Monday, September 24, 2007

Hong Kong day 2

Monday morning I woke up after more than 12 hours of sleep. I got up quietly and saw Chris was up and getting ready to head off to school. We chatted for a little bit and he handed me the keys and set off for work. Eventually Kevin got up and we both got ready and headed out.

Our first stop was Wong Tai Sin Temple in Kowloon Tong. This was on the top of the list of my things to do. Its a Taoist temple that is supposed to bring good luck. So a lot of the time people will pray here if they're in need of some luck :). It was our first experience with the incense that we found out later was a must at these types of places. They sell the incense in tons and tons of little stands outside of the temple. There are even people that will come up to you and try to sell you some as you come out of the train station. Fortunately seeing as we were "american looking" no one approached us or bothered us with anything like that.

We went in and instantly felt a lil... um... different. I saw no other westerners or anything. We both got a lil wide-eyed and maybe wondered if we were allowed to be there. But anyhoo.. back to what this place is about. So people light the incense and do some praying. Hardcore folks will lay out a lil mat and offer fruits. There were also some ladies spilling some sort of oil on the ground... maybe extra luck if you do that. Then there were these cans of bamboo sticks that they would shake until one fell out and I'm guessing that this had your fortune on it. I wouldn't know first hand because they were written in what I'll guess was Mandarin or Cantonese.

I originally thought this was all that this place had to offer, but was suprized when we walked behind the temple and found little gardens and ponds. There was amazingly beautiful architecture and paths that I'll assume the monks use more than anyone else, but it was very serene and lovely just sitting down and watching the turtles swim around. There were sooo many turtles in various areas in HK. Not indiginous I'm sure, but very very cute nonetheless. There was also the "9 Dragon Wall" which is evidently what Kowloon Tong means. :) So we walked around there for a bit before heading to the train station.

On the way to the train station we picked up some incense and stopped into a mall (yes another one) and I bought myself a new battery for my camera, since I failed to bring my charging cord it was my only option if I wanted to take pictures.

We hopped back onto the train and hit the next stop on our trip which was the Chi Lin Nunnery. This place was amaaaaaaazing. Built entirely without the use of nails. So this wooden place is held together with wooden dowels and strategic bracket work. In the pictures you can see the tall modern buildings behind this place. Its funny to think something like this is just smack dab in the middle of a really populated area.

On our way to the Nunnery we passed the gates to a little garden and since we had the time after the nunnery we decided to walk through there. And that goodness we did. It was spectacular. There were a lot of really strange looking rocks and just nice paths and beautifulness. There was the "Pavillion of Absolute Perfection"... it had an orange bridge. We kept walking and noticed this nice waterfall thing they had which was right by their vegetarian restaurant. Seeing as our were hot we decided to give it a try. tummy's were rumbling and we Whooo! That was seriously the best food I've had in a long time. I'm not vegetarian or anything, but that place could convert me. MMMMmmmMMMm...

We went to the gift shop and got ourselves some nice lil sketchbooks and made our way back to the train station. Since I didn't have camera battery for that morning I requested that we go back to Wong Tai Sin and take pictures... so we did :)

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