Beautiful Lantau Island
Today I decided to take a break from the madness of Hong Kong and head out to an outerlying island called Lantau Island. It is really convenient that this island is connected to the main MTR subway system. You take the orange line all the way to the very end and voila you are on Lantau island. From here there are two main options-taking a cable car up to the big buddah or getting a day pass for the bus system on the island which also takes you up to big buddah and a few other great places on the island.
I decided to opt for the bus option as this is the most economical way to visit the area (only 35 HKD for the whole day!) Plus the bus ride through the mountainous island is very beautiful. I'm sure the cable car would have been breathtaking but considering today was quite hazy I figured the bus would be my best bet.
Once you get to Ngong Ping you climb about 240 steps to reach the top of the big buddah. In Ngong Ping you can also visit the Po Lin Monastery. There is also hiking trails and paths you can take around the area and a little touristy village with souvenir shops and attractions. In general I found it to be a very peaceful spot. Since I was there in the morning on a Thursday it was not too busy either which always makes for a more peaceful atmosphere.
From there I took another bus to a small village called Tai O which is a fishing town and a majority of the houses are constructed on stilts in the water. It is quite impressive to see and definitely worth stopping in if ever you are on Lantau island. Apparently this village used to be a lot more active and populated but with a decrease in the amount of people fishing etc. the town has sort of become a bit dilapidated. I still thought it was neat.
My reflection from today is that there are many big cities that have a sort of "escape" spot to check out. I think that Hong Kong is a bit of an exception as it has quite a few of these but I would highly recommend maybe taking the time to check out a new area of your city, maybe something on the outskirts. Take a train, take a bus, explore..and perhaps you will find serenity and peace like I did today.
Here are a few pictures from today's adventure: