When we booked our plane tickets back in January, we knew we might have to change the dates for the tickets, so we weren’t quite sure where we would begin our journey: it was either Laos/Cambodia (which we eventually cut out due to the late start of our trip) or Indonesia. So we decided to book tickets to Hong Kong which has plenty of connections to elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
Our time in Hong Kong was short – shy of two days. We feel pretty comfortable in Hong Kong, and it’s a great place to start a trip to Southeast Asia, a city that’s renowned for shopping and eating; since we’re at the beginning of the trip, we decided to forgo the shopping bit and concentrate on the eating. Despite our brief time in the city, we met up again with our friend Michelle and some of her friends, and enjoyed hot pot, dim sum, and Shanghainese cuisine during our visit.
We visited many of the main attractions (ie: Mongkok, The Peak, Promenade, Star Ferry, etc) in Hong Kong on our way to Bangkok last spring, but we hadn’t seen the Tian Tan Buddha yet so we decided to do that on what was a rather gray and cold day. The Tian Tan Buddha and Po Lin Monastery are on Lantau Island, a lush, green landscape that is a nice and convenient escape from the city. We took the Ngong Ping 360 cable car up the steep incline to the Giant Buddha, enjoyed a vegetarian lunch at the temple, lit some incense for good luck for the rest of our journey, and then “survived” the bus ride down the winding roads to the MTR station.
From Hong Kong, we planned on travelling to Jakarta – on our last day in Hong Kong, we booked the plane tickets (yes, last minute!) and managed to get a good deal on them, although it meant an entire day travelling via Singapore on budget (ie: no leg room for Amish) airlines.
We will be back in Hong Kong when we finish up our trip, and we plan on doing some shopping as well as hiking on Lantau Island.