A journey from Hong Kong to the Po Lin Monastery nestled in the foothills of the Ngong Ping Plateau on a foggy day.
Earlier this month, I posted a single shot from an excursion to the Po Lin Monastery just outside of Hong Kong. I wanted to use this Sunday Series to expand and elaborate on that trip. The subway car rocked back and forth on its rails while the skyscrapers and luxury high rises gave way to large apartment blocks and suburbs. By the time you exit that metal car, you can see the ocean and are confront by a stiff sea breeze bearing the scent of salt. A long and winding walk, up and over stairways and bridges, gives way to a long and winding cue for the cable car. The cable car, unlike the subway, is spacious and allows you 360 degree panoramic views of both the ocean and the mountains, where your destination inevitably lies. Being pulled skyward you rise first above the trees, then above the buildings, and finally above the mountains, until you reach the blue of the sky. From above you can watch dirt trails snake through the trees, up and down slopes and see rivers careen over ridges forming thunderous waterfalls below. Up and up we soared, until we were enveloped by clouds. A thick layer of mist that fell over our cable car, the way a velvet cloak might lie softly upon the shoulders of a prince. When suddenly we emerged from our cloudy prison and were presented with ethereal shadows in the mists that slowly took the form of worldly shapes. The storied pagoda of the monastery, the towering figure of a Buddha, our destination began to materialize in front of us.
Upon existing the glass car, you find that a small community exists (The Ngong Ping Village) at the base of the temple, designed for and sustained by the visitors, and from there a steep 240 steps await you in order to reach what was once the largest outdoor seated bronze Buddha in the world. Even as we climbed, the valley remained in its ethereal state, bathed in the fragile mist; a delicate world presided over by the visage of a large and ghostly statue, which can see all from atop its perch. The whole experience for me was amazing and relaxing, and an immense relief after dealing with the throngs of people in Hong Kong for days. The cable car was a portal into this insubstantial world, where incense smoke mixed with vapor and created a dreamy fog that locked this tiny monastery away here in the mountains, unaffected by the booming metropolis below. Time was irrelevant up here, and it was only once we descended again that we rejoined the rest of the world.
Camera: Nikon D3100, 18-55mm lens
*Note click images or view gallery for both more photos and higher resoloution.