Day 58 of 111. Po Lin Monastery, Lantau Island, Hong Kong, China
Lantau Island has been developing. It has the new Hong Kong International Airport that is built completely on reclaimed land, that is, where there was once water, a man made island is the base of the airport. Hong Kong Disneyland is also located on Lantau Island, but we did not see it. This Buddhist monastery was established by three Chinese monks who came to Hong Kong looking for the perfect place for meditation. The Fen Shui of this site was perfect because of the mountains on three sides and the water below. This monastery and temple is actually newly built and beautiful to see. There is a Buddha on the hill that is the largest sitting bronze Buddha in Asia. There are 268 steps to climb to get to the Buddha. We had to rest from time to time on the way up, but we made it. Oddly enough, cows are allowed to roam freely on Lantau Island. They were once used for farming, but no longer, so they are wild and considered “retired”. There is, of course, a shopping area near the monastery. We didn’t find anything to buy, but there were several nice photo opportunities, such as the large lucky cat!
For over 150 years, Hong Kong belonged to the British. In 1997, it was given back to China. China has said that Hong Kong will not be changed by China for 50 years. People in Hong Kong have many more freedoms than people in Mainland China (Facebook is available, for example). The Hong Kong citizens are speculating what will happen at the end of the fifty years. The official flower of Hong Kong is the Bauhinia, a five pedaled bright pink flower (also pale pink and white varieties are found) and shows up as decorations and also on the Hong Kong flag.