Sunday, July 12, 2015

Independence Day Cantonese Style

When I think of the Fourth of July, I usually think of food, friends, and fireworks.  This Fourth of July, we were in Hong Kong so we decided to celebrate America’s birthday by eating good food, visiting old friends, and visiting Tian Tan Buddha.

When we arrived at Ngong Ping village, I saw that we were 12,968 KM away from New York.  I immediately felt a little homesick.
Before we hiked to Buddha, Chris and I stopped at the 711 in the village to pick up some water.  The water helped us climb in the 103 degree heat index.
I have to admit, I wasn't looking forward to climbing the 268 stairs to the base of the statue.   
Luckily this guy coached me up to the top. 
The 250 metric ton Buddha was quite impressive.  
Built in 1993, the statue symbolizes the relationship between man and nature. 
After I cooled off a bit, I put on my American flag scarf for a patriotic selfie. 
While we posed for pictures, many folks wished us a Happy Fourth of July!
Fortunately, the climb down was easier than the hike up.  I resolved that I would hit the gym on a regal basis after our climb.
After climbing Tian Tan Buddha, we took a quick look at the Po Lin monastery.
Three years ago, the monks opened the Grand Hall of 10,000 Buddhas to celebrate the 20th birthday of the statue.  I was expecting something like I saw in Japan, but this was different.
The porcelain Buddhas were so tiny!!
Photographers aren't allowed to take pictures in the temple, but they may take pictures from the outside.  Thank goodness I brought my zoom lens!

After our visit to the temple, we headed back to our hotel via a cable car!  The trip included a nice arial view of the Hong Kong airport.
We opted to pay a little more to ride in a gondola with a plexiglass floor.  The view was well worth it!
After our visit with Buddha we had a great time catching up with one of our Shanghai friends, Grace, over some Dim Sum.
One of the plusses of living abroad is the ability to visit friends all around the world!   
Grace took us to a really yummy restaurant in the Mong Kok area.  We had a delicious meal of dumplings, 

Fried shrimp wraps, 
and my favorite, cheesy chicken pies.
After dinner, we took a quick peek at one of the women's night markets. 
While I did miss the US on her special day, we did have a great time checking out Hong Kong!

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