May is my favorite month. Not only it is the month I was born, but it is also a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings. In May 2012 I left my home country and went to work onboard cruise lines. That May my life took a different direction and it marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life. The one I couldn’t imagine. In May my uncle died exactly on my birthday which was a reminder not to take life for granted and to live life before death comes for us. In May last year I visited my third home, Chile for the first time, in May I started dating my husband. And in May I got a chance to visit some new places, and between them Hong Kong. Therefore, May is one of my favorite months.
In May 2018 F. picked me up from the office and we drove directly to Abu Dhabi airport. Finally, his schedule and my weekend have matched, hence, I’ve decided to join him on the flight to Hong Kong. Most people would think I am crazy to go so far, but I was happy to get out of Dubai, even for two days only. I needed to change the environment and climate and see something new.
Although it was a long flight and we were tired, we didn’t want to waste the day so after a quick shower, we went outside to catch the shuttle bus that was supposed to take us to Ngong Ping cable car and further to bronze Tian Tan Buddha.
Ngong Ping cable car is 5.7 km long and the ride in one direction takes around 25 minutes. The ride is divided into three parts so the cabin takes turns two times and gives 360 degrees view of the port, Hong Kong airport, Chinese Sea, Maitreya forests, and finally Tian Tan Buddha. The weather was foggy and windy so the ride was a bit scary, however, as soon as I saw the beautiful statue of Buddha I forgot about it.
The Tian Tan Buddha is located on Lantau Island and it was built in 1993. It is 34 meters long and weighing 250 tonnes. The design of the statue was based on the 32 laksanas, which represent, “physical marks” of the Buddha described in the sutras. The right hand is in the mudra of “imparting fearlessness”, indicating the compassion of the Buddha to save all sentient beings from their sufferings. The left-hand rests on the lap, with the palm turning up and fingers pointing slightly downward. This is called the mudra of “fulfilling wishes“, implying the vow to grant blessing and happiness to all. To reach Buddha you need to climb 268 steps. You can read more about building Buddha on the following link.
Around Buddha, you will find six smaller bronze statues known as “The Offering of the Six Devas”. These statues are offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. These symbolize the Six Perfections of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary for enlightenment.
The day was just perfect. The weather was cloudy and windy, but I enjoyed it so much after Dubai. Every escape in nature recharges my batteries and makes me feel happy and peaceful.
We also stopped by Po Lin Buddhist Monastery. Po Lin means “Precious Lotus“. After the monastery, we went back to Ngong Ping village to find a place to eat.
Later we returned to the city and we went for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. None of the staff was speaking English, so ordering food was a real challenge. During the dinner, I was looking at the people around who were talking in Chinese. The families were sitting together, sharing food, laughing, and enjoying. After dinner, we took the shuttle bus back to the hotel where we literally fainted from tiredness.
The next day we planned to visit the downtown, however, we woke up very late so we only had 3 hours before the flight back to Abu Dhabi. We went out, had a nice Chinese lunch, did some shopping and a short walk. A few hours later we were flying back to our desert oasis as I needed to work the next day.
I wish I could have more weekends like this.