Did you know that Hong Kong has the highest average IQ score among 81 countries in the world? I just read it on Wikipedia. I don’t know why they compared only 81 countries, but assuming they didn’t measure it against 80 dumb countries, that’s a rather noteworthy achievement for the people of HK. I can believe it too because two of my best buddies in HK have razor sharp intellect. Well, one does. The other knows all of the great places to eat though! That’s like IQ extra credit as far as I’m concerned.
Our first couple of days in HK were spent alone because Nikki and Peggy had work and since they work like indentured servants, we could only meet them for late dinners on work nights. Being alone as a tourist in HK isn’t that much fun. It’s a densely populated city, with a population of about 7 million people living on a land mass that’s about the size of a tea cup. I’m exaggerating. It’s more like a tea cup saucer. If you like cities, people, and shopping then HK can be a lot of fun. We tried a couple of the touristy things the first few days while on our own and realized that we weren’t that impressed. It was way too hot and crowded for us and there were cultural differences with some of the more vocal and rambunctious tourists that we weren’t accustomed to.
One major HK tourist hotspot that we decided to visit was Lantau Island where everyone goes to ride the cable car from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping to see the massive sitting Buddha. The cable car isn’t cheap, but I enjoyed the ride and you just can’t put a price tag on my happiness. The view is lovely and the ride is probably much more pleasant than a bumpy hour-long bus ride, the cheaper alternative to getting to the Buddha. You can also hike up there if you’re really poor and don’t have money for bus fare. Actually, the hiking looks like it would’ve been fun and it’s something we might consider doing on another visit when it’s not so damn hot. After the breezy and scenic cable car ride we walked to the giant Buddha with the other sweaty tourists and hoofed it up the 268 steps to the base of the Buddha. If you didn’t know better you might think the Buddha was an ancient Chinese relic, but it’s actually younger than us. It’s just over 20 years old, so historically speaking it’s not that interesting. It’ll be really cool in about 500 years.
The following day was sunny and beautiful so we went for a hike since we can’t be in Bavaria without hiking the Alps. That would be a sin and we aren’t sinners. We started late like typical amateur hikers and then took a wrong turn like typical amateur hikers. So, after 5 hours of hiking, we had eaten lunch twice, lost and found KS’s hat, and then came back to the bottom of the mountain to enjoy the rushing glacial waters. The water was clear and beautiful so I took off my shoes to dip my feet in and quickly lost my toes to frostbite. Oh well, such is life.