After being in Hong Kong for a few days it was very apparent that Hong Kong was completely different than China. Each day we would venture out and check out the area and we always enjoyed it. Being in Hong Kong felt like being in an Asian version of New York. There were lots of people and lots of things going on and it felt like an exciting environment to be a part of. We wanted to try and get out of the city a little bit too and check out some different areas. We found a rope way (Gondola) system that would take you up to a large Buddha statue and also a hike called the dragons back. We decided to take a couple days and tackle each of these.
The Buddha Statue
Ashley found a Buddha statue to visit which was one of the highest rated things to do in Hong Kong. We decided to make our way there and hopped on the metro for about 1 hour to make our way a little outside the city. Upon arriving there was a huge line to get on the rope way system. We waited in line and finally made our way on. The views from the rope way were pretty awesome and you were looking back over a bay as well as the Hong Kong airport. There was one section of rope way over the water that was one of the longest I have ever seen.
After making our way to the top of the rope way we ventured into a small village that was basically set up as a tourist trap before you get to the Buddha statue. There wasn’t a lot there other that souvenir shops and places to eat. We made our way through town and then stumbled across a number of cows that were roaming free. It reminded us of our time in Nara with the deer as the cows were all over the place there. Most of the bulls had their horns shaved down and they seemed pretty happy to let people take photos with them. We eventually made our way up to the Buddha statue which was…..well, a really big statue of Buddha. I guess it was neat to see but the rope way was probably the cooler part of the experience for us.
Dragons Back Hike
Ashley and I wanted to do some hiking and Ashley found a hike called the Dragons Back. To get there we followed instructions online and hoped they would lead us to the right spot. Step one was hoping on a local city busy. We were able to use our subway system cards for the bus so paying was quick and easy. After we arrived at the bus station near the hike, we had to hop on another bus to make our way to the top of a mountainous area. When the bus pulled up to our stop it looked like a random stop in the road and we were really hoping we picked the right spot because if we were wrong there didn’t seem to be a lot of good options for us to get back to town. It took us about 45 minutes from the middle of Hong Kong to make it to this hike but it felt like we were in a completely different place. The craziness of the big city was gone and there were not too many people on the trail that day.
As we made our way up the mountain it turned out to be a great experience. We quickly saw where the hike got it’s name as the first 25% of the hike you’re make you’re way along the tops of the mountains looking down over either side. On one side you could see the ocean and a beach down below surrounded by expensive homes. On the other there was a cove with boats pulling tubes and lots of condo’s along the water. Above us paragliders made there way across the peaks using the wind from the ocean and the thermals from the mountain. We thoroughly enjoyed the views as we made our way across the top of the Dragons Back.
As we made our way down from the top it wound us through a dense forest. It eventually dropped us onto a paved road that didn’t seem to have any cars along it at all. On one side was a steep rock wall with leaves and bushes beside it. Ashley and I were walking along with me closest to the wall when we had a close encounter. I stepped within a couple feet of snake that was hidden in some leaves who quickly slithered away as I jumped 3 feet in the air away from the wall and screamed some indecent language it’s direction. I think we both scared each other. Ashley and I both had a laugh and went on our way. No idea what kind of snake it was except that it was brown and bigger than a garden snake.
We made our way down to a small town that looked like a little surf community. We zig zagged through the streets and got lot a couple times and eventually found ourselves at the beach. We were both surprised to see that it was actually a decent beach just 1 hour from the middle of Hong Kong. Locals were gathered around here with kids playing and it was a really nice day to be out. It was nearing the end of the day by the time we made it down so we did a quick walk on the beach and decided to call it a day.
After we made our way back into town, we had been thinking about the beach we just left and knew that Fiji was coming up next. We had been in huge cities and we were ready for a change of pace. With beaches on our mind we decided to grab a quick dinner and then head to a dive shop. I knew I would be snorkeling and diving a lot in Fiji (and beyond) and we both wanted to pick up some snorkel gear. The shop was extremely helpful and we ended up picking up some decent gear for a not completely horrible price!