20121107 – Big Buddha Then Snake For Tea

Wednesday – hot and sunny again.

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MTR to central and catch the Ferry to Lan Tau Island. Pass the Apple store and manage to resist a visit.More relaxing day planned today away from all the hustle, bustle and millions in HK, we are off to see big Buddha at Lin Po.

Catch two local buses to the big Buddha. Wot no Caucasians! Must say we’re a bit out of place as we’re the only Caucasians amongst all the locals. Something about Wendy’s shorts, shoes DSCF7571or toes seems to be amusing the locals on the bus – never managed to figure out what. An interesting journey. I’m not saying this place is a tad rural but as we’re stood at a bus stop the various cows strolling down the street fortunately, especially given the size of their horns, give us a wide berth.

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Have a walk around the peace quiet and tranquility of the monastery grounds, a great relief after HK, then take a arduous hike up to the top of the big Buddha.

Afterwards call in for lunch at Lin Po village. I finish off coffee whilst Wendy manages to visit every shop in the village – it’s a Mars and Venus thing.

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Catch the gondola back down to the MTR. It’s one of the most spectacular we’ve been on, and we’ve been on a few – alas no snow.

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Then it’s MTR back to Mong Kok. Wendy wants to see the markets. This place is just teaming with people. Too many people. Where do they all come from? Even in the afternoon it’s just a seething mass of bodies everywhere. I think all 8 Million locals are out on these streets.

Do any of them work? Is it something in the Chinese genetic DSCF7636make up that stops them walking in straight lines? They appear to exhibit the perfect example of Brownian motion when walking and randomness increases in direct proportion to how bright it is and inversely proportional to their packing density.

On a busy sunny day you’re just ready to trample on the little buggers – PC thought police will have me stoned for that!

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Mind you if I lived in one of those bloody awful tower blocks perhaps I’d be wandering the streets rather than be at home.

Fruit and veg are quite tame but then we encounter the meat and fish market. Ducks and pigeons with their heads still on seem to be popular this year; then there’s live fish in polystyrene cool boxes with a drop of water in them; then there’s fish flapping around on the pavement; then theirs mini turtles. All live and suffering before adorning someone’s plate.

Again we notice we’re the only Caucasians and the cameras a bit of a tourist status give away. Time to leave before we end up on DSCF7654someone’s plate.

In the evening we finally get to meet and vet Gaynor and Rudi, our home exchangers. Good news is they more than pass muster. Good job really as we’ve both just left respective houses.

They meet us for happi, happi, happi hour in our hotel. 4 beers, 3 Bacardi and coke and wine later, all free, we set off to explore Soho and find somewhere to eat. Lets hope we find one quicker than last nights miserable performance.

Little did we realise that the guys on the right were defanging my snake ready for dinner!

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Finally come across a popular Chinese restaurant, it even has a Michelin commendation.. It’s full of chinese. So full that they move a couple off a table of 8 onto a small table tucked away in the corner – lets hope that when we get settled in they don’t have a party of 8 arrive or else we’ll be eating on the streets. Have to say its very chinese. We’re the only Caucasians. Snake dishes seem to dominate the menu. Rudi and I try a snake dish starter. Have to say it was very tasty. Then it’s a mixture of goose, beef and chicken dishes and obviously some rice and just to show willing I have some greens.

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Quite an enjoyable meal. Certainly authentic and a good experience. Great company and a great time. Really good to meet up with them and amazing how much we have in common.

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