Shanghai - Hong Kong

27. - 28.03.2016

Shanghai, Easter Sunday March 27th, 2016 Travel to Hong Kong


Easter Sunday was dedicated to traveling to Hong Kong. Leaving Shanghai also meant leaving the last “Chinese city”. Hong Kong still was meant to show the greatest western influence and thus the least Chinese influence of the three.


The start of the day was an early one. Departing from Shanghai airport at 12:30 p.m. meant we had to leave Renaissance Shanghai Yu Garden Hotel rather early in the morning to make it through traffic and be there on time.

Gate 215 Delayed

Luckily Easter Sunday even in Shanghai proved to be rather relaxed with regard to traffic so we easily made it on time to Pudong international (once again). After a decent coffee break and emptying bottles of water we headed through security for the gate – where we were met with the first surprise. All flights to Hong Kong that morning were delayed. Watching the development of our flight proved, as well, to be unpleasant. Even at 13:50 there still was no sign or information at all as to when we would stand a chance to leave for Hong Kong.


As there was nothing much to do the group spread out over the waiting places close to the gate and started various programmes to enjoy the time waiting for information and the flight.


From my perception most of them tried to catch up with some sleep, but that might have been only a very personal point of view.


It's all about waiting..


and waiting..


and a little more waiting...


oh, and waiting!

Of course reading, listening to music or playing cards were quite big as well.

Even though there was no information about when the flight would depart, China Eastern Airlines at some point, without announcing anything, started handing out food and water. The usual delicious airplane - (fast)food – of course!


Lunch packet.. yummy!

Boarding Gate 215


Finally, at 16:53, so almost 4.5 hours after the planned departure time we could start boarding flight MU503/FM503 (A320) from Pudong International to Hong Kong International.


We arrived, more or less annoyed at having lost an entire afternoon for exploring Hong Kong, around 20:30 at the airport. Being still somewhat on Chinese territory but still all the sudden having access to the Internet as a whole proved fascinating for several of us once we had figured out how to use WLAN at the airport.


Connecting with Germany!


Having gone through security and admission control we had to search for the transfer shuttle bus that was going to leave for the ride to IBIS Hotel Hong Kong. After settling in, we found a nice bar close to the hotel and had a pint before heading off back to IBIS hotel for our first night in Hong Kong.


Just to mention it, the decline in hotel quality from Xi`an and Shanghai to Hong Kong was – let’s say – huge!



Hong Kong, Monday March 28th, 2016


On Monday, we woke up early and had a delicious breakfast in the IBIS Hotel downtown Hong Kong. The breakfast included eastern and western types of breakfast e.g. eggs, spring rolls, beans, soup, bread, fruits and cereals. We went out to take advantage of the sunny weather in Hong Kong. Space for living seemed to be even scarcer and high rise apartment buildings more common than in the other two cities. In comparison to Xi’an and Shanghai, Hong Kong smells better and there is more nature, for example birds and greenery. Also, we were able to see blue sky. Additionally, we soon realized that we now had a chance to communicate in English and Chinese was not mandatory any longer.



English and Chinese explanations on the street


Following some online recommendations from other Hong Kong visitors, we first went to a complex that consists of three adjacent blocks: Man Mo Temple, Lit Shing Temple and Kung So.


Beautiful Lighting


All three blocks looked very interesting and colourful, people were lighting incense sticks and candles and of course they had plenty of blessed souvenirs.


Incense sticks and candles


After this extraordinary visit, we continued going to the Peak and took the cable car, which was only a short walking distance away. From there we decided to take a walking tour around the Peak and spent quite a while taking pictures of the exceptional nature (that was completely different than in the previous cities) and the stunning view.



View of Hong Kong


Back in the city we realized that the economy and the public transport seem more developed than in mainland China. We started a long trip to see the Buddha statue.


We took a metro to the Tung Chung station.  When we reached the cable car station, it was around 2 p.m. and some of us were hungry. We started looking for a restaurant in a nearby shopping mall.


Looking for food in China was a tiring process throughout the trip and Hong Kong was no different.


Chicken or canard for lunch?

We finally found food for everyone. The meal included freshly made sandwiches, sushi and typical Chinese food. During the meal, each of us enjoyed the sunny weather. Then we took a 25 min cable car ride to reach Ngong Ping Village. The journey on the cable car was breathtaking and the Buddha Statue was even more thrilling.



Stunning view from the cable car


A further 15 minutes walk took us to the foot of the famous Buddha Statue. After travelling for 90 minutes we reached our final destination – the Big Buddha.


The Tian Tan Buddha Statue (also known as the Big Buddha) was built in 1993. It is located at Ngong Ping, Lantau Island, in Hong Kong. It took 12 years to complete the statue. The Buddha is in a sitting position, made out of bronze and is 34 meters high. His right hand is raised to deliver a blessing to the people. He is facing northwards to look over the Chinese people. People from all over Asia make pilgrimage to see the Big Buddha because it is a major centre of Buddhism. The Buddha symbolizes a harmonious relationship between man and nature, people and faith.



The Big Buddha at the top of the stairs



Smaller Buddhas surrounding the big one


Six smaller bronze statues surround the Big Buddha. They offer flowers, a lamp, fruit and other things to the Big Buddha. These six smaller statues symbolize the “six perfections” of generosity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom all of  which are necessary for enlightenment.

Moreover, after 10 days of seeing high rise buildings it was a good break to come to the mountains and breathe in the nature. The journey was a bit tiring so we took some rest and experienced the peace of the nearby monastery.



Monastery - outside



Monastery - inside


Some of us were thrilled to see a cow and some monks; unfortunately I didn't share the same enthusiasm.




Monks and the Buddha



We spent a good 1hr at the Buddha peak before returning to the city. Since we had a very exciting day and a company visit in the next morning, we decided to just have a drink in a bar and go early to bed, so we would be able to enjoy the next day.


Hong Kong Skyline