Travel Elysium

Airport waiting

If hell is other people … then purgatory is airports. – Neil Gaiman.

After a mad dash around the airport because my first flight was late, it turns out I actually have an hour before my flight and my watch was still on Hong Kong time. So I thought what better time than to update my blog?

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I have this horrible niggling feeling eating away at me, it’s sending a hot wave over my body as my stomach muscles clench. I’m feeling slightly anxious for a couple of reasons. The first reason is I’m worried about my baggage, the ticket I got made it look like I pick up at my connection in Vietnam, but the airline people assured me it has gone straight through to Cambodia. The other thing is the person who is supposed to pick me up in Siem Reap only replied to my first email saying “hi how are you? You arrive tonight?”. Hopefully a taxi will be easy to get if he doesn’t show up. Lastly – the day is finally here. My journey to Siem Reap to teach English is finally about to commence. Real life children will soon be in my care, staring at me expectantly to impart knowledge. I only hope I am able to provide.

Now, let’s take a step back for a moment a return to a more fun time. How about yesterday? Yesterday I had another¬† fun adventure!

This story begins with me cutting past a really long line of people and receiving never ending glares from the never ending line of people. Thank god I pre booked the cable car online. I joined the incredibly short queue of people and in no time I was on my way.

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After my 20-25 minute cable car ride (which involved me panicking about the height), I reached Lantau Island. And on this Island is an incredible Big Buddha. More info about the Tian Tan Buddha will be edited in tomorrow. Sadly, I didn’t take that many photos with my phone, I got most on my camera instead.

Sorry, this will have to do until I can access a computer!

Sorry, this will have to do until I can access a computer!

After the 265 steps (give or take, my counting was interrupted by someone who wanted a photo) I reached the top, and saw the incredibly giant statue. From the top I was overlooking the monastery and some beautiful rolling hills. Once I headed back down I decided to go off on a bit of a wander. The paths I chose seemed to be the less frequented ones, but it was exciting nonetheless. I took the wisdom path but strangely enough I didn’t feel enlightened… Only sore from all the walking. Next I took the “fun path” and I can assure you, it was anything but fun. I was walking alone in what appeared to be the middle of nowhere, and came across some cow dung. Next i came across the cow. And then another. And another. I lost count how many I walked past, but I was terrified. Because every single animal scares me. But it’s ok because the cows let me live. I then got to the end of my fun path, and all I found was a campsite with a sign saying ‘you are here’ pointing to a spot on the map. Here was a place surrounded by trees, looking abandoned and absolutely nothing to view.

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I then walked back to the monastery and on the way I passed one other person. Thankfully they didn’t murder me. Back at the monastery I grabbed the snack which was included in a voucher I bought. I don’t know what half the stuff I ate but it wasn’t great. The fried noodles were ok, but the coconut jelly ball type thing filled with peanuts was not.

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Next I hopped on a bus in search of the oldest fishing village in Hong Kong – Tai O – which was recommended to me by a local. This part of the adventure was a slight let down, but it definitely was interesting to see how these locals lived in their stilt houses above the water.

Fish market

Fish market

Tai O fishing village

Tai O fishing village

Also I met a hot guy from America who was in the Navy, so I walked around the village with him. We made our way to see an amazing temple.¬† On the way we witnessed a dog fight, although I missed most of it as I ran into a shop and hid behind a lady. When we got to the temple…¬† It was covered in bamboo and under construction…

What a lovely temple

What a lovely temple

Slightly disappointed we headed back to the busses to go our separate ways, however I couldn’t find a bus back to the chairlift, so I took the bus back with him to the station and we travelled in to central together. This time we managed to go our separate ways, without ever knowing more than just our first names.

With weary feet and aching legs I dragged myself to the next bus stop and lined up patiently behind the queue as the bus arrived. And as the bus left I was still lined up. It was only then it dawned on me that I was in the wrong line. However I knew the bus stopped on the other side of the insanely busy 6 lane highway. So I sprinted for it – up across the overpass, not the highway, I’m not an idiot! And I pushed through all the people, nearly fell down the stairs, and made it to the bus just as it was about to take off. Safe to say I collapsed when I got back to the apartment.

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