Some two weeks ago I returned from Hong Kong (I will be writing many posts about that trip since I enjoyed the place so much).
I was lucky enough to experience some of the best views Asia has to offer.
From the welcoming reception at my "hotel"
(Yes, there is a sink, toilet and a shower)
(View from the Buddha statue Ngong Ping)
(View from Flagstaff Tea Ware Museum)
If all you carry with you is just a light backpack (and you don't wish to do all the amazing hiking there is to do there) then it is not such a bad idea to pay Ngong Ping a visit on the last day of your travel to Hong Kong. The place is literally 10 minutes drive (peak hour) to the airport using the S1 bus.
The scenery is awesome and if you decide to take a whole day trip then its possible to do some great hicking with a beautiful waterfall and many other interesting views.
Interestingly enough, the very first building you come across in this beautiful place is a tea house. There is nothing I can say about the tea there as I did not have any, but the place has a very interesting multimedia with which your children can learn a thing or two about tea, and you can test your tea preparation skills.
I got "excellent" for preparing tea by mistake! (so lots and lots to improve on. Recently I came across a very famous -and good - tea master who with more then 20 years as taking tea more then just a hobby is still considering himself as a beginner. He is not just being humble, the tea world is so big that its almost impossible to master it all in one's life time. Beginner until the very end).
Moreover, the multimedia enables you to take pictures as a "tea waiter" and "lorry driver", ok not a lorry driver exactly, but all other choices had nothing to do with tea or the restaurant business. You can then email both the picture and the "tea-master" certificate.
Traditional Monk Meal
For a mere 100 HK Dollars I purchased a deluxe vegetarian meal with VIP sitting (cheaper meal goes for around 60 dollars with no ticket to the museum if I remember correct) at the monastery and an entry to the museum.
I have been a vegetarian almost all my life. Constantly I come across comments such as "vegetarian food is tasteless". For very good reasons I could never agree to this (is it because I know nothing else?) until that is, I arrived at the monastery.
I am not sure why (is it because as a monk you are not supposed to enjoy the food?), but the food had no taste! There was everything a vegetarian can only wish for, but nothing had a taste.
This is in contrast to some great teas I came across which had no smell but some of the most delicious tastes.
The only thing that not only had a taste, but tasted really nice were the mushrooms. One kind of which I had for the first time - the "sponge" on the left. If any one of my three blog readers can tell me the name of this mushroom I would greatly appreciate it.
Anyways, the place can probably sit some 1000 people easily with its various 'themed' dining rooms. I believe they do Bar Mitzvahs and Weddings too.
About a 15 minutes walk from the Buddha statue is the "Wisdom Park".
8 minutes into that walk is the "Tea Garden Restaurant". Apart from the great atmosphere, this place serves some real Hong Kong grown and prepared tea. Due to my good luck and fortune this place is closed on Thursday - the day I visited. If any one has some Hong Kong tea please let me know.
And if you ever wondered why this part of Hong Kong can grow tea, then this wisdom tablet might help you:
"Humidity here is high and the land is fertile"
Ngong Ping is a must go place in Hong Kong, and I did not even mention the most amazing cable car journey I ever had.
Monk-y Business (Hong Kong - Ngong Ping 360)
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