Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mist Shrouded Buddha and Turbulence in Indochina (Hong Kong - Bangkok)




I apologize for not updating yesterday, but we had an absolutely brutal travel day. We began our day with a compliementary easter style buffet at our hotel. It was essentially a triumvirate of offerings, American style, Chinese style, and British style. It was the best breakfast of the trip so far. I had waffles, pancakes, a variety of dim sum dishes, eggs, honey cheerios with bananas, and damn near a loaf of bread. World War 3 was fought in my stomach later betwixt these incompatible intakes, but the traveler's credo in terms of food leans towards a feast and famine mentality. In this case, we feasted. After breakfast, we took a cable car to Ngong Ping Village, The Tian Tan Buddha, and Po Lin Monastery. A thick fog had descended on Lantau Island, and there were numerous times during our cable car ride to the summit that we could not see where we were going, at all. This, combined with the high winds that were knocking our car around the sky, insured that our 20 minute ride to the top was truly high excitement. When we finally arrived, we ascended towards the foggy dreamscape of Tian Tan Buddha, which is one of the largest Buddhas in the world. It was really a shame that we could not see the enormous statue better, but the fog lent a sort of ephemeral feel to the Buddha, because visibility would come and go.




After the Buddha, we visited the Po Lin Monastery. Kristin and I lit incense and put each incense in offering trays. We dedicated each stick to members of our families, and we had so many that no one was left out, even dogs were included. We wrapped things up and returned to our hotel and checked out. We had to catch a flight on Royal Jordanian, or Air Jordan, as Kristin likes to say. We had a world of troubles checking in to the flight because we did not have the original credit card that was used to book the flights online. Because of this, we had to buy new tickets and will probably engage in a long and laborious process to have our initial cost refunded. This was a serious crisis that will haunt our trip like an annoying specter since most of our flights were booked with this card. After that debacle, we were treated to a terrifying rollercoaster ride through Indochina en route to Bangkok. It was the worst flight of our lives. The plane was empty, the food was Arabic, and the vibe of the commute was extremely desperate and foreboding. It was a relief to finally land in Bangkok. I am going back to bed now until about noon our time, and then we are going to get a thai massage and see what Bangkok has to offer.





Cable car ride





We rode in the crystal cabin which included a glass bottom





The initial ascent





Kristin and Justin





Ngong Ping





Rainy streets of Ngong Ping





The fog gave it a dreamy feel





The steps to Tian Tan Buddha





Tian Tan Buddha





The Large Buddha





Close-up





Kristin called this a snake tree





More statues





I love this picture





Po Lin





Po Lin Monastery





Kristin in front of offering area





Steps to Monastery





Goofing off on the way back down in our own car





Pool at Novotel - waiting for a flight





Croc at airport





Bedroom of our spacious digs in Bangkok





Kitchen and dining table





Bangkok





Living Room, Kristin communicating with home



2 comments:

  1. Dave and I love every second reading about your Asian journey. We feel like we are experiencing the trip with you in the words you write. Please continue to have the time of your lives and take good care of each other. We miss you so much! Love, Lisa and Dad

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  2. Love, love, love the writing and pics...what a good idea! Promise me yall will come back to good ol' Texas ;) KEEP US POSTED! Fallon

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