We had booked a whole day sightseeing package for the next day on Viator. The package did seem a bit costly compared to the Disney land tickets but it seemed to cover a lot of things to our liking. It included hotel pickup and drop also. Since our hotel was not on their list of pickup points, we had to go to the nearest pickup point next morning. It was less than a 5 mins walk and as though it was a ritual in Hongkong, we picked the fresh hot bread from the same bakery as the previous day. We reached the hotel at 8 AM right on time. We boarded a bus which then picked more people from different stops. We befriended two American couples and two ladies from Brisbane who were our co-passengers.
There was a female guide on the bus who was amazing. Not only did she give us information about the agenda of the day, but also shared a lot of trivia about the places to be visited and answered the questions that passengers had on their mind even before they could ask. Our first stop was at the Ferry Pier. We were given time to grab quick refreshments before boarding the ferry. We had the breakfast and coffee from a Café which claimed to have been there since British rule. We got on the Ferry and the ride lasted for about half an hour. The Ferry was an enclosed one unlike the one in Sydney where passengers can even sit outdoors if they wished to.
After getting off the Ferry, we boarded another bus which was waiting for us at the other end. We stopped by a beach which had a light house. As it was peak winter there, nobody had the intention to get into the water. We clicked some pictures and headed towards Tai-O Fishing village. The fishing village was erected on water bed and we were all surprised by the lifestyle of the villagers. We went on a boat ride amidst the houses, the inhabitants of these houses were so used to this lifestyle that they had rejected to stay in flats that the government had built exclusively for their benefits. We then walked around the marketplace around the village that sold souvenirs made out of shells and fishes. We ate freshly grilled oysters and mussels. We visited a small Buddhist temple there before boarding our bus back again.
The next stop was the famous Big Buddha that was perched on top of a huge mountain. True to its name, the Buddha statue was humongous. Usually visitors had to climb hundreds of stairs to reach the statue but our bus had special access to take us directly to the foot of the statue (or so we were told) The view from that spot was breath taking. We were then taken into the Po Lin monastery where we were scheduled to have lunch. The guide told us that it was a strict vegetarian lunch inside the monastery. We were taken into VIP side of the Meal Hall. I think it was the first time in our lives that we were treated with special privilege. Though we were sceptical about the food that we might have to eat, I must say that was the best meal we had in Hongkong. Everything that was served was extremely delicious and we took second and third helpings. I’m still drooling at the thought of that lunch.
After the yummy lunch, we walked around the souvenir shops and bought a few small laughing buddhas. We were then driven to the bottom of the staircase to Buddha from where we had to bid goodbye to our bus. We walked to Ngong Ping village which had many Hello Kitty statues and shops. We boarded the cable car from there which is known as one of the best in the world for the views. The ride starts from the top of hills from the heights and then moves over water and finally cruises alongside the city’s skyscrapers. It was beautiful and lasted for more than 20 mins. After getting off, we were taken on another bus which then dropped us to our respective drop points.
Overall the tour was well organised, we were taken care of in best possible way and most importantly there were no delays and the transitions were smooth. We would recommend Viator tours to anyone visiting HongKong for sure.