one of our typical tourist days included the trip to see the Tian Tan Buddha. big ol' buddha is sitting up on top of a mountain in Ngong Ping. lucky us, we can either take a bus up and around the mountain that will make you yak or take the cable car:
this is just the tip of the iceberg of the Jessliisactuallyasian Theory i'm testing. before you are only two snapshots of our scenic journey up the mountain out of twenty-seven taken...
upon stepping out of the cable car we discover there are bridges of fire to cross to get to Great Giant Buddha on Mountaintop- starting with:
PHOTO OPS GALORE!!!
then an onslaught of terrifying roundeye things like starbucks, pizza, and furries:
(that child is weeping.....with delight i presume)
our next test of endurance came the educational segment of our tour...The Twelve Divine Generals (a.k.a. The Twelve Heavenly Generals/Juni Shinsho/or more broadly, Yaksha). these dozen of dudes historically show their roots are from hinduism and they are meant to represent deity warriors protecting Yakushi Nyorai (Medicine Buddha). later, some clusterfuck happened and they became associated with the animals of the chinese zodiac. [google, you're my homeboy] so more photo opportunities ensued as we travelled down the walkway to The Enlightened One, and we resorted to this:
the ratfink herself:
(also note: there is literally a rat on top of this dude's head
*there's a joke in here somewhere*)
and for some reason, the Li's decided to do a "Life imitates art" theme:
the dragon lady:
onward and upward-- literally. uncle no.547 had informed/warned us before hand this attraction was also known as "The 99 Steps to Buddha". i have some issues with this: 1) this is not the buddha known as "The 99 Steps to Buddha" 2) the "The 99 Steps to Buddha" is the Ling Shan Great Buddha in Mashan, China 3) i discovered this information on this site on the 10 largest buddhas on earth
[sidenote:the aforementioned site- mildly interesting. what caught my eye however, was salacious no.6, "Great Reclining Buddha and Standing Buddha" in Monyma, Myanmar. now, am i wrong that its image shown here:
reminds me of this image here?
i really don't think i'm alone on this one.]
and 4) this was not 99 steps.
(i briefly considered having a cigarette before embarking this trek)
(i briefly considered putting a lit cigarette out in my eyeball)
(i briefly considered lighting that furry i saw in the village on fire)
dad took a u-turn at step no.12, sat his ass down, and looked up at us and laughed from his ivory bench. mama li was crowned victorious in the end though:
the "Offering of the Six Devas" surround the big guy and are putting on their sexiest myspace pouts and poses:
we began our downward spiral. mom joined dad on the sidelines while i explored the Po Lin Monastery (a.k.a. "The Big Hut"). i did my best to resuscitate my career as a national geographic photojournalist:
(the construction crane did not help my endeavors)
(there is a dead frog floating in this fountain
...i know because i tried poking it with a stick)
(more crazian stuffs)
(this crazian is done taking pictures of crazian stuff)
later that evening...
we made another trip to mong kok and decided to have hotpot for dinner. now i friggin love hotpot. it's easy! pick yo broth! pick yo fixins! have fun! play with your food! blahblahchingchongblah!...i'll be damned- we decided to get something different by ordering "turtle soup in herbal broth" as our base and we were stumped:
now that my friends is a whole farking turtle they dumped in the pot. somewhat putting on a front after looking this in the eye:
(i think mom almost cried)
i ate this:
ignore the bowl (it's scallions and fried garlic if you must know). they told us the whole turtle is edible. and for some reason insisted on emphasizing its health tonic for women. "eat the shell!" they said, "shell is for sucking!" they said. i did it. i also threw up in my mouth a little. then i ate that bean-looking thing. it wasn't a bean. it was a turtle egg. i threw up in my mouth a lot. and then i ate another. ralph and rally my friends!
we went to another street market to buy more tchotchkes. it can be pretty repetitive with the 7,000 "real authentic imitation" products. but the engrish.com jewels are frequent enough:
let's use the zoom effect: