We were awakened on a sleepy Sunday morning by the sounds of a vociferous crowd. What's the issue ? Being 19 floors up we can not see down to the streets below, so I quickly dressed and went to street level. There were 100's of people peacefully parading & protesting recent restrictions of freedom of the press and mainland China deciding which political candidates could actually be candidates in a Hong Kong election. Lots of police who managed the traffic disruption extremely efficiently & calmly.
Decided to spend our last couple days in the Hong Kong area on Lantau Island; Southwest of Hong Kong Island. The International Airport is on a man-made island adjacent to the west of Lantau. Lantau is mostly a National Forest Preserve. Very steep tree covered terrain. The focus of the visit was the Big Buddha at Ngong Ping; a tiny village up in the mountains. Big Buddha is NOT tiny; in fact one of the 4 or 5 largest in the world depending on your measurement criteria. He is Bronze, weighs 280 tons, and seats 110 feet tall; the Statue of Liberty in NYC is 305 feet tall. The 268 step walk up to the base of the statue was a 'moist' endeavor; the heat & humidity just makes outdoor activity, except for sitting in the shade, not very pleasant.
The next day we visited Tai O, a famous fishing village about a 20 minute bus ride from Ngong Ping. Tai O is well past its prime of 1,000 years ago when the population was 30,000, and there were 400 or more fishing boats. I'd wager the population is a 10th of that these days.
Enjoyed spending our last couple days in the Hong Kong area away from the concrete & crowds. The miles & miles of forest covered steep mountains & ravines was a refreshing change. The Youth Hostel at which we stayed was also an innocent change of place.
Next on the agenda is a 'red-eye' flight to Tokyo.
Ciao for now, or is that Sayonara ?