So, the Big Buddha was one of the things that Moon wanted to do most during our trip to Hong Kong. As it was something I’d done done before but really enjoyed, I was happy to oblige him.
We physically couldn’t get up early enough to make it to the cable cars for opening – which is kind of a lie but we were actually, despite doing a lot of stuff, really lazy during this whole trip and that was fine. I was a little bit gutted that due to our laziness we weren’t able to go on a tour, as they’d all sold out by lunchtime but ultimately this worked out for the best as doing it ourselves was not only cheaper but meant we could take it at our own pace. Plus, I’d highly recommend anyone take a public lightbus while in Hong Kong, if only for the hair-raising experience.
I was actually a little disappointed with the Big Buddha this time round. The cable cars didn’t exactly get us off to a good start as we had to share, not that I expected to get as lucky to get a private one like last time, but sharing with two people who refuse to stop talking even when their conversation is nothing but inanity is definitely not the one.
It seems to me that the whole attraction has become far more touristy than it was before. Maybe because I was seeing it through younger, fresh eyes before but it all just felt like it was designed to trap you a bit. I was particularly pleased with myself for getting a refund (asking in Chinese!) for our tickets up to the Buddha, which is actually free, though it’s easy to get tricked into thinking it’s not.
We took the bus to and from Tai O and I was a little sad to see that it seemed a bit more run-down than it was before. I think it’s a place that firmly relies on tourism anyway while also trying to remain as traditional as possible. It was still interesting to wander round but I don’t feel as though Tai O’s potential is being as tapped as it could be.
Tai O is still a place I would go back to again and again though, this was the one downside to getting there a bit later, many things seemed to be closing up – unusual for Hong Kong as it often feels like it’s on the go 24/7.