We heard that there’s a lot of people to go to Big Buddha so we planned to get the house early around 9 am. It takes 1 hr 30 min to 2 hours to take the MTR and cable car. We were going to grab some bakery and eat it on the way to save time. And then some menu caught our eye. Mi.SS had combination meals for 35-48 HKD. We were feeling something warm to start the day. The meals had variations of tomato soup noodles, with choice of meat like Katsu pork, or sausage or sliced beef. They all came with a warm sweet soymilk too.
MTR is fast, clean, and convenient, around 17 HKD from octopus card from Yau Ma Tei transfering at Lai King, then orange to Tung Chung. Interesting that it is a straight open clear way without barriers at the joint sections.
As we are trying to find the direction to be cable cars. We saw the sign showing that cable cars are not available from January til June, renovations? Or they are trying to lower cost by not running it during non tourist season?
No choice but to take the A23 bus, around 50 minutes. The day pass is 35 HKD. One way fare on weekdays is 17.20 HKD and weekend is 27 HKD. The bus ride up is terrible, for me. Maybe it’s because the route is in circles up the mountain, a bit rocky and lots of turns. I felt dizzy but was fine after sitting down for a few minutes.
The Big Buddha was seen when we got off the bus. It was high above with the mystical clouds swooshing the Buddha’s head. It’s a large 34 meter tall bronze statue that was completed in 1993 on Lantou Island. Open from 10 am to 5:30 pm; there was no admission fees. After walking up the steps, we took some pictures. Friends prayed. We walked down towards the Po Lin Monastery.
The Po Lin Monastery was actually there first, founded in 1906 by three Chinese monks. The Big Buddha is an extension that was added. Our friends purchased incense and prayed. The smoke may be drying to the eyes if you’re not used to it. We walked around and saw some shopping stores on our way to the bus.
There were so many local people selling all kinds of dried seafood. I don’t even know what a lot of them were! Some I recognized like anchovies, shrimp, kinds of fishes, etc. I’m not going to lie, my knowledge of seafood is not great.
Walking down the road, we found this great joint! It’s hands down really down to earth satisfying comfort food for me. The price is decent, they use fresh ingredients and cook in the kitchen right there. Every dish we ordered, we scraped off the whole plate. We saw her making wontons right next to us so we got two bowls of wonton soup. So eager to eat it, I forgot to even take pictures of the wonton soup.
Another hit. Stir fry beef and bitter melon I thought I wasn’t going to like but bitter melon wasn’t as bitter as I expected and the beef is just so tender here (this place and Hong Kong in general). Why is the beef in the U.S so tough in comparison!
Each dish was made like at home; it honestly felt like eating at someone’s house, since the kitchen was a few feet away. The ladies working there were chatting with us and socializing. Total was 360 HKD ($47) for the five of us. So worth it. We all left feeling so satisfied, you have no idea.
The people are just friendly here; relaxed and chill. After walking in the village for a bit, we found some awesome cool snacks. Homemade lemon tea that they put in plastic bottles. The lady said she makes them herself. May think it’s sketch if this was in the states, but it seems common here like soymilk filled in plastic bottles is seen at street stalls too. There was no sourness from too much sugar and the lemon in the tea was very refreshing, almost like a palette cleanser for us.
We saw old local people hovered over a hut and was curious what they’re selling. Peanut Sticky Rice Mochi…what’s that! We had to try some when we saw an old guy hand wrapping each one. He hooked it up, that was just the bomb. The inside is sweet and peanutty. The outside sticky rice mochi part is just thin and not too sweet, I don’t know if I had anything like it. We actually each got another one on our way back as we passed it. We’re back!
After resting for a few hours at home, we were on a mission to go the Guangdong roasted meat place from yesterday’s goose place. It must because it’s dinner time but this place tried to hustle us. We got half goose (250 HKD), two cha siu, stir fry ramen noodles, and Hong Kong sweet and sour beef. Total was around 780 HKD for us six people.
We were down to go to bar and spend the last night together as two of our friends are going back to the states tomorrow. There are lots of bars in Tsim Sha Tsui, but in Mongkok, the bar scene is all on Tung Choi Street. Bar next to bar, promotion people will try to convince you to go into their bar. We went to one called Penthouse. Bars are expensive! We ordered set of woo woo shots, a beer, a white wine, two daiquiris, sour whisky, mojito, and wings, total was 1044 HKD ($136). Alcohol is expensive. I guess you pay for the place and scene; other nights we bought wine and beer to drink in restaurants and on the street when walking. Open beer in public!