Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Big Buddha

We took our first trip by ourselves to Hong Kong over our New Year's three-day weekend. It was also my favorite trip to Hong Kong so far, partly because we've finally grown accustomed to how expensive things are there. We decided to go see the Big Buddha, which is on one of Hong Kong's islands.
You can take a cable-car ride there, which was a little expensive but worth it for the views. It was also more commercialized than pretty much anything I've ever seen. There were a billion different keychains, t-shirts, etc. you could buy not to commemorate your trip to see the Big Buddha, but your trip on the cable car! There were also three different idiotic monkey characters somehow associated with the cable car, and you could buy any number of stupid knickknacks with their likenesses. I guess I probably would have wanted all this stuff when I was 7 or so, so the cable car company must have some marketing geniuses.
Here we are over the gorgeous bay.
I think this is a long shot of the Buddha, but I can't really tell. (ANDY: it is not, just a pic of the tram line)

The Buddha itself is pretty amazing. Here's a shot taken from the shadow of his hand. The Buddha is built facing the north, which was some kind of political bone thrown to Beijing to allow the Buddha to be built. I guess all other giant Buddha statues face south. Anyway, this fact makes it kinda difficult to photograph the Buddha, since the sun is often at his back. Check out the Wikipedia pages for better pictures of his face. Also, I think you can see the swastika on his chest, which I understand but is still weird to see.
This is the largest seated, outdoor, bronze Buddha statue in the world, which might seem like a lot of qualifiers, but it's pretty spectacular. It's huge and gorgeous. It was built pretty recently, completed in '93. It's made up of a lot of individual bronze castings, except for the face, which they had to do as one giant piece to ensure that it looks natural. They had over five kilometers of welding to do to fuse all the pieces into the Buddha.
There were lots of statues with Buddhist imagery surrounding the Buddha, and we didn't really understand any of them, but Andy really liked this lamp.

I surprised kitty with an impromptu picnic of a fresh baguette, strawberries, and brie cheese on the edge of the statue area.

Around the Buddha they had crazy weird trees that grew upside down.
Then we took the ferry back to Hong Kong island! More on that later.

1 comment:

Linda said...

that scarf makes you look like such a hipster, kitty. xin nian kuai le!