By our third day, we are overdosed on shopping. (Never thought I would say that.)
Feeling adventurous, we collected several fellow travelers and set out to pay homage to the Big Buddha and visit the Po Lin Monastery on the outlying island of Lantau.
To reach Lantau, we took the Star Ferry from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island, a high speed ferry from the ferry terminal there to Lantau, and finally a bus from the ferry terminal on Lantau to Buddha. The trip took about two hours total and was in itself a fun travel experience.
The first sight of the Big Buddha is astounding. Standing, or rather sitting, 72 feet high, the magnificent bronze statue is perched atop 260 steps straight up. The experience and view are worth the exercise.
At the top, Buddha is surrounded by Bodhisattvas, statues of Buddhist saints. Legend has it if you toss a coin into a Bodhisattva's upraised hand you will have good luck for all your days. After numerous tries, we succeeded and our luck has been great!
The climb worked up an appetite to join the monks at the Po Lin Monastery for a vegetarian lunch. Not exactly a gourmet feast, but it added another unique cultural note to our sojourn.
Helpful hint: Start early and plan your visit so that you arrive back at the Star Ferry terminal before afternoon rush hour!