Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hong Kong: Po Lin Monastery

The best time to travel to Hong Kong is not when we went.  All the travel research we did said to go in the Autumn-October and November are the best.  Winter is cool and cloudy.  In Spring, the rains begin.  In Summer, the humidity is unbearable.   But alas.  Our vacation time is somewhat rigid.  So we had to go when we could.

So spring it was.  We crossed our fingers and prayed for no rain. 

Doing our best to will good weather to come our way, we hit the ground running.  On our first day, we set out to see one of the biggest attractions in Hong Kong: The Po Lin Monastery and the enormous Buddha on Lantau Island.

There are three ways to reach the mountains  on which Po Lin Monastery and the Buddha are perched: bus, walking, or ropeway. 

Always up for adventuring, we headed for the ropeway.  The weather was behaving at sea level, but the tops of the mountains were shrouded in suspicious looking clouds.  Hoping for the best, we began our thirty minutes ascent.

Less than halfway up the mountain, we were enveloped by low clouds.  We couldn’t see anything but white.  Then the wind picked up.  And the rain started pouring.  We swayed precariously back and forth, praying to God the wind wouldn’t get worse. 

We finally made it.  Our only greeting at the top was a sign informing us of a “hoisted thunderstorm warning.”   Yikes.  

Some people turned around and went right back down.  Some pulled out their rain gear and braved the pouring rain.  Some just waited.
We stood and waited for about fifteen minutes.  The rain eventually lessened enough for our wimpy umbrellas to handle, and we made a run for it. We made it to the first goal: the Po Lin Monastery vegetarian restaurant. 

As we sat down to eat our simple lunch, we hoped the rain would go away… 
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