July 29, 2011

Ngong Ping 360

A cable car made a slow journey across Hong Kong's Tung Chung Bay and over the lush green hills of Lantau Island. It was raining intermittently. After disappearing into the mists above the rolling greenery for 25 minutes, the cable car emerged on the other end 5.7 kilometers away. It's destination was Ngong Ping village, home of the giant Tian Tan Buddha. Three British girls sat in the gondola, eyeing the stranger sitting in front of them with a mixture of fear and delight.

The cable car switched directions twice, with the gondola temporarily detaching from the cable at the angle changing stations. With low visibility outside, their only view was of this handsome man. Occasionally their attention would be diverted when an empty cable car going in the opposing direction would break through the mist for a few seconds, before disappearing into the same fog once more. One of the trio squealed "This is straight out of a horror movie!".

My face remained impassive until I arrived at Ngong Ping village. I let the three girls get off the cable car before me, and then climbed up the many staircases to reach the giant statue of Buddha. It was my last day in Hong Kong, and I had a plane to catch across the border in Shenzhen later on the same day. I wandered the island for a little while, before having a quick lunch at the village, and taking the bi-cable gondola lift back to Tung Chung. This time I was alone.


"In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true." ~ Buddha