overlooking the ocean

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Sunset

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Pops of springtime color, on Easter Sunday

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Wesley’s new friend—shy and reserved

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Until another friend comes along

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Walking together in the sunset

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Heaven—after a long day of hiking

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Too many options, but carbs are always a good choice

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The essential condiments

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Wesley—Thai beef chili, rice, fried egg

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Liv—wontons and egg noodle, spicy

Bedtime, now.

6 comments:

Vanessa @ Gourmet Runner said...

So excited to stumble onto your blog!
I moved from Hong Kong about 3 months ago and this post makes me miss it so much. I lived on Lantau as well, and I've taken that hike to Big Buddha (and the cable cars!). The food republic in the Tung Chung mall is awesome--the pad thai there is amazing and so cheap!
Will be following now to read more of your adventures!

Wesley said...

Yesterday was unbelievable. Scenery is great but my 10 hour sleep session definitely reflected the day's tedious adventure. :)

Liv said...

Vanessa: Welcome!!

I can't believe that you just left HK! Where are you living now? I'll be leaving HK in a month, and I'm definitely going to miss it.

And I'm so glad that someone else was crazy enough to do that hike. When we were going up, everyone else was going down...

Yea, the food republic was AMAZING. But there were way too many choices, I just wanted one of everything :)

Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to read your blog!

Amanda said...

Wow, that looks super difficult, amazing, and exciting. I wish I could go!

Liv said...

Amanda: It's such a crazy hike, but not so bad when I look back on it!

The hiking trails in Zion canyon and around that area are just as crazy :)

Liv said...

Yesterday was unbelievable. Scenery is great but my 10 hour sleep session definitely reflected the day's tedious adventure. :)

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