June 15, 2011
Our first stop on Lantau Island is the Big Buddah on Ngong Ping. Unfortunately, when we visited Lantau Island, the Ngong Ping Cable Car was out of service, so we took a leisurely bus ride up the mountain to see the Giant Buddah.
The Giant Buddha sits serenely atop Ngong Ping plateau amid the spectacular mountain scenery of Lantau Island. The eyes, lips, incline of the head and even the right hand (raised to deliver a blessing to all), combine to lend great depth of character and dignity to this extraordinary statue. The majestic figure of the seated Buddha was cast in China and took 12 years to complete. It was unveiled in December 1993. Visitors can climb more than 200 steps to reach the platform where the Buddha is seated.
Besides attracting Buddhists from all over Asia, the magnificent figure with its compelling presence almost instantly transformed the remote Po Lin Monastery with its devout monks into a must-visit on tourist schedules. The Po Lin Monastery is set amid spectacular mountain scenery on the Ngong Ping plateau.
Next, we take the high-speed express train to Hong Kong’s Disneyland.
Of course no visit to Hong Kong would be complete without a trip to Hong Kong’s Disneyland. Like the southern California version, Hong Kong’s version is a magical journey through four themed lands – Main Street USA, Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland. Although much smaller than the US counterpart, Disneyland on Lantau Island is just as enjoyable.
This year Hong Kong Disneyland is celebrating it’s fifth year open. To mark it’s birthday, special parades of beloved Disney characters are presented regularly during each day.
In Tomorrowland, we drive tiny Chevron gas powered cars around a race course.
In the “It’s a Small Small World” attraction, we ride a boat across a colorful miniature world with more than a hundred brightly costumed and animated dolls.
Later we learn the secrets of how to draw and animate Disney characters in the Animation Academy.
At night, we watch the incredible multimedia fireworks show called “Disney in the Stars”.